A TOP boxing coach in Burton has slammed comments made by a professional boxer who called for doping to be allowed in sports.
Richard Joyce, head coach at Burton Amateur Boxing Club (BABC), hit out after Tony Thompson made the comments ahead of his heavyweight bout with David Price on Saturday.
Thompson, nicknamed The Knife, said he believed doping should be allowed in sports in a bid to ensure athletes compete on a level playing field.
He said: “I think they should allow doping, period, because for me it’s like the gun law – only the good guys are listening.”
But Joyce said he ‘completely disagreed’ with Thompson’s comments.
He said: “I don’t agree with that.
“You do see lads who have obviously had something and they might get away with it but they will get caught out in the long run.
“If we allowed doping in sport where would it end? People wouldn’t know what they were allowed and what they weren’t.
“If you allowed people to have human growth hormones would that make it a level playing field?”
The sporting world has been rocked in recent months after the seven time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong, admitted doping.
Joyce, who started boxing aged seven before turning professional at 20, said he would never encourage anyone to take performance enhancing drugs.
He said: “If a person is taking these things it doesn’t mean they are a better fighter or will perform better.
“It’s better to walk away from a sport knowing you tried your best rather than take something – you wouldn’t have a clear conscience.”
Since hanging up his gloves 22 years ago, Joyce now coaches promising young boxers who aim to replicate his success in the ring.
He said: “It’s better to give kids discipline and make them believe they can be a champion without drugs.”