Sport pays tribute to Sir Arthur GoldSubscribe
Russell Langley 28 May 2002
SIR ARTHUR GOLD CBE, one of the leading athletics administrators of his generation and a pioneering anti-drugs campaigner, has died at the age of 85.
UK Sport’s Director of Anti-Doping Michele Verroken, a long-term friend and colleague of Sir Arthur, said: "Sir Arthur’s commitment to sport, and athletics in particular, was second to none. He will be principally remembered for his stand against the use of performance-enhancing drugs, being an early and outspoken advocate for drug-free sport.
"Most importantly, he was a great ambassador for the athletes themselves, putting them at the forefront of all of his actions."
Born in London in 1917, Gold initially made his mark as an athlete – representing Britain as a high jumper in 1937 – before moving into sports administration.
He led British athletics teams to three Olympic Games – at Mexico in 1968, Munich in 1972, and Montreal in 1976 – and was commandant of the England Commonwealth Games team at Brisbane (1982), Edinburgh (1986) and Auckland (1990), and of the British Olympic team at Albertville and Barcelona in 1992.
From 1979 to 1990 he was chairman of the Commonwealth Games Council for England and from 1988 to 1992 was chairman of the British Olympic Association, before becoming vice-president in 1992. During his four-year term of office, Gold led the policy debate for a life ban on eligibility for the Olympic Games and achieved the acceptance of the rule by the British Olympic Association which bans any competitor who fails a drug test from ever representing Britain at an Olympics. Since 1966 he was also a member of the European Athletics Association. Awarded the CBE in 1974, Gold was knighted for his services to sport in 1984.
Much of his administrative work in his later years focused on combating drug abuse in sport. Having foreseen as early as 1968 that drugs were a destructive threat to international sport, he never relented in his campaign against them, which he regarded as protecting the majority who do not cheat.
During the 1980s, he campaigned vociferously against doping, both in Britain, where he was chairman of the Sports Council’s drug abuse advisory group from 1981 to 1992, and as vice-chairman of the Council of Europe Expert Group on Anti-Doping, leading the establishment of random out of competition testing, noting frequently that "only the careless and the ill-advised" would take drugs close to a competition where it was known testing would occur.