Blow the whistle on drugs

Thanks to the dubious ways of Lance Armstrong, every athlete is as much a champion

All’s well that ends well, they say. It might just apply to the rivalry between Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin, which of late has been unfairly projected as the triumph of good over evil. In the end, only an overeager cameraman on a Segway two-wheeler could bring Usain down from his pedestal.

With Usain joking that Gatlin may have paid the photographer and the American, in perfect good humour, claiming his money back, the bitter rivalry ended with Gatlin saying he had nothing against Usain and, in fact, nothing against anyone as the world celebrated the Jamaican’s success.

Sport has much to ponder over though. Beset by allegations of doping having gone to extreme levels — a leaked report that said over a third of all medal winners in endurance events had been caught cheating over the last decade and not all of them were penalised — sport is yet to find a way to draw the line on doping. These days, the “cheaters” have so much access to evolving technology that they resort to all manner of machinations, including blood doping, in order to beat the testing methods.

So widespread has the use of performance enhancing drugs become that even clean athletes are hounded by uncomfortable questions. For instance, the new Dutch talent, Dafne Schippers, who won the women’s 200m was confronted with questions about her skin ailment on the premise it may have something to do with doping.

Thanks to the dubious ways of Lance Armstrong, every athlete is as much a champion and a medal winner as a doping suspect now. Will sport ever be able to shake off the stigma of drugs by finding ways to clean itself up so thoroughly as to scare the cheats off drugs forever?

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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