As a child and adolescent I played a lot of sport with mixed results; I was good at some and bad at some, and won a little and lost a little. Losing was never fun although I rebounded quickly and losing made winning sweeter when it happened. It also built a lot of character and made me work harder to improve. One thing I never did in sport was cheat; There's no place for that in sport and in my opinion it needs to be stamped out when it rears its ugly head.
It's sport-cheating that prompted me to write this post, in particular the recently exposed drug-cheat Shayna Jack, the Australian
I've read that the cheat claims she didn't intentionally ingest the banned substance, Ligandrol, which is classified as an anabolic agent. Yeah ok fair enough, but your A and B test proved positive Shayna so...Yeah, you're a cheat. The four year ban you have received punctuates that point. Apparently the drug cheat's only out is to prove the tainted supplements she cites as the reason Ligandrol was in her system was, in fact, tainted with the anabolic agent. Of course she's always going to claim innocence right? Take the rap Shayna, you got caught and now need to suffer the consequences.
I don't feel sorry for the cheat, or any other sports person who cheats and gets caught. I mean there's loads of them I'm sure, however also many who don't and it's for those that don't cheat I feel for; The ones who succeed, or fail, on the back of their own hard work, effort, skill and ability. I'm sure many people have come second to a cheat that got away with it and I hate that.
I'm pretty scathing when it comes to cheating and am also embarrassed as an Australian that fellow Aussie's are out there trying to excel or gain an advantage through underhanded tactics.
The Australian cricketers who cheated by tampering with the ball in 2018 are another bunch that bring the country as a whole into disrepute. Team Captain Steve Smith - Cheater. Vice Captain David Warner - Cheater. Cameron Bancroft - Cheater. And yet, what are they doing now after a bunch of ineffective sanctions? Yes, playing cricket in the Australian national team. Shame on us for allowing it. What role model is that setting? Cheat. Even if you get caught it won't matter.
If it was up to me they would never play the sport again at anything above local club level, and even then only as unpaid players. image
But alas, money seems to rule the day and sporting cheaters seem to get away with it, almost with impunity sometimes. Sure, there's some embarrassment, loss of sponsorship money maybe, but in the end many of them still thrive. I don't agree with that.
So, I thought I'd list a few sporting cheats...
- Rosie Ruiz - Won the Boston marathon by taking the subway. (Ballsy Rosie, ballsy)
- Tonya Harding had rival figure skater Nancy Kerrigan attacked with a baton at the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championship. (WTF)
- Marion Jones used steroids at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and was stripped of all her titles. (Served 6 months in prison too) (Dum dum)
- Lance Armstrong - 7 Tour de France wins...Doped the whole way. (Was one of my sporting hero's, now...Not.)
- Ben Johnson - Juiced all the way to his 100m gold medal in 1988. (No surprises here.)
There's just a few but there's loads more if one cares to look. The sad fact is that so many more cheat and get away with it...But in the dark recess of their minds they know they cheated...I wonder if karma comes back to them?
I understand there can be huge pressure on a person to succeed and that weak-minded people who don't value the sport or the spirit of competition more than sponsorship money or a medal may be inclined to cheat. It's a self respect thing and I think the knowledge that one cheated would stick around for life, and not in a good way.
It remains to be seen whether doping-cheat Shayna-the-cheater-Jack can clear her name through proving the truth of her supplements alibi and if she can all the best, however if she cannot I hope she never get's to swim competitively again. Harsh? Possibly, but what I see as more harsh is the fact that there's many out there who have lost to a sport cheat and that's not cool.
I believe it would be better to have two competitions for every sport...The natural one and the event for the dopers, that way those who want to test themselves and their abilities can do so on a level playing field and those who want to cheat themselves can enter the other one.