Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Yet another one . . .


According to news reports a 48-year old local man who happens to be an  ultra-runner, a triathlete and the author of a well-known athletics book (currently advertised on Amazon and other websites) has been arrested here in Vienna and charged with smuggling methamphetamine into Austria (allegedly for his own use).

There is a law here in Austria that prevents the authorities from releasing the full name of this local celebrity. 

Photographs in today's newspapers show the literary athlete complete with a censorship rectangle printed in black over his eyes.

Some casual detective work on the internet, using clues conveniently sprinkled in press reports, quickly turns up the man's identity.

*

It's a terrible time for sport. 

Following the Lance Armstrong confessions we now have the long-awaited Fuentes trail, which has taken 7 years to come to court, taking place in Spain where the good Doctor Fuentes claims to have a list of 200 sports dopers (58 cyclists and many footballers).

We've come down a rotten path since the days of Roger Bannister running the 4-minute mile in his leather shoes on the cinder track and the spirit of Chariots of Fire when an athlete wouldn't compete for a gold medal on a Sunday and the most dangerous drug was a casual cigarette after training.

It was an era when the big deal wasn't about winning and losing but more about the spirit of fairness; about how you conducted yourself, became an example to others, how you played the game.

If life wasn't fair then at least your chosen sport would be.

Will sport ever find a level playing field again? That is the question. I fear I already know the answer.



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