Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Drugs! Drugs! Drugs!
Drugs. They fuel musicians, artists, writers, chefs, truckies and athletes. Many lawyers and journalists too. They save lives, ruin lives, shrivel penises and, if the Russian gentleman I’ve been in correspondence with is telling me the truth, also enlarge them (I’m just waiting on the package). Society has a complicated relationship with drugs, but the one thing we all agree on is that they have no place in sport.
Or so you would think.
Growing up, my dad used to say they should have two Olympics, one for normal people and another for drug cheats. “Let them dope themselves up to the eyeballs and go at it,” he said. “It’ll be a great watch!”
I’m still not sure if he was joking or not, but there is certainly an argument for it. As long as there is glory in sport, there will be drugs. Never mind the money, people want to be celebrated above all else. You throw cold, hard cash into the mix too though, and you get the shysters along with the egoists. Perhaps if we gave these freaks their own outlet, we may just get a clean competition.
We won’t, of course, but it’s a nice fantasy. Someone will always try their luck. They might be cleaner, but like an OCD sufferer’s battle with dust, it will be endless and it only takes one extended holiday before you’re back to square one. The dust will swan back in on a breeze and next thing you know it’s more than a fine sediment darkening that sixteen year-old female swimmer’s lip, it’s the beginnings of a testosterone fuelled El Chapo mo.
Drugs in sport have been thrust into the spotlight once again – like my elephant sized penis soon will be (you better not disappoint me, Oleg) – by Australian swimmer Mack Horton’s holier than thou protest against China’s Sun Yang. No matter where you sit on Horton’s refusing to stand on the podium, I think we can all agree he made the Australians look like a bunch of dicks when it emerged one of his teammates, Shayna Jack, had tested positive pre-competition and been forced to withdraw. Could someone not have tapped him on the shoulder before? Did Horton not hear a Who?
I’m not going to lay too much into the Mack-Daddy, because I kind of admire him, but I will say that, after the sandpaper stuff, Mack, we don’t need this shit, okay? We need to look down at our shoes for a while and chew on some humble pie – you, personally, should watch what you eat and drink though, and definitely avoid Yum Cha.
Because, despite my inner cynic, I’m sure some athletes, like Shayna Jack apparently, have inadvertently ingested the wrong thing and been banned as a result. I have absolutely no faith in ‘the system’, just look at the contrasting fates between the Cronulla Sharks and Essendon Bombers, but if the system doesn’t always nail it, perhaps hearsay isn’t too spot on either.