Friday, 8 February 2013

Why is there so much

"surprise" and "shock" and "alarm" being expressed over the report about drug taking in sport? 
The only thing that surprises me is that the report is so restrained. I am sure that the problem of cheating in sport has been around as long as competitive sport has been around and that drug taking is becoming a greater rather than smaller part of all this. It has to become a greater part of it.
If "records" are going to continue to be "broken" then it will only be done with the help of science - and most of that will be in the form of unnatural substances or the use of natural substances in unnatural ways. Even then there will come a point (if we have not already reached it) where records cannot logically be broken any more. We are already "measuring" speeds in terms of  "one-hundreths of a second". Can we really genuinely measure human performance like that? I doubt it.
I tried to point this out to someone the other day. He, a sports fanatic, is convinced that most sport is "clean", that there are just a few rogue players around who spoil it for everyone else. I disagreed. I still disagree. 
Sport, at the level he was talking about, is no longer a game. It is big business. It is also theatre. It is about winning - not losing. It is dirty. It is corrupt. It can be violent. Matches get "fixed" because fortunes are made and lost on the results of a match. "Professional" players get paid large sums of money - and then add "sponsorship" to the amounts they "earn".  
I know of someone who makes his living out of betting on sports matches. He is actually employed to do this. He spends his days watching games, listening to what is being said about the players and who is saying it. Apparently he has other sources of information as well. I did not inquire. I did not, and do not, want to know. He is not someone I want to know. The very fact his job exists should indicate that sport is not "clean".
I am not a sports fan. I have no interest in sport apart from a vague (very vague) interest in the psychology of cricket. I do not understand football, soccer, tennis, baseball, golf or any other game. I do not understand cricket either.  I am simply not interested. 
I cannot understand why other people are either - except perhaps for the fact that they have been conned. They believe they are watching something "real". No doubt someone will have a shot at me in the comments about "skill" and other things. Yes, there is skill - the same skill that goes into acting, playing the piano or performing a surgical procedure. That skill does not preclude cheating, the ingestion of performance enhancing drugs or match fixing.
If all unnatural substances and use of natural substances in unnatural ways was to be removed from sport then records would no longer be broken. Sport would become slower. It would not be the spectacle it now is. It would no longer be theatre. Would that matter? 


Helen Devries said...

Perhaps it might be sport again....

catdownunder said...

That is, presumably, the goal.