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Tony Thompson: 'I think boxing should just allow doping, period'

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Tony Thompson, who faces British heavyweight star David Price on Saturday, says that boxing and all sports should allow athletes to make the choice on whether or not to take performance-enhancing drugs.

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Lars Baron

American heavyweight veteran Tony Thompson is stirring up some dust while in the United Kingdom preparing for Saturday's fight with unbeaten prospect David Price, as he said this week that athletes should be allowed to use performance-enhancing drugs if they so choose, sparking a backlash from British boxing notables.

"I know this is going to be kind of controversial for people, I think they should just allow doping, period. Because to me it's like the gun law. Only the good guys are listening, so it leaves the good guys without the guns. So you just allow everybody. ... It's just sports. And I think we put too much emphasis on what it is that athletes are doing. A lot of the time you've got to leave it up to athletes. It's a person's choice, such as abortion and other things we don't agree with."

Thompson's viewpoint on the doping issue is unconventional, but it's his opinion. Personally, I think it's a little ignorant to the effects that PEDs can have, particularly in a combat sport where men and women are already greatly at risk, but he's got every right to express his thoughts.

British Boxing Board of Control secretary Robert Smith called Thompson's remarks "irresponsible" and "sickening," while Price's promoter Frank Maloney referred to them as "surprising" and "stupid."