David Gillick claims that Sonia O'Sullivan is not the only Irish athlete who lost out to dopers

An investigation into mass cheating offences is currently ongoing

BY Sinéad Farrell 15:53 Thursday 11 February 2016, 15:53 11 Feb 2016

©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

The athletics world was shaken last week when it was reported that a number of athletes had allegedly taken performance enhancing drugs during the 90's, thus robbing Sonia O'Sullivan of gold place finishes.

Nine Chinese athletes are currently being investigated on suspicion of taking ''large doses of illegal drugs over the years'' . And the potential outcome of this inquiry could result in Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan being awarded two gold medals for her runs in the 1993 World Championships in Stuttgart.

This would make O'Sullivan a three-time world champion, a prospect which the Cork native admitted last week, would be ''hugely satisfying.''

But former Irish runner David Gillick has since come out to claim that Sonia O'Sullivan is not the only Irish athlete to have been victimised by cheating athletes.

Speaking this week, Gillick claimed:

''We all knew the Chinese were dirty because you know by results. Sonia, as well as the likes of Rob Heffernan and Derval O’Rourke have all been robbed of medals so what the athletic association need to realise is that it’s not just about the medals, it’s about the wider growth of the sport.''

Gillick went on to comment on occasions when he could have placed higher in races had it not been for the presence of athletes who were subsequently convicted of doping.

''When I came sixth in the World Championships in Berlin, the guy who won it was then done for drugs and the guy in second place had a lot of suspicion around him. I finished sixth and to me that was a big deal. If I’d finished fifth or fourth that’s an even bigger deal. So sometimes you wonder, “Where did I really finish? There were other times when I trained in the US and trained with 12 athletes. In the subsequent year three of those guys tested positive for drugs.''

Speaking to the media in relation to the Chinese investigation, Sonia O'Sullivan recalled times during the suspicion ridden 90's, when she momentarily thought that the Chinese were virtuous and she simply just had to increase her training dosage.

And David Gillick admits that he had those moments as well.

''I remember coming home after getting injured and I was really down. I thought on the plane, 'Maybe these guys are just much better than me.''

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week