Success – at what price?

Perhaps we should all have understood the seriousness of the drug situation in sport when it was rumoured that then president of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch, was considering dropping all of the world records at the turn of the millennium, an indication perhaps that he may well have understood too many of the existing records at the time to have been established under the influence of performance enhancing drugs.


In the case of t
he Tour de France many of the sponsors of teams have opted to reject the offending cyclists from their contractual obligations. Some have even given consideration to removing themselves from the event altogether. While this may appear a good reaction to the drug cheats one must nonetheless realise that if that trend continues the sport of cycling itself may one day end up without sponsors and so, too, may many of the other sports.

The insistence by some renowned physicians that drugs impact negatively the human body of the user has not served to reduce the numbers clamouring for whatever edge they can get in order to win an event and claim fame and fortune.

There is as yet no global campaign that has been so readily espoused by all in authority that could serve as a deterrent to the use of performance enhancing substances.

Hank Aaron, we are told, has indicated that he would not be in the arena when Barry Bonds either ties or surpasses his home run record in baseball, the American pastime. Yet there are millions who seem not to care how the record is established. What matters is that the age-old record is broken. It is perhaps most worrying that all too many of our younger generations seem anxious to look the other way when cheating occurs. To some it seems ‘cool’ to cheat once one has not been caught.