This blog has been performance enhanced…

I’m in a state of shock. The positive drug test returned by Wallabies wannabe Wendell Sailor sent me into a bit of a headspin. I mean, Wendell is like, totally a role model right… and Warney and his mum’s diet pills – they weren’t helping him perform at all. I mean if those poster boys of modern sports ethics didn’t have you questioning the drug testing bodies then who will. Surely Wendell would never ever have been anywhere near a line of cocaine. I had some serious doubts about drug testing in sport – and this week those doubts have become fully actualised disbelief. It’s not enough that they tarnished the names of such reputable, luminary sporting figures. Now they have to drag two men who are at the pinnacle of their respective sports into the mire of a “positive” drug result. Drugs in cycling. I mean who’d have thought. Next we’ll be told people are using drugs in sports like weightlifting, baseball and professional wrestling. And now drugs in the 100m sprint. That’s taking things too far.

There are conflicting views on the issue of drug use in sport. Obviously health, “spirit of competition,” and “role model” issues aside there are certain points for and against either side of the performance enhancing drugs argument

Here’s a couple of quotes from the Sydney Morning Herald.

The most infamous drug cheat of them all, Ben Johnson, has his two cents’ worth on drugs in sport:

“The spectators don’t care, the sponsors probably don’t care … all they want to see is the world’s fastest man …”

German television station ZDF boss Nikolaus Brender puts the boot in on the Floyd Landis doping scandal in the Tour de France:

“We signed a broadcasting contract for a sporting event, not a show demonstrating the performances of the pharmaceutical industry …”

So some people are a little concerned about drugs in sport. Some people think sports stars should be having a positive influence on society. That sort of thinking is dangerous. Taken to its unnatural extension it creates problems where sports stars suddenly think they’re academically qualified to be making decision that have some bearing on wider society.

For example:

Outcast Brisbane Lions midfielder Jason Akermanis on his wooing into the world of politics by Queensland Premier Peter Beattie.

“I know a bit about politics. I have seen how politics can ruin a football club.”

Here is a man who is seriously considering entering the political arena. Celebrity and politics have always been a volatile mix. Lets look at the long list of successful celebrity/politics crossovers…

Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Peter Garrett… intellectuality at it’s best… well ok, I’ll begrudgingly credit Garrett with some brains. But in reality these men have been elected on the back of fame rather than ability.

I thought I had a problem with ex-sportspeople becoming media personalities (Except Channel 9’s Andrew Slack, he’s good, and Richie Benaud, although he was a police reporter while he was a cricketer… I’ll bet some of you didn’t know that) until they decided they wanted to be politicians instead.

Jason Akermanis reckons he knows a thing or two about the water crisis. Apparently Australia is an island, surrounded by water… so we shouldn’t have any problems waterwise… maybe we should just start watering crops with salt water Jason. I’m sure that’s a wise and valid suggestion… (I’m aware that salinity is a problem, that comment, like the rest of this entry, was tongue in cheek… although a men’s 100m sprint with everyone on drugs would be kind of cool).


Mark says:

More on celebrity pollies. Also, haven’t Wally Lewis & Dawn Fraser been in politics?

But sports and rock stars aside, why would journalists be any better?

On a global note, if you missed the bizarre women’s Asian Cup soccer semi-final barometer of international relations here’s a wrap-up.

Mark says:

I missed the most recent classic – Chris Bombolas – a sports journalist

Nathan says:

I like Bomber. He’s a smart man. He’s articulate. Journalists have to know stuff. So do politicians.

Joel says:

You seriously credit peter garret with some brains? No one who dances that badly could have adequate higher mental function.

Mark says:

Sports stars have to know stuff too, though comparing what sports stars know to what journalists know in a social, economic, political, or philosophical context is generally not a good idea.

However, I’m sure there’s common areas in things they think they know, which would bring them in line with many politicians.

I wonder why so many journos would go into politics when they know intimately how they’re going to be (mis)represented by their previous profession. Serving the people – truth, justice and the <–insert applicable object of loyalty–> way?

Leah says:

Nathan! What happened to the journo in you? Look, I’m turning into grammar nazi here…
“intellectuality at it’s best…”
ITS, not IT’S ;P

But yeah… cross-media ownership laws… meh. I figure, the media is messed up as it is. Bloody journalists.

“The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. – Oscar Wilde”

Leah says:

Oh and to Mark, at least journos have experience with politics, have been following it, know a bit about it. Celebrities? :P Pfft. ;P

Nathan says:

sorry I should have (sic)ed that – I could try to claim it was an attempt at irony, but I’m not sure that would wash…