Sunday September 22 2013
– Sports Minister Peter Dutton has accused the former Labor government of beating up the drugs in sport issue, and tarnishing innocent athletes.
Tony Abbott’s new Minister said while the cheats should be exposed “by all means” possible, it was wrong to suggest drug cheats were the norm.
Mr Dutton is a former police officer who worked in Queensland’s drug squad in the 1990s. It was time Australia got the balance right on drugs in sport, he said.
“99% of sports people who run on to a paddock are clean and work their whole lives to rise to an elite level,” he said.
“We are concentrating now on the 1%. We should make sure we don’t allow an environment where people get away with cheating.”
Mr Dutton said he was sick of only hearing about the drug cheats in sport.
“As a sports dad, a footy dad, it angers me that we are in the run up to a Grand Final and we are speaking more about the shenanigans off the field that we are on the talent,” he said.
Asked if the Gillard-Rudd government had beaten up the drugs in sport issue, he agreed it had.
“They beat it up. And I think there is disgust and horror among people I talk to about the way the government beat this up.
“To use sportspeople and tarnish the reputation of sportspeople across the country was one of the worst things of the previous government…
“So yes, absolutely come down hard and throw the book at the cheats and the people doing the wrong thing, but concentrate the 99%.”
– Samantha Maiden