A CURE FOR ALL ILLS ?..
There was an almost unnoticed ritual played out during the opening of the London Olympics the other evening. It was when, amidst all the glorious pandemonium, `representatives` of the officials, the coaches and the athletes all took the Olympic Oath. On behalf of all the athletes at the Games, British Taekwondo competitor Sarah Stevenson solemnly took the oath, which goes like this:-
"In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams."
All good stuff. And so it was with just a hint of irony that the first gold medal of London 2012 went not to local hero Mark Cavendish in the road race but to a cyclist who had previously been found guilty of taking drugs. This morning, there are whispers of incredulity about the extraordinary performance of a 16-year old Chinese swimmer. Now both of these examples are, I`m sure, entirely without foundation, but it`s only Day Three and already the sceptre of performance enhancing drugs is beginning to stir in the background.
Here`s a suggestion. If any competitor is found to have taken drugs, in flagrant disregard of the Olympic Oath, then rather than disqualifying that competitor, just ban the whole of that country`s competitors from taking part in the rest the Games. That`ll teach `em. (I wonder if there`s an Olympic competition for spotting pigs flying?)