Doing anything to get the edge

As a sports fan I’m disheartened by the revelations drug use is rife throughout so many sports.

The idea of competitive sport is to be able to prove you are the best at your chosen game.

When an athlete takes performance enhancing drugs to ‘get the edge’ on the competition, they must question why they’re there in the first place.

Most would have grown up shooting more baskets than their siblings or kicking the footy further than their friends, striving to be the best they could be.

Then they’re noticed by a talent-scout, get the contract they’ve always dreamed of, and walk onto an arena, oval or field, to thousands of people cheering.

Athletes have often given up everything else in their life to focus on getting that title, making a representative squad, or taking home a gold medal.

Then some decide to cheat and lie to get to that goal.

If they take a banned substance and win, they haven’t won at all. It just proves whoever has the better drugs and the better doctors, is the better athlete.

Is the love for the game diminished so much by the drive for cash?

The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) report has made links between sport and organised crime. The ACC says Australian sport is vulnerable to infiltration by organised crime.

This includes allegations of match fixing and fraudulent manipulation of betting markets. It brings the influence of money further into the mix.

The finger was pointed at “multiple athletes” from a number of clubs as having used peptides, which increase the synthesis of protein in muscles.

Officials in clubs are also targeted for administering substances through injections or an intravenous drip.

In some cases players were being administered drugs that had not been approved for human use.

What sort of person is willing to be injected without questioning what is in it? Particularly when their career relies on their body being in top working order.

Whether it’s a diet pill given to them by mum to look slim on television, or a supplement injected by a trainer, professional athletes need to be aware of what they put into their bodies.

The ACC and Australia’s major sporting codes are committed to stamp out doping. But while there is so much money riding on games and athletes’ performances, it will be difficult for the testing labs to stay ahead of the drug cheats.

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