Today another feather in the Rust‘s cap – and indeed that of Tom Hollingworth, our sports editor – for the uncompromising campaign we have been running to promote the virtues of transparency, honesty and integrity in world sport.
Sometimes the best and most principled attitudes to take on complex or ‘difficult’ issues are the simplest. Cheating, corruption and bribery = bad? Who could possibly argue with that statement?
Surely contests set up on the basis of a level-playing field are a minimum requirement, not a ‘nice to have’?
For example, take high-altitude training.
Once it was the case that just some Ethiopians had a natural advantage because of where they lived. Then – when the benefits of high-altitude training was scientifically proved – soon all sorts of athletes, who lived everywhere from below sea level to various points about it, were jetting off to ever-more more mountainous regions in search of that ‘marginal gain’. That was simply a training choice, surely?
Or was it? What about those athletes who could not, for practical or monetary reasons, undertake high-altitude training?
Was it fair that they should now have to run against those who could?
Is it (or is it not) potentially unfair, when they return to compete in a bitterly cold Gateshead cross-country meet on a course under a foot or more of snow, to those who could not afford to have done any warm weather training?
Everybody – competitor, spectator, event organiser or sporting body – had to form their own view or indeed make their own choice.
For some time now the Rust has been making the case for ending all gender-specific sport, partly because of the ever-growing complications over the male-to-female transgender movement and partly because from the angle that if women want true equality with men, then they should compete with men …. period.
Some degrees of controversy in both, perhaps.
However, here’s a piece I spotted today by Nicola Davis on the ongoing ‘trannie’ debate which tends to support the Rust‘s contention, as appears today upon the website of – THE GUARDIAN