STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Get Rid of the Olympics, Not Performance Enhancing Drugs
By Daily Bell Staff - August 12, 2016

OLYMPICS Shaming Could Be the Best Fix for Olympic Doping … At the Olympics, we’re witnessing some serious cases of public shaming. Victorious competitors are publicly ostracizing those who once used performance-enhancing drugs. To take just one example, Australian Mack Horton, gold medalist in the 400-meter freestyle, pointedly refused even to acknowledge China’s silver medalist Sun Yang, who had been suspended for doping. “I don’t have time or respect for drug cheats,” Horton said later.  – Bloomberg

We’d much rather see the Olympics abolished than drug taking. It could be done easily enough by putting pressure on countries not to fund them.

We’re not aware of intellectual pursuits being funded in the same way. Poets don’t gather every few years to perform at the public’s expense, but ice-skaters do.

It’s bad enough that the Olympics exist but now the wretched spectacle could be expanded to “public shaming” of “drug cheats.”

We don’t agree that people who take drugs ought to be prosecuted by the state. And we don’t agree, either, that these massive and unnecessary sports spectacles ought to take place with great frequency at taxpayer expense.

This article (featured above) is written by Cass R. Sunstein. We last commented on an article of his when he endorsed a Supreme Court Decision on expansive, federal regulatory power; HERE.

Susntein is a kind of philosophical authoritarian who is famous for his “nudge” system of social change, wherein government can gradually create chosen behaviors via various ongoing incentives.

Here’s some more from him on the Olympic issue:

… In international competitions, athletes get to know each other, and they often become friendly. If an athlete knows that doping will mean contempt or ostracization from her peers, deterrence will increase.

In other words, nobody wants to be on the receiving end of the opprobrium directed at Yulia Efimova, a Russian suspended for doping in 2014. Booed by the audience and ignored by the triumphant gold medalist swimmer Lilly King, silver medalist Efimova was nearly reduced to tears during a post-race news conference. King was unmoved, saying, “I’m not a fan.”

What Sunstein wants somehow – he’s not clear on how – is to encourage top athletes to shame those who have “cheated” by using drugs to enhance their performance.

Now the only way knows for sure who to shame is by previous exposure. Thus, Sunstein is suggesting that those who have been punished and worked their way back into competition ought to be subject to more punishment via public humiliation.

Government bureaucrats presumably love the Olympics because they aggrandize the nation state. States don’t really exist except as an aggregation of lines on a map. But during Olympics, nationalities are promoted incessantly.

Additionally, Olympic officials emphasize that the intention of the Olympics is to promote “peace.” Yet in actuality, the Olympics pit athletes and nations against one another. If anything, the Olympics exacerbate international tensions.

They can also prove quite costly to their individual sponsors. It is often emphasized that Olympic facilities can be re-used, but in practice, whole infrastructures are often abandoned after the games are done.

Perhaps what the Olympics process does most effectively is to encourage international corruption via the bribes and other underhanded financial conduct that politicians engage in to gain Olympic venues.

This corruption is occasionally commented on, but athletes who cheat may receive enormous public exposure.  This is simply part of the larger authoritarian mania afflicting the news coverage in the 21st century.

Years ago, athletics might have been seen as a place of respite from the law enforcement’s ever expanding assaults on every aspect of people’s behavior. But not anymore. Today, many sports events features various kinds of speculation regarding drug taking drug testing almost as much as they do speculation about who will win or lose.

Sports have become, more than ever, a metaphor for state control. We are encouraged to perceive the sports spectacle as a metaphor for the way society in general operates most effectively – with “players” performing as best they can and “referees” and “officials” monitoring their every move to make sure no one is cheating.

In fact, real life is a good deal more complicated than a game and motivations are not so simple and results are not so clear cut.

The Rio Olympics are a good example of the negatives we increasingly associate with the Olympics. Now add to this Sunstein’s suggestion regarding public shaming. Even the winner’s circle is not going to be exempt from travails of drug abuse. Those who have previously been caught using drugs are to be exhibited weeping in shame while the medals are awarded.

Get rid of state-funded Olympics. Why should taxpayers – who pay for all sorts of useless and offensive items – have to shoulder the burden for this increasingly politicized spectacle?

And while we’re at it, let’s legalize performance enhancing drugs. By making them illegal, we’re forcing the usage underground, which makes their consumption dangerous and the drugs themselves unreliable.

The Olympics and those who back the banning of such drugs literally have blood on their hands. The physical suffering and injury of athletes who take such drugs is largely a result of their determined banning and lack of formal safety controls that would be available were such drugs decriminalized.

Public shaming of drug users is just one more offensive element in a tapestry of such elements. The cost of the Olympics, the corruption, the aggrandizement of the state and the general waste of the public’s money are all reasons to remove or reduce Olympic presentations.

Conclusion: If people want to play sports, why can’t they do it on their own without such costly public displays? Ironically, if one de-emphasized Olympics, one would also remove the temptation to take performance enhancing drugs. One of the best ways, therefore, to shrink drug-use is to shrink the Olympics.

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  • Bill Wagner

    Wow. Incredibly jaded article. Life is a game, and you are suggesting to take games away from people because of a few’s unethical behavior. It’s like in grade school–‘Billy did a bad, so that means no one gets to play.’ Wrong.

    • One can argue that most sports these days seem focused more on drug use, scandal and rules violations than the actual action. That’s “jaded.” It’s also obnoxious to watch and personally and professionally damaging to those caught up in it.

    • Dimitri Ledkovsky

      Games are learning and behavioral experiences for children.

      • And so vast stadiums must be erected around the world at regular intervals?

  • Dimitri Ledkovsky

    Having the luxury of being “funded” for a full time training experience is also performance enhancing. Hardly all athletes get this. Thus it’s not a level field to start with. Yes! Time to leave these divisive Olympic Games on a museum shelf.

  • kwin

    I can see both points (DB & Bill Wagner) but was surprised that the DB article didn’t include the fact that the ceremonies continue to be Luciferian/Satanic rituals focusing massive energy from the worldwide attention they receive. Why would we knowingly continue to participate in this evil? Know thine enemy and stop feeding it!

    • Thanks for commenting. Think that’s a different article, though.

      • kwin

        I agree. It would be a good one!
        Thanks.

  • Samarami

    “…Government bureaucrats presumably
    love the Olympics because they aggrandize
    the nation state. States don’t really exist except
    as an aggregation of lines on a map. But during
    Olympics, nationalities are promoted incessantly…”

    Sez it all.

    “The-Olympics” — scandals, murders and all — is a hugely successful governmental enterprise for the purpose of selling (proselytizing) the dangerous superstition we are prone to calling “state”. Getting shut of Olympics at this point in time might even further threaten collapse of popular support for central political authority. Sam

  • Darquius

    Not mentioned in article is the avalanche of incentives ranging emotional to political, spurring young athletes to compete against each other.
    Under these pressures, every advantage no matter how small can make difference between win & loose, bronze & gold.

    I agree whole truth with all options on the table for all to choose is societal best long term policy in everything – Yes!

    But we have seen these athletes take permanently crippling risks to win, nearly universally, in training & performance.
    We have also seen in history the “snake-oil’ sales pitches.
    I would like to see more detail of potential “legalization” implementations.
    Cigarettes, alcohol. guns & canibus have been “legalized” after initial prohibition. This has always done two things. First, it is still illegal unless… 2nd, you must have permission, usually by classifications. (Also, more expensive.. another highway robbery toll bridge growing government.)

    Ownership of free right still is owned by the State, which grows more every time there is a “problem.

    We will never be free, until we clearly see the tyranny disguises.

  • georgesilver

    Our ‘rulers’ and ‘masters’ hand down the message whether it’s politics, legal, finance or sport that in life ‘rules’ are only for the losers of the World. This used to be the hidden message but now it’s just blatant.
    The average person, if they realised it, still has power . You can opt out of their “game” or better still use their systems against them. (a long subject).
    My wife and I have a saying:- “When confronted by authority, smile sweetly, say YES and then do NO.”

  • Stephen Persaud
  • Randy

    How many men and women athletes rue the day that they decided to abuse their body by engaging in some sport, which then caused much pain and suffering later in life? And not just for themselves, but their friends and family members too? Blown out knees, arthritic arms and hands, brain concussions, etc. Are those prices really worth paying for such a short lived gain? How many more sports injuries do we need to see before we wake up to the fact that they are bad for society in general?
    I used to be a recreational skier, just getting on the slopes and gliding down at a leisurely pace while I enjoyed the scenery was enough for me! I took a few spills here and there, but I never pushed to see how fast I could go and risk hurting myself or others.
    If you want to bang up your body, OK, go ahead and do it, but please don’t then expect for someone else to pay for your care and upkeep later on!! We don’t need more people on the dole for bad decision making like chasing a ball or glory.

  • mary

    I can’t speak about other countries, but i certainly can about the US. The baby boom generation, in our obsession to live our childhood dreams through our children, has made children’s sports a huge financial enterprise and has elevated child abuse to a high art. These parents involve their children in adult organized and dominated leagues, everything from football, baseball, and soccer to gymnastics, dance (??) and fencing. Long gone are the days when children would meet in the afternoon for a pick-up game at the park. In fact, in CA, the parks are always empty.

    Our family has witnessed the disgusting spectacle of high school soccer when we went to watch our niece play in a tournament. Our children, ages 25 and 23, were appalled at the sight. Vendors hawking all kinds of expensive equipment and uniforms to blaring rap “music,” medical trainers everywhere, injured kids playing because of peer pressure and not wanting to lose their spot on the team, or not be seen by the college recruiters, parents telling their kids on how to play. It was utterly revolting.

    It’s an open secret that girls gymnastics is peopled with abusive coaches who push the girls to damage their bodies and that girls swimming coaching staffs are rife with sexual predators. Parents should NEVER let their girls (or boys) go on overnight trips supervised only by the coaches.

    Probably worst of all were all the banners with thoroughly socialist slogans everywhere, reminding the players that they have to be subservient to the needs of the team.

    Children’s sports in the USA is not for the children. It’s for money. It’s for the ego of the parents. It’s getting a college scholarship because the middle class can’t afford the tuition. It’s for the olympics, inc. World peace? Oh please.

    I haven’t even touched on the football abuses.

    Are there really Daily Bell readers who think it’s all about playing a game and having fun?

    I agree with DB. Pull the plug.

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