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Sports Stars Aren’t Good Role Models – Ask Finn Erkan Teper

athlete drug use

Erkan Teper Tests Positive
• Finnish boxer fails drug test
• Raid finds doping equipment
• David Price fight no contest?

With yet another of our sports stars failing to make the grade and resorting to drugs to give them the edge, this time Finnish fighter Erkan Teper.

At some point someone is going to have to just admit that sportsmen, and their female counterparts too if we’re honest about it, make for crappy role models. The folly becomes more and more evident as time passes and ever more sports stars scandals burst from everywhere like blood-hungry aliens do in abandoned space stations when the music gets all creepy and chord-laden. No sport seems immune, no star incapable of bringing themselves down, and the longer we refuse to notice, the worse it gets.

To be at the top of your game, be you an Olympic athlete, a star in the NBA or NFL, or even someone who plays real football, you’ve probably been quite distant from the variations on normality the rest of us have experienced, constant training not being something many of us do to the detriment of other areas of our development. So whilst aspiring to sports stars drive and achievement in sports is great, should we really aspire to be these otherworldly figures who have all our faults plus others besides?

The sports stars don’t need the pressure of having their private lives held up to a standard beyond that of we mere mortals, but woe betide one who refuses to play the game. The marketing men and PR people don’t like that, you must always say you want to be a role model, want to set a good example, nail your colors to that mast so they can hold it over you whilst you make them money. One slip and you’re a hypocrite, they’re gambling news stories about it will keep you in line next time round.

Sports Stars Set Up To Fail?

Sport drug testing

Controversies like failed drug tests reveal that sports stars are only human (Photo: Instatesting)

Our insistence that these people be angels produces several knock-on effects that are problematic within sports. The unreal expectations blight the careers of some promising athletes, but more importantly second it creates a need for these people to be false from the get go. Being “on message” is such a big part of sport now that it is just part and parcel, the dichotomy between having a life and being a role model for your fans almost schizophrenic in nature.

How many times have we heard that so and so “set themselves up as a role model” when people are wagging their fingers and tutting at some indiscretion? They didn’t, the people clutching their pearls in faux indignation and horror did, the ones who demanded the sports stars were “on message” in the first place. They build them up, then knock them down, all for our entertainment. But we didn’t ask them to. However the worst part of this ridiculous requirement on our sports stars, is the secrecy.

Obviously unable to live up to the vindictive standards of the tabloid press and the gutter media, sports stars are required to exist in two worlds, and whilst one is all about the image, the success, the sport, the other has other considerations. Family, the future, fiscal concerns, the things the rest of us worry about all the time. When these two conflict, or are seen to be in conflict, that’s when the trouble starts, and this week those that like to bet on sports in Finland at ComeOn! Sportsbook who’ll despair.

Finnish Fighter Finished?

David Price

Price was knocked out by Teper (Photo: Sky Sports)

Erkan Teper KO’d David Price back in July but it now transpires he may have failed a drug test after that fight which would not only have him banned from the sport, investigations, including a raid by police, continue but whatever caused him to take the drugs is a matter the media rarely cover. They umbrella-term the matter “cheating” and that’s good enough for them, but sports stars having to hide who they really are, as Tyson Fury will now have to do, encourages them to hide other things too.

What sports requires now is more openness and honesty, and allowing the press, media and management to embroil sports stars into a PR driven false existence where they read from a script and say what people want to hear instead of what they’d like to say, is entirely detrimental to that process. So very few are given permission by the media to be “outspoken”, everyone else has to toe the line in what is no more than a conspiracy of corporate considerations to override reality in pursuit of profit.

If you’re Finnish gambling laws against drug abuse will see Erkan Teper banned, you’ll probably see that come to pass, and that is as it should be, but David Price shouldn’t have had to get into a ring with a man on drugs in the first place, and perhaps if sport stars weren’t forced to be so two-faced that fight might never have gone ahead. The problem is, of course, that the only ones without a vested interest not inflicted upon them in this is the athletes, who are stuck being role models in a broken system.

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