Why Can’t We Wager On The Druggies?

Posted: August 7, 2015

Updated: March 23, 2023

With a new IAAF President in the offing and massive allegations of widespread drug abuse in athletics, isn’t it about time they just bowed to the inevitable?

Sebastian Coe, Lord Coe as we’re supposed to call him, the former middle distance runner currently standing for the Presidency of the International Association of Athletic Federations, is, according to some press coverage, the last best hope the sports have of recovering their reputation, of combating the drug abuse allegations that have surfaced, and providing a fresh approach to the issues that face athletics the world over. Then again according to some press coverage Trump should be president, so what do they know?

Legalize It All

• Athletics has a drug problem
• Lord Coe to deliver “robust” response
• Maybe legalization is the key

The fact is no one really cares about Athletics anymore. Sure the guys in the 100m still get some TV time as the fastest man on Earth, and if you win a half dozen medals people might remember your name for a few years, but if you’re getting silver in the pole-vault or bronze in the hurdles no one will give a damn who you are, where you came from or why you bothered wasting all that time training just to fail. I’m certain it’s a fabulous experience to participate but for the rest of us, beyond the competitors and their families, it’s just a bunch of people getting sweaty and spitting.

Now Coe will be attempting to talk tough and then do as little as possible in the manner of all people seeking election and indeed he has called for a “robust” response to the allegations in the Sunday Times however much as Vice President of the IAAF he should already have done something about it. He claims that the allegations are an attack on his sport, but surely the greater threat to athletics is gambling news coverage of the allegations will just go away and that it doesn’t matter.

Robust Response Might Not Be Enough

The apathy amongst the IAAF to chase down the thousands of “suspicious” blood test results proves that we have now, as a species, accepted drug taking, and whilst those of an older generation will lament this zeitgeist of change, the rest of us are perfectly happy with this social progression away from the criminalization of drug use. Perhaps then we should consider the IAAF’s reaction to the suspicious tests not as a lack of adequate response, but a lack of a sensible opening of the floodgates.

It is now time to do away with random drug tests and make them mandatory, and anyone found not to be using performance enhancing drugs of any variety should be barred from competition. I don’t want to see a bunch of people come within seconds of a record, I want to watch people so hyped up on currently banned substances that they not only smash the record by a massive margin but also accidentally win three other events because they didn’t know when to stop.

Let the competitors take drugs, fill themselves with the blood of a twelve year old Norwegian boy from the mountains, replace parts of their bodies with bionics (only up to 10% of total body mass) or do whatever else they think they need to do to win. I want to see not the best a human could do if he ignored all the advances in science made in the last 100 years, I want to see what a human can really do, really achieve, and I tell you this, you’ll get far more attention from people who like to bet on sports in the US and elsewhere on GTbets and the like if the competitors are all cyborgs.

The Random Drug Administration

Of course there will be those that say this approach would ruin the sporting ethos of Athletics, but given they’re all on drugs already, the athletes have pretty much done that themselves, so institutionalizing it might be a way forward. The alternative is what I like to think of as the random drug administration solution. Rather than allowing all forms of cheating you simply level the playing field prior to the start of the race by administering a random drug to each competitor.

Merely take one sample of each drug you’ve available (twenty or thirty will be enough) place them in a bag and then have competitors each pluck out a capsule and take it. Some drugs would improve performance, amphetimines, cocaine perhaps, even weed in certain events, but I couldn’t face a 1500m run on acid and the camera flashes in the grandstands will soon distract anyone who got the MDMA, the mushrooms or the thorazine. Yes, there might have to be changes to local drug laws, but since US gambling laws are liberalizing faster than those for marijuana, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Gambling attracts interest and athletics is going to have to try really hard to gain our interest back now we’ve worked out these superstar athletes are all vampires. The Tour de France has been a joke since Armstrong and I suspect come the Rio Olympics next year it will only take a small scandal to finally condemn athletics as another harbor for drug cheats, and there won’t be a damn thing Seb Coe will be able to do about it except surrender. Athletics needs change and electing one of two current Vice Presidents is as stupid as my suggestions for the sport are.

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