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PROTRACK » Pro Running HISTORY » Athletes doping in the VAL - News articles from the 1930's

Athletes doping in the VAL - News articles from the 1930's

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1930 - Athletes at Maryborough were swabbed amid accusations of doping by the chief steward.

RUNNERS DENY 'dope' charges;

Say Accuser Should State ''Specific Cases"  


The Register News-Pictorial
28 February 1930

MELBOURNE, Thursday.—
Allegations that professional foot runners were being ruined by 'dope,' made by J. W. Schafe. handicapper and stipendiary steward of the Victorian Athletic League, were emphatically refuted by a deputation from the Victorian Runners' Union to the Chief Secretary (Mr. Tunnecliffe) today.

The speakers maintained that professional running was being damaged gravely by the statements of Schafe, and asked that he be requested to lay specific charges which could be investigated by the police.

Mr. Tunnecliffe said Schafe would be asked to supply details of the charges he had made. If he could produce any definite evidence the police would take steps to bring the culprits to justice.

J. Campbell, a trainer, said Schafe had been reported to the V.A.L. by B. Geeran, winner of the Frankston Gift, for having accused him of having taken 'cocaine or strychnine' before the race. Geeran's trainer had been suspended by Schafe for having remonstrated with him when he accused the runner.

Campbell contended that if Schafe had any thing to support his assertions he should make a definite charge against Geeran.

The secretary of the Victorian Runners' Union (F. Crockett) said swabs were taken from the throats of the six finalists in the Maryborough Gift for analysis. These had gone astray, and Schafe had alleged that he knew 'dope' was used, and that the swabs would not be returned because of efforts to avoid a scandal. While admitting there might be some oc casional cases of doping, the deputation maintained that the general allegations of' Schafe had no foundation. running trainer&searchLimits=

Last edited by Admin on Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:40 am; edited 1 time in total

2 The Argus - 7th February 1930 on Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:39 am


Admin Athletic League&searchLimits=


The Argus
Friday 7th February 1930

Athletic League Inquiring

At the meeting of the Victorian Athletic League held at Anzac House on Wednesday, Mr J Carney (Colac) presiding, serious allegations were made regarding the methods of certain trainers, who it is complained, are handling professional as well as amateur runners. It was stated that these trainers have been resorting to tactics similar to those used by the trainers of dogs, and that men were “doped” in order to put forth extra effort in races in which they were backed. It was state that while the practice of doping was not general there had been instances of athletes being in a highly  exhilarated state after a race, and that it was evident they had been “doped.” One delegate said that a prominent runner had said to him, “I would not mind being doped if I could win a big gift.”

No definite allegations were made, but it was evident that ample evidence would be forthcoming if a committee were appointed to enquire into the position. In order to fully investigate the matter a sub-committee was appointed to make enquiries and to report to the next meeting of the League. A prominent member of the League stated yesterday evening that he had no doubt that the practice of doping was being exploited by certain trainers, and that unless serious steps were taken the evil would grow. There was no harm in men being trained to a high pitch, but when draughts of sherry with drugs were used and given to highly trained athletes the result would be disastrous. The committee has been furnished with a deal of in which specific instances of doping in both professional and amateur athletes were mentioned.


Admin Athletic League&searchLimits=


Victorian League Action

Cootamundra Herald
03 November 1938

A new rule which was approved by the Victorian Athletic League,
at the annual meeting, provides for disqualification in the event
of an athlete refusing to submit himself for examination when
requested to do so. The rule is aimed at preventing the doping of
runners, which the stewards allege is prevalent. It was decided
however, not to enforce the rule until legal opinion has been obtained
as to the right of the league to take such action against runners.

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