How about those Russians thinking they can hoodwink the anti-doping authorities in the lead-up to the Olympic Games?
How many undetected athletes are there who are ingesting performance enhancing drugs?
Hey, wait a minute! What about all the other performance enhancing aids that are there at the Games? Or in sports generally?
As I have been led to understand it, there were no performance enhancing anythings at the original Olympic Games. In fact, they were played in the nuddy! Talk about the all-time equalizer!
I seem to be one of the few people who think that drugs should be allowed in sports.
Now I draw the line at the use of any aid or substance which will have a detrimental effect on an athlete’s health in the short, medium and long term. Just to clear the air.
But as I understand it also, WADA et al, have a list of substances which can’t be injected, taken orally, rubbed into the skin or in fact, any way of finding its way into the body. To have such a list would suggest that there are other substances and aids which CAN be used.
But let’s look at some of the other non-drug-related performance enhancements which are legal. They give an advantage to athletes but are ok.
What about the technology in cycling? My bike just wouldn’t cut it. The air-resistant helmets look really silly next to the basket on the front of my bike. But the guy in lycra on his specially designed treadly can leave me sitting stationary! Talk about performance enhancing advantage!
When I was ten I played Aussie Rules in WA. I didn’t have any footy boots and neither did most of the guys but those who did had a distinct advantage not only in kicking the footy but in the pack. I tread very warily. I know a country rugby team who come to Canberra to play and get smashed every time largely because their training and gym facilities are mostly non-existent compared to the Canberra teams who have high-tech gyms and dedicated training staff.
Have a look at the diets that athletes have. In fact, their diets are tailored for peak performance, to gain an advantage. Old fat guys just don’t cut it! And they ingest all kinds of quackery like added vitamins and minerals.
Have you ever seen a wrestler who is a skinny little kid or are they huge people who have been to a gym regime tailored to strength? The same for weight lifters. Notorious drug takers in many cases, they nonetheless have legal strength enhancing regimes denied to the rest of us. And Dean Lukin still needed to take drugs to enhance his performance even though he chucked huge tuna fish around his boat in South Australia!
I had a round of golf the other week and I dusted off my old clubs and put my buggy together and off I went. My playing partner had this amazing set of designer clubs and outdrove me by a country mile, then added more misery by sinking putts which were not humanly possible using his specially designed putter. Talk about a technological advantage!
And have you seen the canoes the rowers use? They didn’t come from the bark of some tree. They are made of lightweight fibreglass and slice through the water.
Let’s just look at athletics. Spikes, blocks, special diets, Cathy Freeman/superhero suits, lycra all add an advantage to the wearer over someone who has less or none of these enhancements.
When Australia won the America’s Cup, in ’88, there were accusations of cheating in the sport of yachting because of the winged keel. The losers complained that technology had been introduced to bring an unfair advantage.
I’ve only scratched the surface of the number and types of enhancements which make a mockery of the assertion that drugs in sport give an unfair advantage.
Back to the original point. I reckon if it was allowed that all athletes could take as many legal drugs as they liked, the playing field would be a bit more even.
And remember, sport is an entertainment industry. Participants are not lily-white super heroes, they are entertainers, nothing more.
As long as the enhancements don’t deliver health risks to these entertainers, where is the problem? Since when has WADA et al, been the arbiters of what will detrimentally effect people? I trust the medical profession not a bunch of bureaucrats.
Maria Sharapova was dealt with badly. She was taking a substance to address a health issue not one to enhance her chances of success, but she was still pilloried and penalised. If she was a musician or a film star, no one could have cared less. Hypocrisy!