OPINION

The Olympic myth

One of the myths that died during last month’s Olympic Games was that of their integrity. Many suspected that something strange was afoot with chemicals that boosted athletes’ performance but most believed that this was the exception rather than the rule – and one that was punished. Now, mostly due to the silence of sports officials in the recent doping scandal (but also due to their efforts to cover things up), it is becoming more widely accepted that doping is part of the whole Olympics system. Without it, the realization of new records would be threatened and subsequently so would the interests of the public and sponsors – the entire economic foundation of the Olympics would be destroyed. Apart from the myth of the integrity of the Games there is another myth just as hypocritical – that of the amateur status of the athletes participating in the Olympics for the olive wreath. The violation of this rule – that Olympic athletes should be amateurs – is no longer an exception. It is now virtually official. The only thing still lacking is the companies that buy and sell sprinters and weightlifters… Why not just let athletes use whatever substances they like? A society based on advertising does not need to be so sensitive. Of course, these are not genuine proposals. They simply serve to show what will become of today’s reality if action is not taken…