The Big Read (Paralympics)

Michele Verroken: Is social drug use in sport undermining the anti-doping message?

High profile doping cases involving illicit and recreational drugs provoke strong reactions in the media. 

Observers query the logic of detecting social drugs in sport, penalising the athlete as if the perpetrator had committed the ultimate doping offence, cheating using a performance enhancing drug. Questions are raised about whether the testing programme is appropriately targeted and whether those who are caught using illicit and recreational drugs deserve sympathy and treatment for their addiction illness rather than severe sanctions for their misdemeanour. 

Cassie Smith: is women's football coming home?

Today at 5pm sees yet another nerve-wracking England versus Germany clash in a major football championship. But this time, it’s the women’s turn. For coach Hope Powell, it is the culmination of many years hard work nurturing a squad of talented players, whilst working against a backdrop of uncertain financial support and broken promises.


Eleanor Simmonds: I want to be a role-model for all kids

One of the best things about last year’s Paralympic Games was the incredible support from the British public. They really like their sport!
It’s over a year now since Beijing and yet I still get stopped by strangers. This morning, for example, after training, I was shopping in Swansea, where I’ve moved to from Walsall, when a lady came up to me and said, "Are you the girl who got those two medals?"

David Owen: Barack Obama needs to launch a major charm offensive for Chicago to win 2016

alt Now Barack Obama has got his work cut out.


That, in essence, was my reaction this week on first reading the report of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Evaluation Commission for the 2016 Summer Games (available here).

The IOC’s inspectors highlighted a number of issues with the bid from Obama’s home city of Chicago that together add up to a pretty substantial litany.

Tom Degun: My ride on the wall of death

altWhile I am certainly no Chris Hoy, I consider myself to be a reasonably good cyclist. It was for that reason that I rather courageously - or foolishly depending on your viewpoint - decided to participate in a track cycling session at the Wales National Velodrome at a press conference that preceded the UK School Games.

Georgina Harland: Competing on home ground will spur Britain on

In a way it feels quite strange that there is a Modern Pentathlon World Championships starting on Thursday in London and I am not going to be taking part in it.

Tim Woodhouse: The gloves are on?

altThe Olympics certainly pack a punch when it comes to shining a light on issues within sport. The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision regarding women’s boxing, which will be made today, is no exception.

Matt Smith: Baseball's future brighter without the Olympics


altThe International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board announced last week that golf and rugby would be put forward for entry to the 2016 Olympics. The decision ended baseball and softball’s hopes for an immediate return to the Olympic fold after a previous decision in 2005 removed the sports from the 2012 London Games. 

Andy Thomas: A look behind the scenes at British Equestrian

My role within the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is lead practitioner for human science and sports Medicine. Basically I am the Human Physio (i.e I don’t treat the horses) but co-ordinate all aspects related to rider performance.