The Early Lead: PEDs in the Olympics, who cares?
By BRANDON HURLEY
One “hot take” issue that I’m absolutely sick of is the talk of performance enhancing drugs in sports.
It’s such a tired topic that has more than run it’s course. Do we really, honestly care whether the most talented athletes in the world are gaining an extra edge?
As spectators, we shouldn’t really care that much. And if we do, we are just trying to wave the moral flag that we don’t have. The flip side, I can certainly see why athletes who are competing against the pill-popping champions have an issue. The playing field isn’t level and you are trying to do it in a pure way.
But solely as a fan, I don’t have an issue.
This all comes to light after rumors and grumbling of the entire Russian Olympic team getting banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics for illegal use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
Olympians trying to get the extra edge for a competition that happens once every four years, and some times, is their only shot at glory. Can you blame them?
But I keep going back to the watchability factor. I know that I personally want to watch the best competition possible, and if that means a little drug-aided action, I’m OK with that.
Let’s put aside the ethics, the health risks, the poor example it sets and look at it as it is - the Olympics are entertainment for the millions and millions that watch on TV or from the stands.
Now, this column may come off a little tongue-in-cheek, but I promise, I really don’t care about the PED talk. Whatever allows for the best product on the field, court, track or mat, let’s do it.
Can anyone, with a straight face, tell me a sub-10 second 100 meter time isn’t fun to watch?
Track athletes are most often linked with performance enhancers, and the fact of the matter is, track and field is typically grabs some of the higher ratings and is most universally discussed.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is free, under their rules and regulation, to test any athlete from now until Aug. 21.
The IOC published a 40 page Anti-doping rule book (no joke), detailing the severity of doping and how to comply with the rules and what substances are banned. I get it, this is a serious thing. I do believe some regulations are necessary, but not to this level of scrutiny. The “Prohibited List” created by the World Anti-Doping Agency (yes, that’s a real thing, too), is eight pages long. Good luck making sure that supplement you took is legal.
The lesson here is, stay off the drugs and don’t put anything other than water in your body.
But if you were to take it from me (which I hope they don’t) let’s make the Games more exciting.
Cheat all you please, I want to see records shattered.