Lord Menzies “Ming” Campbell, a prominent British politician for over 40 years and currently the Chancellor of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, has never given up his pursuit of laws intended to criminalize the personal use and possession of anabolic steroids.
The possession of anabolic steroids for personal use is not a criminal offense in the United Kingdom. Steroid possession is perfectly legal under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Only the distribution and supply of steroids is criminalized. Athletes and bodybuilders have been free to use steroids without fear of being arrest or prosecution.
The favorable steroid possession laws are clearly loved by athletes and bodybuilders. But they are obviously hated by anti-doping crusaders who see steroid use as immoral and/or cheating. It comes as no surprise that anti-doping crusaders have aggressively lobbied parliament to introduce new legislation that would outlaw the possession of anabolic steroids.
Lord Campbell has been one of the top politicians seeking to reclassify anabolic steroids in the same category as cannabis, heroin and cocaine thereby making possession a crime. He believes steroids are far to easy for athletes to obtain under UK law. And the temptations are far too great given the increasing professionalism and commercialization of athletics.
“This is an increasing problem because of the professionalism of track and field sport,” Campbell said in December 2017. “The financial rewards are so great that people on the margins are sorely tempted to take drugs in order to access the very substantial, financial rewards… which are available.”
Lord Campbell has a long history in sports that begin as an elite athlete. Campbell was a world-class sprinter once considered the “fastest white man on the planet”. Campbell represented Team Great Britain in the 200-meters and the 4x400 meter relay at the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. He recorded personal bests of 10.2 seconds in the 100-meters on two occasions including a race in which he outran O.J. Simpson. Campbell held the British record in 100-meter from 1967 until 1974.
Lord Campbell denied using anabolic steroids during the time he competed as an athlete. He claimed that steroids didn’t enter the sport until his athletic career was winding down.
"I haven't got any skeletons in my closet," Campbell said in 2006. “...And I haven't taken drugs. Being an athlete, I wouldn't. Steroids were coming in as I was going out."
Lord Campbell retired from sports and entered politics in the mid-1970s. But Campbell remained obsessed with sports and, in particular, the issue of doping. Campbell aggressively lobbied to criminalize possession of anabolic steroids since the 1980s. Campbell saw a prime opportunity to achieve this goal when the 2012 Summer Olympics came to London. Fortunately, his attempts were thwarted each and every time.
"It is far too easy to get access to these drugs," Campbell said in October 2015. "...My efforts to change the law were met with the equivalent of obstruction by the then Conservative government. I tried many years ago to put possession and supply of performance enhancing drugs into the same category as cannabis and other class two drugs. The then government was pretty unsympathetic to my proposal.”
The Telegraph. (December 20, 2018). Anti-doping authorities are not independent, former Wada head warns. Retrieved from telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/20/anti-doping-authorities-not-independent-former-wada-head-warns/