OPINION

Cleaning up sport?

The appointment of Jacques Rogge as president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2000 had been associated with the return to «cleaner Games» as commercialization, corruption and doping had been threatening the foundations of the Olympic Games. But commercialization has been flourishing in Athens despite efforts to curb it. One can tell simply by reading restrictions imposed on spectators who pay a large amount of money to attend an event. They are even obliged to drink water bottled by an official sponsor of the Games. If they object to this in principle, they will simply go thirsty. Even staging the shot-put contest at Ancient Olympia was an idea sponsors pushed. As regards the honesty of certain IOC members, there is still worldwide mirth at the apparent readiness of a Bulgarian member to promote London’s candidacy for the 2012 Olympics in exchange for bribes. If any officials who handled the applications of candidates for previous Olympiads were to speak about what had gone on behind the scenes, the whole IOC would probably come crumbling down. And so we come to the issue of doping, and a most successful witch hunt which has been carried out by the World Anti-Doping Association in association with the IOC. Up until now, but a few «doped» athletes had been punished, even though we all know that most champions benefit from some kind of «chemical boost.»