Brendan O'Brien: "The dopers are always ahead of the dope-testers"

The Sunday Paper Review reflected on the challenges for anti-doping agencies

Brendan O'Brien: "The dopers are always ahead of the dope-testers"

The USA's Justin Gatlin reacts to winning the Men's 100m Final. Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Two-time drug cheat Justin Gatlin's win in the 100m World Championship final on Saturday night once again brought the topic of doping into the media spotlight.

The 35-year-old Gatlin's stunning win over the retiring Usain Bolt, who, at 30, has been slowing down in recent seasons, created headlines all around the world. 

Brendan O'Brien and Tommy Martin joined Nathan Murphy on Off the Ball's Sunday Paper Review to address the issue. 

The discussion turned to the controversial Russian doping system, which the Netflix documentary Icarus uncovered, and was reviewed on Off the Ball recently

"It's just another example of how the dopers think differently and creatively 'how do we get around this?' said O'Brien, adding: "It's that whole thing that the dopers are always ahead of the dope-testers and nobody, I mean, before the whole Russian state sponsored thing - we thought this was the GDR (German Democratic Republic) in the 1980s - this would never happen again. 

"And suddenly, here we are in this generation, the same thing is happening and they've come up with a different way of doing it. Ok, they were caught but it just goes to show that it's the impossible mission. It goes back to the point that people have made in previous years: 'do we just accept it?' It's a losing battle so why do you keep fighting that losing battle? 

"Do you just accept it? Do you make it a wild west kind of situation? You've questions about the health of athletes and the ethics around it but it's just unsolvable. It's an enigma that will never be solved," he added. 

The full Sunday Paper Review can be heard here: