I read with interest that the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), US
swimming and the IOC are all taking a decidedly soft approach to the
Michael Phelps bong-smoking episode.
Here are three
international sporting organisations which constantly beat their chests
in the endless fight to rid world sport of its evil ways, sweeping the
Phelps issue under the carpet.
WADA President, Australia's John
Fahey was quoted as saying, "Look I can only express similar sentiments
to those that were expressed by the United States swimming association,
and that is disappointment for the fact that the star of the Beijing
Olympics, without doubt, has found himself in this position," he said.
"But that's as far as I'll take it."
I get the impression its WADA's way of admitting the multiple Olympic champion has done nothing wrong.
he hasn't according to it's prohibited list. WADA bans Cannabis as an
in-competition agent but not for out-of-competition consumption.
can also add the IOC to the list. They too have accepted Phelps'
apology at face value, saying, "We have no reason to doubt his
sincerity and his commitment to continue to act as a role model."
For mine, it's the double-standards by all the authorities involved that really annoys.
Remember when the home of Tom Boonen was raided by police weeks before last year's Tour de France?
stash of cocaine was discovered and we later learned the Belgian
sprinter was guilty of using the similarly banned substance for his own
Boonen was the hot favourite to win the TdF
green jersey but paid the ultimate price for his poor judgement despite
not breaching any doping rules.
He was denied participation in not only the Tour of Switzerland but also the sports greatest stage, the Tour de France.
I might be missing something here, and please correct if I'm wrong, but
had the athlete caught been a high profile professional cyclist, would
we not have been reminded of our sport's failed battles of eradicating
the problems linked with drug users?
In fact WADA's John Fahey
has put cycling on notice as an Olympic sport, saying, 'that there is a
huge risk if the cheating is continued and continued to be exposed.'
received no official sporting sanction and the issue is being handled
as a social and criminal matter, but he is being punished for his
Like Boonen, Phelps is a pin-up boy and a role
model for many millions of supporters, so I feel for Phelps for being
caught by a camera lens and for perhaps being at the wrong place at the
But why shouldn't he and his sport suffer the
consequences and pay a penalty, just as a cyclist would have if he/she
was placed in a similar situation.
It seems convenient that
the anti-doping and sporting authorities want nothing to do with an
issue that [if it were cycling] would otherwise have generated into a