PtG Article 24.08.2006

Director of Swedish anti-doping organisation sniffed cocaine

A Swedish anti-doping organisation has lost its director, former athlete Sven Nylander, after Nylander was picked up by the police for sniffing cocaine. A serious problem for the organisation Ren Idrott - Clean Sport - whose main working method is to make examples of top athletes who say no to doping.

Sven Nylander was picked up by the police when he left a restaurant in Gothenburg in Sweden where a party had taken place to celebrate the end of the European track and field championships. Drugs police had kept the restaurant under observation and arrested five people including Nylander, Swedish sprinter Patrick Lövgren and former high jumper Patrik Sjöberg.

All five people tested positive for cocaine on the police’s first test and after initial denials Nylander and also Patrik Sjöberg have now admitted - under heavy media pressure - that they did take drugs.

In an interview with Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet Nylander explains that he has taken cocaine on a handful of occasions - always at parties where he had drunk too much:

”Reason goes out when alcohol comes in. Alcohol is the main reason I have used these drugs. So I will get help to sort out the alcohol problem,” Nylander told Aftonbladet.

Nylander has resigned from Ren Idrott

After retiring from hurdle racing 10 years ago, Nylander has lectured on personal development and worked as director for the organisation Ren Idrott - Clean Sport.

The organisation has been set up by Swedish sports stars to raise awareness of doping issues and strengthen the morals and ethics of sport. 38 Swedish top athletes currently serve as ambassadors for Ren Idrott.

Sven Nylander has resigned from his post with Ren Idrott - a move welcomed by the chairman of the board, Hans G. Svensson.

”This is a tragedy for Swedish track and field and for Sven Nylander personally. However I welcome Sven Nylander’s decision to openly and honestly admit his guilt and leave the organisation,” he says in a press release.

Svensson underlines his belief in the need fororganisations that work for drug and doping free sport and he has immediately started looking for a replacement for Nylander.