Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Polish boxer Przemysław Saleta has waded into the discussion following American cyclist Lance Armstong's confession that he used performance enhancing drugs, claiming that he believes professional athletes should all be allowed to do so. After the now-disgraced cyclist confessed to Oprah Winfrey that he had doped during his career, which included seven Tour de France wins, Mr Saleta told Polish regional newspaper Dziennik Polski that professional athletes should be allowed to use drugs to aid recovery.
He went on to say that current doping regulations favor the richest athletes and that only the "poorest and dumbest" get caught.
"It all comes down to whether or not someone has the money to have access to [drugs] that are undetectable," he said.
"One example is China, where sports are sponsored by the state and there are no financial constraints. The result? Chinese athletes do not get caught," he added.
Mr Saleta, who will fight Andrzej Gołota at the Ergo Arena in Gdańsk on February 23, believes that allowing doping could actually be beneficial to the health of top athletes.
"I'll give the example of cyclist Lance Armstrong, who doped for years. I guarantee that he will not have had any side effects. ... In fact, I would even say that in professional sports, doping is healthier," he said.
Clarifying that he's against young athletes and children using any illegal substances, he added that kids "often don't even know what they're taking, what effects it can have on their bodies. And they could pay the price for using them for the rest of their lives."
Mr Saleta, a former world champion in kickboxing and European champion in boxing, last entered a professional boxing ring in 2006 when he beat Ed Perry. He will take on Mr Gołota, nicknamed "The Foul Pole" in a non-title contest.
With both fighters now 44 years of age, the fight is unlikely to be a great spectacle, but due to Mr Gołota's continued fame in Poland it still looks set to be a financial success for organizers. The fight will also be shown on pay per view nationwide.
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