OPINION

Murky underworld

In the past few decades, there have been many books and articles written by journalists from different countries on what goes on behind the scenes of the whole system behind the Olympic Games. The doping controversies that left the Athens Games reeling over the past couple of weeks gave the public first-hand knowledge of the downside of these Olympics. A great deal of information regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs by much-hyped Olympic athletes – a lot very unsettling – came out. It is now blatantly obvious that for the past 12 years a singular underworld has been in operation, which, until recently, acted and expanded its field of operations without fear of exposure, assuming it had no reason to be concerned. Now that the big fraud has been unveiled, our society finds itself faced with a specific problem the government is expected to tackle. The government’s reaction will show whether it wants to crack down on the doping network. It will be interesting to watch the stand of the Socialist opposition, whose fresh leadership has pledged to abandon the old-PASOK mentality and display a new political morality. Recent disclosures confirmed in the most lucid fashion that the operation of this murky network depended on collaboration and consensus between sports, state, and political officials. On first reading, the fraud appears to be of mammoth proportions. It will be very interesting to explore its economic dimension. A lot of work awaits the prosecutor as a considerable amount of evidence has been collected over the past few days. The public expects the government to purge athletics from drugs and corruption.