Can it even be called sport any more ?

Credit: the free dictionary

In just two days time, the 21st Commonwealth Games will kick off at the Gold Coast in Australia. I must confess, I’m not a huge fan of sport, but the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games used to get my attention. Now, not so much. Back in my childhood days, sport created heroes. Athletes who worked and practised hard, juggling training with day jobs and making sacrifices to represent our little country honourably, whilst up against nations with much greater resources.

These days we seem to leap from scandal to scandal, with all manner of sports involved in cheating of some kind or other.

  • Cricket: match-fixing there has been a few of those: and the latest ball-tampering scandal: there’s been a few of those!
  • Athletics: Valerie Adams had “her moment” stolen from her, not able to stand in her rightful place on top of the podium because she was cheated by a cheat. Disqualifying the cheat and awarding the correct medal later on just isn’t the same.
  • Football: pretending to be injured, acting Hollywood can be proud of when contact has been made, just another form of cheating: faking an event to influence the outcome.
  • Cycling: Tour de France seven times winner cheater Lance Armstrong: perhaps the biggest cheat of them all. And a liar to boot.
  • Triathlon: the Brownlee brothers in the English team sleep in an oxygen tent. This replaces oxygen with nitrogen and stimulates the body to produce more red blood cells. More red blood cells means more oxygen carried around the body. Within the rules, but done to give them an advantage. It seems there is a fine line between what is allowed and what is not. It’s all quite murky in my humble opinion.

And if the cheating wasn’t enough, we now have the transgender men competing as women. Laurel Hubbard has been highlighted already on Whaleoil and she is competing in the Commonwealth Games, as a woman, in the weightlifting section.

Kate Weatherly is another ex-man now competing in Women’s Mountain biking, though not at the Commonwealth Games.

Yes yes, I understand your current testosterone levels technically mean you are not really a man anymore, but that doesn’t mean you are now a woman, at least not in terms of a level playing field in competitive sport. All those years of having that male hormone in your body have built bone and muscle as a man. You cannot simply lower current testosterone levels and claim that you can now compete as a woman. It should not be allowed.

Biased referees: pick a sport!  Any sport, they seem to be everywhere.

So all of this has made me disillusioned with sport in general. It really doesn’t feel like sport at all anymore.

It’s not even very entertaining anymore.

Can we go back to what it was? How would we do that?

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