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Dopes in sport

By Ian Nance - posted Wednesday, 4 September 2013

'Dopes in sport' is an adequate term for sneering at participants who enhance performances, artificially, with chemicals.

There was a time (not so very long ago?) when all kinds of individual competition brought to the fore those who could achieve by dint of their own ability, effort, and skill.

What they accomplished, they did by their own personal talent. It was probably the climax of long times of training, practice, skill learning, and most possibly a determined will to succeed despite any physical or mental challenges.


Success was not achieved by relying on chemicals to make up for personal shortfalls.

That was in 'more honest' times, when sport and its significance had not been taken over by greedy, almost maniacal sports marketing.

Healthy competition was founded on true accomplishment; the challenge of striving to better one's own natural performance, and not by relying on drugs and chemicals to fit in with the growing demands of the demand to win at any cost.

This idea of mandatory winning is one of the things that turns me off much modern sport, as it stresses ego, the quest for triumph at all costs, and the abandonment of competing for the sheer enjoyment of achieving the very best of which one is capable.

The score at the end of the 'match', or whatever, becomes the only measurable factor of ability, not personal competence, or individual aptitude.

Much competitive challenging is crippled by the dogma of the 'team' concept, where it is considered more important to be a team player than to rely on superior personal competence.


In truth, the risk of the "tall poppy" syndrome comes into play where less able players or competitors are shielded from the fact of their relative rankings by the rigorous leveling of the playing field, so that each may regard themselves as one of the best.

There is also the old cliché about there being "no prizes for coming second".

Rubbish! The very act of striving is what counts, not winning.

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About the Author

Ian Nance's media career began in radio drama production and news. He took up TV direction of news/current affairs, thence freelance television and film producing, directing and writing. He operated a program and commercial production company, later moving into advertising and marketing.

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