August 13, 2004

by R. Andrew Cummings

Long gone is the age of innocence when the landscape of sport was true, pure and plain.
Almost everywhere it has given way to unlit
valleys of steroids and performance enhancing drugs. {{more}}

The reality check

The truth is that the fear of failure; the hunger for a competitive edge and the lure of fame, money and power have all conspired and conditioned modern day sportspersons to latch onto a regimen of drug use and abuse.
Some of the world’s best athletes like Tim Montgomery, Alvin Harrison and Kelly White, among others, stand accused of taking the synthetic steroid T.H.G. As the scandal rages and consumes, several outstanding athletes have dropped out of the Olympics due to start this week in Athens, Greece. It’s a case of stardom to alienation in one fell swoop.

Survival of the slickest

Efforts to contain this spreading virus are undermined by agents, sponsors, coaches and even governments. The “synthetic” men are always speeding several steps ahead outwitting and out maneuvering anti-doping agencies. The network promotes, elevates and encourages the new axis of thought and action which runs “all that matters is the survival of the slickest”. So where are we in the third and fourth worlds? We moan and groan helplessly that the “playing field” is not level. Like globalization, the field of sport, is dominated by the developed world albeit at times unfairly.

The chilling effects
A series of questions

a) Are the drug cheats a model for society; for our children and for our children’s children?
b) What about the damaging consequences to body and mind?
c) Should drug use be legalized so as to make the playing field level?
d) Would it not still boil down in the end to
who has more money to buy better performance enhancing drugs?
e) Where and when will it all end?


The evidence suggests the many modern day athletes are in a theatre of war camouflaged and masked. On the one hand they are searching and seeking for athletic glory while being fully conscious of the affront to their dignity and personhood. It is not surprising, therefore, that the war within becomes a raging inferno.

But then!

1) Is this not a synthetic world dominated and controlled by artificial men and women whose words and deeds ring hollow signifying nothing but greed and ill will?

2) Are our athletes not society’s representatives and agents mirroring who and what we are?
It goes without saying that the fault lies within us all for we have sacrificed principle for everything but principle. We have lost control and are controlled. The apparent improved means are nothing but fakes tearing away at the very fabric of society.


Only when our values change for the better would our imprisoned spirits break free and rise to heights of empowerment and ennoblement. We had better start
now or lose what is
most human of man – FREEDOM.