SCOTS ATHLETES ARE BOOZIEST IN WORLD; Study Slams Culture of Binge-Drinking in Sport

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Byline: By MAGGIE BARRY

SCOTLAND's elite stars are the biggest drinkers in sport, it was revealed yesterday.

A study of drinking in sport showed 40 per cent of our athletes exceed safe limits, the most among 25 countries polled - and almost a third drink over the weekly recommended intake per session.

The results sparked speculation that post-training and weekend boozing sessions could be a reason for our poor international record.

Scots were top - ahead of Australia, England, Ireland and New Zealand. In contrast Japanese, Chinese, South Koreans and Indians overindulged the least.

Study director, psychologist and former Australian triathlete Gaylene Clews, said the drink culture was holding Scotland back from more sporting successes.

She said: "You cannot expect to be a successful sporting nation when elite athletes drink to excess.

In Scotland the social aspects of having a drink appear to be seen as a cure-all in terms of an athlete's emotional state of mind.

"If they win they go to the pub. Likewise if they lose they drown their sorrows. And if they have a new teammate they go to the pub for a boozing session."

Scottish sportsmen have a history of alcohol abuse. Former world boxing featherweight champion Scott Harrison was forced to give up his title last year after a series of alcohol related incidents. …