As a Pom (the lovely name Aussies call us Brits), this should be a wonderful day of schadenfreude. It appears that one of the things Australia is famous for globally, Sport, is rotten to the core – illicit drugs, performance enhancing drugs, organized crime and match-fixing – appear to be rife. As a kid growing up in England, and being constantly thrashed by Australia in every sporting code, this should be a happy day. No longer can they preach hard fair play – they are all off their nuts on Benzedrine and cocaine! No longer can that unlikely underdog result be trusted but, and its a big but, I am not happy.
My eldest son, lets call him, the sport, has genuine ambitions to be a professional sportsmen ( I know I’m his Dad, but he is showing signs of serious promise in Soccer and Cricket). He is raised here and thinks of himself as 100% Australian. His dream is to represent his country. This scandal, which has been unmasked, makes me fear that he will become disillusioned with it all and will send a message to him that the only way to the top is through, doping, cheating and greed. Do I really want him to aspire to this?, Is he just heading towards disappointment? Sport used to be the wholesome pursuit, now its just a dirty scabby mess! I have to believe that good will out and that there are decent fair sportsmen out there that my son can aspire to. It’s his passion and I dare not take that away from him.
Maybe Sportsmen here need to have better pay and better education about the potential traps, either way it’s a terribly sad chapter for sport, Aussie or Pom. B