Youth and substance abuse in sport

The decision of some governments, especially that of France, to uphold the cleanliness of sport, impacted the Tour de France for the past few years. Fred Landis of the USA had his victory in the prestigious race taken away from him and several cycling teams have been surprised by the police armed with search warrants and the subsequent searches yielded confirmation of the involvement of their cyclists in the use of drugs to enhance their performance in competition.
In the case of Athletics, the sheer popularity of the sport has made the issue of the use of drugs by its competitors an international matter of grave concern. Several outstanding athletes have been exposed. Marion Jones’ confession after declaring innocence for many years previously, rocked only those who were not looking closely at the sport. Like so many of the East Germans and athletes from the USSR in the past some of today’s athletes perform in such a manner that they defy logic and all scientific analysis of the capabilities of the individual human being without the aid of drugs.
Baseball has recently been taken aback by the startling revelations of one player after another about the pervasive nature of substance usage by players. The leadership of the sport seemed to have been looking in the opposite direction. The jury appears to be still out on whether or not some of the players in the USA’s NFL and NBA are also users of performance enhancing substances given their physique and their capacity to perform optimally for so much of each year at very intense competitive levels.
FIFA, the international parent body for the sport of Football, like the UCI, wavered for several years before signing on to the WADA and insisting on drug testing in the sport. This has meant the revelation in recent time of some players who have opted for marijuana and cocaine as their drugs of choice.
The recent revelation of former youth Tennis champion, Martina Hingis, as using cocaine, has eventually led to her withdrawal from the very sport that gave her international recognition. The same was the case of Cuba’s world champion High Jumper, Javier Sotomayor, some years ago.
There appears little doubt that the other sports practised around the world have their fair share of drug cheats who seem to believe that winning at all costs is an acceptable dictum.
We have heard of athletes in events like shooting and archery, disciplines that require high levels of concentration and sturdy nerves, have turned to marijuana to calm them enough to deliver high quality performances.
Today’s youth
We are today witnessing the degradation of youths everywhere. They seem to place less value on human life than hitherto. They do not care and they show no respect to their parents, elders, teachers or their peers. The preferred option in respect of conflict resolution is the death of the opponent. The ‘self’ is important above all else and there is callous disregard for long life.