In my opinion sport this year has taken a dramatic turn in an interesting direction. There has been a considerable shift in the standards people are willing to accept and a shift in a standard we are forced to accept.
It’s not all darkness and negativity however I believe that if sport should be progressive then there needs to be more transparency.
The audience and consumers of all sports essentially dictate the environment and conditions we compete under. The audience are the ones that allow us to participate in the first place. My question to the audience then is broad. It will definitely be divided in response however it needs to be asked.
What are you willing to accept as a measure of quality in the sporting arena? Seeing as though the athletes and teams that receive the most attention are the ones at the top, and the audience demand to see “good performances” and “entertainment” then under what conditions are you “satisfied”
Are you satisfied if athletes and teams cheat to win? As long as they’re winning?
Are you satisfied when athletes do cheat and are caught that they should be able to earn the same money and should have the same conditions as those who do not?
Are you satisfied to buy tickets to sporting events that have known cheaters participating? And knowing that your ticket purchase goes towards funding their cheating?
Are you satisfied to accept that by doing so you are, in fact, condoning the same conditions that your own children may be involved in?
It is unclear to me what is now acceptable as an athlete. Morally I was brought up to believe that cheating is not ok. Hence my reason for never considering such a pathway, but should I accept that I have to compete against and in the same competitions as those that aren’t of the same belief? Unfortunately I do not have a choice, I have to accept it. I do not however have to believe that it is right and such is the reason for my writing this blog.
The same anti doping agency tests every elite Australian athlete regardless of status. People may think that I do not understand the case of the recent AFL and NRL issues and revealed “cheating” of clubs. Which is correct, I do not know all the details, however I do know that based on the ASADA conditions that are outlined to athletes every single season and have not changed since my first ever drug test…
Athletes are solely responsible for what goes in and comes out of their system.
That does not discriminate against what it was in, or how it was administered. If it’s found inside you, you are responsible. That is completely black and white.
Why then are athletes continually being dealt lenient bans or sometimes no bans when these substances are discovered?
Let’s not forget that if you fail to fill in your whereabouts 3 times you are banned for 2 years. No questions. But find a banned substance in an athlete and ASADA and various anti doping bodies are saying “that’s ok”
I’m lost for words.
I also think that supplements are increasingly being blamed for athletes testing positive because it an easy buy out. What about those who are actually cheating on purpose? What about those folks with peanut allergies? If they eat something “contaminated” and they don’t have an epi pen handy, they die. Yet somehow they can never tell what are inside supplements?? Even so it doesn’t matter, if the substance is inside the athlete they are responsible.
My voice is not loud enough to have a grand impact but the audience who buy the tickets to the sporting arenas of cheating athletes accept that cheating is in fact “fine” We, the people, need to fight for quality and transparency in sport. If you’re caught you don’t deserve to be paid anything. Nor should you ever be. Maybe that would deter athletes from cheating in the first place. One and done.
After all majority says that people like approval and verification for what they pay for. If my butter is approved by the heart foundation’s “tick of approval” then I’m more than likely to buy it right? So if that means every athlete must provide an annual post season DNA test to prove their “quality” and to show transparency, then sign me up.