I used to have a lot of respect for Kelly Sotherton.
Despite British athletics being a bit of a joke following the retirement of Linford Christie, Colin Jackson and Sally Gunnell, I was happy to see Sotherton land her World Championship bronze and Jessica Ennis claim a credible fourth place.
But then came the bitterness – the athlete in the silver medallist Lyudmila Blonska had served a two year ban for drugs in 2003.
And this was Sotherton’s response: “She has cheated once, who says she is not cheating again?
“We’re not interested when she’s there, we don’t support cheats. It tarnishes our event and we don’t support it.”
Considering the state of British atletics with the Dwayne Chambers and Christine Ohuruogu debacle, such comments not only seem unbelievably bitter but also incredibly hypocritical.
It may yet turn out that Blonska fails a drug test. If that is the case then such comments can be made but not before then.
She did wrong and served her time and needs to be treated with a little bit more respect.
Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?