By Adrian Payne

If you believe morality has a place in modern sport, you probably also believe Santa Claus lives at the North Pole. Get real Australia. Lift the ban on Performance Enhancing Drugs.

Allegations of widespread professional doping inside the AFL and NRL has left the nation shell shocked. There will be plenty of casualties in the battle that looms between administrators, regulators, law enforcement, players and club officials. Stephen Dank has already fired the first shot by launching a $10 million defamation lawsuit against various media outlets. A pre-emptive strike no doubt inspired by Lance Armstrong’s mantra that offense is the best method of defense hoping to deter others tempted to dig further. But what I’ve found most alarming is the general publics reaction of shock and horror. They are genuinely surprised by these revelations. People are entitled to feel betrayed and gutted at the grim prospect of widespread doping practices within their sacred sport. But don’t be surprised. It’s simply naive to think elite sport people are clean.
Wake up Australia. 

Professional sport is NOT about providing role models for our children. That ship sailed long ago. It’s big business. It’s about highest scores, fastest times, world records and medals. It’s all about winning.

So why not give the green light to performance enhancing drugs?  Let athletes take whatever they like, so long as it’s not illicit. Illegal drugs are a different matter entirely. With doping bans lifted, who knows, we may get to witness Usain Bolt running 100 metres in under 5 seconds. Or the footy season could be extended to 52 weeks per year. It makes no sense for society to keep placing ever greater demands upon athletes for success yet take the moral high ground when a scandal like this erupts. We banish losers and celebrate winners. Winners are bathed in glory and wealth.  With such powerful forces motivating athletes to be “Simply the Best” surely people can’t be surprised that drugs are used to boost performance.
Wake up Australia.

Many will argue that allowing performance enhancing drugs is irresponsible and may reduce athlete life expectancy. And of course the old chestnut about the message this would send to our children. I’ll say it again, sport is about winning. It is NOT about being role models for our kids. It’s big business.
Wake up Australia. 

Performance enhancing drugs are here to stay. Governing bodies need to think through a new paradigm. Afterall, it was progressive thinking that decriminalised homosexual acts in Australia in 1969. So in less than one generation our laws have changed from it being a crime to being legally recognised. And two thousand years ago, the Romans used to feed Christians to hungry Lions.  Back then it was considered normal. Today our society is very different. Point being; we need policies and laws that are in step with modern day reality.

The sooner they lift all bans on performance enhancing drugs the better. And it will happen. It might not be in my lifetime but down the road, it’ll become a reality. So let’s start the discussion. Obviously there will be resistance as the many vested interests fight to justify their existence. Currently, the anti-doping agencies are locked in a cat and mouse game with those seeking to avoid detection. Careers are on the line. But lift the ban and the tables turn as the anti doping industry becomes redundant.

But until that day, get outraged, vent your spleen and then get over it. Drugs in sport are here to stay.
Wake up Australia. 

aP

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General, Legal, Sport
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