Expert opinion: What about an athlete's right to privacy?

Paul Dimeo looks at another side of the anti-doping fight, the right to privacy for athletes

The disappointment shows on Lizzie Armitstead's face she crossed the line in fifth in the women's Olympic road race. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Lizzie Armitstead almost lost her place in the Olympics after missing three anti-doping tests. She found herself under pressure to explain the reasons, which included a personal family matter.

While much of the debate focused on the consistency of the appeals process, the reality hardly discussed is the level of personal surveillance to which athletes are subjected and the invasion of their privacy — unparalleled in any other walk of life.

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Jack Elton-Walters hails from the Isle of Wight, and would be quick to tell anyone that it's his favourite place to ride. He has covered a varied range of topics for Cycling Weekly, producing articles focusing on tech, professional racing and cycling culture. He moved on to work for Cyclist Magazine in 2017 where he stayed for four years until going freelance. He now returns to Cycling Weekly from time-to-time to cover racing, review cycling gear and write longer features for print and online.