‘Cheating to win not worth it’
Winning is a great feeling but the repercussions and shame one faces after cheating to win is not worth it, says former top Barbadian swimmer, Nicholas Neckles.
Speaking during a session held by the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO) last week to sensitize the media on doping in sports, Neckles said when athletes cheated and were eventually caught they were not just an embarrassment to themselves but also to their country and family who have supported them over the years.
“There are people who you do not even know that followed your progress throughout the years that feel let down by your actions and of course you embarrass the country. That is why it is important to stand behind what Caribbean RADO is trying to do,” he said.
The youthful but veteran swimmer told the media he would like to see RADO look at the legalities of certain situations where athletes were concerned.
“I know they [RADO] have a long way to go but I would like to see them look at the legalities of some situations because it seems as though if athletes have significant financial resources behind them they can get a lawyer and a four-year ban becomes a one-year ban and from a one-year ban they can do that retroactive thing and it turns into six months. I hope that while RADO is doing the testing policies it helps the sport to improve so that eventually doping would stop completely because athletes will be afraid of being caught and they would not consider it,” Neckles said.
The former 1994 CARIFTA gold medalist touched on the fact that being tested is one of the most uncomfortable feelings for most athletes because of the circumstances in which an athlete is tested inside a cubicle where they have to drop their trouser to their ankles, put their shirt in their mouth while someone looks on.
“It takes a lot to get used to and I am glad that they are doing testing at high school level especially at our Inter-school sports because it is something that is necessary. Despite it being uncomfortable and time-consuming it was of some comfort to me as an athlete to know there is a high probability that someone who is cheating would be caught,” he said.
Neckles added: “Often athletes know exactly what they are doing especially in today’s world where people want things now, quickly and easily. Some of the athletes from my experience who have been susceptible to cheating are the ones with little to fall back on and it does not have to be education but if they have no plans on what they want to do after sport they are more susceptible to taking that risk of cheating.”