The Western world united a few years back when we saw the size of the shoulders in the female Chinese swim team. It was once a practise that we took great pride in, that our athletes in the Western sphere were clean.
Fast forward to modern day and the sporting landscape is in the biggest mess since its gradual transition in to the professional era. The world loves a great sporting story, there's no greater adversity test than that on the sporting field. Every Monday around the world we share our weekend stories of sports and great moments.
This pastime is in serious jeopardy as the truth about modern sports and sporting achievements emerge from the crusty hole they have been stuffed down over the past few decades.
Here's a brief list of historic moments spoiled by Performance Enhancing Drugs, Ben Johnson one hundred metre Olympic Gold. Marion Jones, her whole career. Baseball – Barry Bonds all-time home runs record holder. Lance Armstrong seen as perhaps the greatest athlete of all time with seven Tour De France wins. Shane Warne the master of tweak and the greatest ever leg spinner tested positive on the eve of the 2003 Cricket World Cup. (www.theage.com.au) The Pride of Great Britain Lindford Christie tested positive to a banned steroid in 1999.
When we think of sports we think of the players and teams we love, we often overlook and mostly are just unaware of how the business of professional actually works. The behind the scenes teams of staff run the performance aspects of most sports. Many clubs have a department called "sports science". Most clubs not only have this department they also have many subcontractors come in on short terms visits to evaluate and make sure the clubs are getting the most out of their athletes bodies.
Although not a new concept, sports science has grown in epic proportions around the world. So much so that the average Joe who plays for the local side in a social setting on the weekends now has access to some very advanced sports science methods.
Teams everywhere are desperate to get the edge of rivals, often this leads to new methods of sports science training and development. There is a very open "grey area" in sports science where new techniques and methods are yet to be evaluated in the short and long term safety and benefit for the athlete.
Most athletes are given a management plan for their development from their sports science department at the club they play for. It's safe to say this is probably the safest way to go for athletes looking to stay away from banned substances.
The development of athletes using banned substances comes from where athletes and their personal management team to set a physiological plan for the bodies. This is outside the management of the team they are playing for. This is perhaps the biggest mistake made by athletes and sports agents in America's professional sporting history.
We are very quick to judge athletes for athletes that cheat, I think it's wise that we take a step back and perhaps look at the bigger picture and that every situation is different.
JoshHinds is a school chaplain on the Gold Coats, a family man and PSI's IT professional. Josh is an experienced writer on international sport.
Josh Hinds' previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/joshua-hinds.html