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Saturday, 6 May 2017

DRUGS, RECORDS AND MONEY = PRESSURE FOR COMPETITORS !


All Sports have been radically changed by the Money which Young competitors can win, particularly at the top levels of Sport !

Gradually, since the 1950s, professionalism has grown and amateur sport is now for youngsters or for less popular disciplines.

To remain at the top level, competitors are obliged to increase the time spent on training and discussing tactics, especially in their clubs.  This sometimes leads to the use, even abuse, of drugs and unjustified medicines.

Competition is always fierce : not winning or being regularly in the "first team" means earning less money !  When drug testing was first introduced some top stars flatly refused to be tested !   In the Cycling World, there were some famous culprits !

The lack of enough serious, official testing, or testing  only on a sample basis, means cheats can still escape punishment.

BUT, the huge sums which competitors can earn, during a short sporting life, "while they are top stars", can end abruptly !   This does worry some of them, even while they are still active, but only too few !  

Reports of a few such "broken stars" have begun to appear in the Press.  These stars are finally without money, untrained and unable even to hold down a simple job !  Some end up as alcoholic wrecks, but some have sought counselling ! 

The very high earnings of these very "Young Stars" are almost certainly taxed !  But, do they ever get any spontaneous, free counselling on a timely basis ?  They give all they can, but has the System not failed them ? 

Which Civil Service department could be charged to help them ?       

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