Great dangers in sport excellence

In all cases the objective is to win whatever the cost to the physical and mental well being of the individual athlete.

Designer drugs

The BALCO scandal allowed us access to Grand Jury testimony from the founder and chief, Victor Conte, who laid claim to creating a designer drug, THG, that led to Tim Montgomery’s breaking of the 100m world record. The Grand Jury testimony of Montgomery revealed the systematic strategic plan that was used to achieve the particular success.

After lying to the Grand Jury and after filing suit against Conte for a huge sum of money for accusing her of using drugs, Jones has now revealed what Conte had stated in his testimony. That she had been using the BALCO formula.

Barry Bonds remains hounded by charges of drug use although he has never tested positive for the use of any prohibited substance. Some believe that he may have been associated with BALCO but here again the evidence is lacking.

Values and sport

That an organisation can engage itself in the creation of designer drugs aimed at enhancing the performance of athletes is an amazing development. It reveals the extent to which we have a major tendency to develop into an industry, an aspect of sport that we have long since despised and considered anathema.

There have been calls in certain quarters for the decriminalisation of drugs in sport. Some athletes, coaches and physicians argue that it is the right of the athlete to determine whether or not he/she wants to use drugs to attain success. It is a matter of choice and that makes it an individual thing. There are others who suggest that at the highest level in sport drugs usage is so very pervasive that it is difficult to find anyone that is genuinely clean.