We’re barely past the half way mark yet the drug testing agencies at the
Vancouver Winter Olympics are already congratulating themselves on not
producing a major drug cheat. (A Russian athlete has been reprimanded for using
a light stimulant but he just had his wrists slapped.)
My feeling is that they should wait unti well after the Games to start
beating their chests because that’s when a drugs scandal usually unfolds. The
impact of having an embarrassing major positive test during the Games always
knocks the shine off so organisers try to keep it under wraps.
The International Olympic Council medical commission chief Arne
Ljungqvist claims that the drug agencies have finally got ahead of the cheats
but I’m not convinced. The ancient Greeks were the first known drug cheats and
the culture has evolved ever since, always keeping one step ahead of the
testers. With all the millions available to reach sporting success, there are
pharmacists finding substances to deceive the system and plenty of athletes
willing to take the risks for the massive rewards. Marion Jones was never
tested positive despite the obvious contradiction.
It’s great that drug cheating appears to be waning. Let’s hope it will
eventually be totally irradicated.