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For the disgrace of the winners and the dignity of the losing ones

16 February 2010 / 17:02:39  GRReporter
3195 reads

Maria Spassova

A popular Bulgarian saying reads that it is never too late to make a fool yourself. As cynical as it sounds the first time you hear it, it is actually very wise. Everyone who is trying in a way to play outside of the rules or at the edge of the rules will sooner or later regret it.

The Olympic Games in Beijing is the most sportive event which I have ever witnessed in my conscious life. This is true because of the human rights in the hosting country as well as because of the occupation of Tibet. It is also true because of the broken by Kremal Olympic truce and because of the absolute tolerance of the International Olympic Committee towards the aggressors. It is however true mostly because of the doping and the common opinion that you can never become a champion without using it.

15 Greek athletes were caught with doping during the Olympic Games in Beijing. I am absolutely sure that each and every one of them painfully regrets taking the banned drugs. I am absolutely sure that each and every one of them knew exactly what he/she was doing. If an athlete nowadays takes a bunch of drugs 5 times a day and doesn’t know what they are exactly, he is either very stupid and then there is no place for him at the Olympic team of a country or he is lying. I tend to believe the second one.

It is the duty of every coach to know and be responsible for the so called “vitamins” which he is adding to the diet of his athlete. If he is not capable of doing it, then this means he has no authority in front of his athletes or in other words he is incompetent as a coach or he is lying. In this case again I tend to believe the second option.

At last come the so called sports figures. In other words these are the people who manage the sport in Greece. It is not possible that 15 athletes from the Olympic team of Greece are caught just before the games foully competing as the use of doping is an attempt to win against the opponent with a hit below the waste and it is not possible that the chairman of the Greek Olympic committee pretends to be the most innocent virgin on the world. He is the first one to submit his resignation. It is not possible the chairmen of the national federations in track and field athletics and heavy athletics pretend to be surprised by saying “We do not know anything”. Well, if you don’t know anything it is time for you to go. Only that an act like this takes a lot of pride.

And it is exactly the pride that was taken away by the doping from the very sweet in other cases national hero and gold medalist (as she wouldn’t have been a hero otherwise) from the Olympic Games in Athens Fani Halkia. The doping took away also the dignity (irreversibly!) of other legends of the Greek sport like Kostas Kenderis and Katherina Tanu.

The doping will not be in the past for the Greek sport as long as the public opinion in the country doesn’t change and until all people understand that only the honest victories are really victories and the laws are the same for Marion Jones and Katerina Tanu. That victory will only turn into disgrace if at the next competition you are caught when taking doping. That you could lose the quarter final in basketball against Argentina, however when you fought like a man even the opponents respect you.

One athlete is great because it is not once or twice he or she won a contest. He is great because for many years he has proven himself through many battles some of which he won and others he lost. But it is in both cases with dignity. That is why the ancient Greek motto which says it is important to participate in the Olympic Games has to change. The dignity is important.

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