If you have been following the Tour de France, you will know what doping is about. For those who are not aware of this, Tour de France is the biggest cycling race in the world. It is also the toughest. Participants ride hundreds of kilometer over the course of 3 weeks. If you have ever been to France and taking your car over the Alpes d'Huez, you will know that your car might struggle to get to the top. Now, think about leaving your car at the bottom and cycling to the top. You will never make it if you are not used to cycling. If your body is not acclimatized to the thinner air you might even die on your way to the top. It sounds gruesome but that is the reality of the sport called cycling. No wonder you need that additional energy to make it through. Professional cycling is a grueling sport and the pay is not that great when compared to sports like gulf or football. Any professional cyclist's dream will be to win a stage or win the Tour de France competition. The winner gets a yellow jersey and a handsome pay cheque. Recently the sport has been hit by a series of scandal about doping. Floyd Landis won the Tour de France some years back but was later stripped of his crown due to doping. I was not surprise but I believe it is impossible to participate in the Tour de France without doping. Why? You see, the Tour de France is not like going on a leisurely family bike ride. You are racing against other professional cyclists. You have to watch a stage of the Tour de France to understand. If everyone is using energy boosting substance to complete the race, where is the problem? How do you expect anyone not to cheat if the race itself is too fast and too long? Can you imagine cycling 3500 kilometers in 3 weeks? It is not all downhill either. If everyone is cheating maybe the problem lies in the rules.
Remember Ben Johnson of Canada who ran the fastest time ever in an Olympic 100 meters sprint. Everyone in Canada went wild for a few days because they finally crushed the United States. There has been rivalry between the United States and Canada in most sporting competition. Ice Hockey and Athletics are the main areas where tension generally runs high. When Ben Johnson defeated Carl Lewis, Americans started to raise doubts about the winner. They suggested that he, Ben Johnson, must have been using banned substance. They did a test and it was discovered that he was using doping substance. He was demoted. He was stripped of his gold medal and the Canadians felt deceived and betrayed. They were not disappointed in the fact that he was on anabolic steroids; they just thought he was an idiot for getting caught. This seems to highlight the fact that you can cheat in sport as long as you don't get caught. You could do what Agassi did. He played and made a name for himself. Along with the name came sporting endorsement. This basically means he was handsomely rewarded. Years later, when he was home and dry and needed more cash injection he decided to confess. He wrote a "tell all" book about substance abuse during his heydays. He was handsomely paid for the revelations. Some were very unhappy with him, others just thought well, who cares. It has been such a long time. Doping in sport could be best described as don't tell and don't ask. That sounds like the gay in the military. We don't want to know and please don't bother to divulge the information either.
Should doping be allowed in sport? I would say yes. Because everyone is being hypocritical about it. Sponsors want the big names to appear in any competition. If that doesn't happen they will pull the money plug. Without the money from sponsors, there will be no competition. The organizers are aware of this and they only put some useless doping test on show to appease the righteous. If a major star is caught just before a competition, he would say he took a cold medication and drank too much coffee. They would pretend to believe him and then it will be business as usual. Everyone knows that cheating and doping go on in sport, why waste so much trying to stop it. The only thing that should be taken into consideration would be the health of the participants. You would think that should be an issue, but the facts go to show that even athletes don't care about their health when it comes to money and glory. If that is the case, why should the sponsors care and why should competition organizers worry? Parents would say that sporting figures are a role model for the future generations and should lead by example. That is true and at the same time it is an illusion. Parents should set the example and encourage their children to get a job elsewhere instead of going into sport. Every major sport has a problem.
Darts: If you want your child to play darts, he might end up as an alcoholic.
Athletics: Steroids and other substance abuse are common.
Ice Hockey: If you child was docile and wouldn't hurt a fly. In Ice hockey, he will learn to be a cage fighter.
Priesthood: This is not a sport but it is a job and has its downside. Your child might take a liking to other people's children.
Marathon: If your child is not from Kenya, he will probably always come last and give up the sport. Drinking Redbull will not help either. You either have it or you don't, it is that simple.
Doping in sport is a blessing and a curse at the same time. Without doping we would never have known how far we can push the human body. With doping in sport, we see the curse of money and it reveals the darker side of the human spirit.