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Why are we surprised?

Charles Thursby returns to the high moral ground

Continuing my occasional series of noting instances of ‘alleged’ sporting performance-enhancing drugs cheats being caught, today here’s another Track & Field 100 metres man getting a rap – step forward the USA’s Tyson Gay – as reported on the website of the DAILY TELEGRAPH

It seems to me that, whenever such ‘convictions’ get reported, those who follow Track & Field – insiders, aficianados and pundits/journos – have to twist themselves in knots. They feel obliged, on the one hand, to condemn the offender and congratulate the drug-taking ‘gamekeepers’ on catching them; on the other, to indulge in public hand-wringing that their much-loved sport has been tainted by yet another drugs scandal.

The truth is, cheating – or getting away with whatever you can, i.e. in circumstances where the only crime is getting caught – comes with the territory in any sport that attracts global business/commercial success.

I happen to hold to the view that in Track & Field – a peculiar case – no matter how much money and effort is thrown at detection, the drugs cheats are way out in front. Certainly in terms of avoiding detection and/or ‘masking’ their drugs abuse. It applies to the point where participants actually regard those who get found out more as being ‘unlucky’ rather than dastardly offending swine.

About Charles Thursby

After a lifetime in sports journalism, Charles Thursby continues his immersion in the world of sport by providing the National Rust with dispatches from all points of the compass. More Posts