Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Athletics, Drugs, Winning and Money
Yesterday we learnt the shock news that rather of lot of folk in the world of athletics are cheating by taking drugs; I say shock in an ironic way as quite frankly it is not really much of a shock. It appears the poor old Russians are taking the worst of the criticism at present and as one would expect are denying everything. I think we know deep down that it is very likely that all the stuff about Russian athletics is true. But to be fair
over the years has been
criticised for all sorts of stuff which has made their leaders very paranoid
indeed. And the most paranoid of the lot I suspect must be President Putin who
is keen to be seen as a strong and important international leader of a super
power. So he will be keen to keep Russia
up there doing well at everything from running to bombing folk and many things
in between and in some cases some assistance may be required. Russia
In respect to Athletics and sport I don’t really think Russia are entirely to blame for the present situation all they are trying to do it look good and maintain their status as a superpower in all things. The real issue with sport and not just athletics is money, in the old days of Roger Banister it was all about doing your best win or lose and getting a medal or a cup and being part of an event. Yes Roger Banister did have the advantage that he would turn into The Incredible Hulk if folk annoyed him which did lead to talk of illegal substances. Although he was never tested as he would throw the testers out of the stadium or lift shot putters over his head laughing hysterically, or was that President Putin. . . . Ah No hang on it was Roger Banner and his mate Trigger.
AH yes back to the point money and sport. Just think of the old Olympic ideal the reason it all restarted, a way for all nations to get together as one leaving their differences and politics behind to compete in the name of friendship . . . all that, it’s the taking part not the winning.
Well that is all very well but human beings are not entirely nice and the truth is folk in sport as a whole like to win and win at all costs. Those of us who are not competitive you see will just never get to the Olympics in the first place or even the final of the school Egg and Spoon race. Now add a highly paid and lucrative career advertising stuff, and winning starts to get more important and in order to maintain that lucrative career a lot of folk will do what ever it takes to win. Add the logic that some must think which is, if they take drugs then I need to take drugs in order to maintain an even playing field. Once you say that taking drugs is not really cheating it is maintaining the balance.
Sadly there is so much money tied up in sports of all kinds that most if not all of them probably are full of dodgy deals drugs and many other things of which we do not know. Look at FIFA or how the locations of Olympics are chosen and what is spent on stadiums and the like in a gory attempt at one-upmanship between nations. It is a bit like the
Empire in its heyday and look what happened to that.
I once played green bowls in a slightly mad team of people and it was Brill until one year we accidently won a cup and then there was a certain look in the eyes of some team members; it broke the team up and showed me the ugly side of competitive sport in the flesh.