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Cram, Urging Action, Says Track and Field Has Become Cut-Throat, Drug-Threatened

February 04, 1988|United Press International

LONDON — Steve Cram of Britain, the world record-holder in the mile, called Wednesday for action to clean up the drug-threatened and "cut-throat" world of international track and field.

Speaking on BBC television's "Sportsnight" program, the former world champion at 1,500 meters, said he no longer enjoyed competing and was glad to be nearing the end of his track career.

Cram, 27, maintained it was the responsibility of the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) to take a lead against drugs.

"The sport has been dragged through the mud and unless we all start pulling together, it's going to be in big trouble in another year or two," Cram said.

"I still love athletics, but the enjoyment has certainly gone at international level. It's so cut-throat and there are so many influences on you instead of just wanting to go out and win. I'm pleased I'm coming to the end of my career, rather than starting it at such a tough time."

Cram suggested a two-pronged attack on the drug problem. He believes offenders should be banned for life, and an independent body should carry out drug tests, world-wide any time of the year.

"The IAAF has to act," he said, "they are the only people who can solve the problem.

"Until they do there is not really much that can be done in British athletics. We can point the finger at people, but it's not doing the sport any good whatsoever."

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