Monday, 16 April 2012

No, Minister

News today that 17 year old Jonathan Spelman, son of Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman, has been banned for 21 months by the RFU after admitting taking prohibited substances.

The former England under 16 and Harlequins player apparently took a cocktail of testosterone, drostanolone, growth hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin, clomid and nolvadex in order to try to recover from an injury suffered playing in a school match. How times have changed – when I snapped my thumb in a school match in 1982 I was offered nothing stronger than a couple of paracetamol :(

His parents having failed in their attempts to prevent him being named by way of a privacy injunction, astonishingly Spelman has decided to appeal the 21 month ban - all of which suggests he is not being advised very well at all…

1 comment:

Poornumber9 said...

I know you aim to put a humorous spin on most things but I think comparing your broken thumb with this boy's injury trivialises a very serious issue.

As I understand it, the lad suffered a serious leg injury that would take him out of the game for nine months and possibly require him to be in a leg brace. This doesn't justify what he did, but remember at the time he was a 16 year old lad with serious ambitions of being a pro player. That being said, ultimately it was his choice to take whatever supplements etc. he did, although those around elite and ambitous young athletes (e.g. parents, academy and England u16 coaches, school) need to be very aware of the pressures these young people are under and the risk that this might influence them to make a bad decision.