Of village sports, modern sportsmen, politicians

01 Sep, 2017 - 00:09 0 Views

The Herald

Isdore Guvamombe Reflections
Back in the village, in the land of milk, honey and dust or Guruve, sporting is a critical component of society that cements relationships.

But it is fair play that makes the whole world of village sports interesting and credible.

What inspires this instalment is that London, the British capital, recently became a host of a buffet of world athletics under the International Association of Athletics Federation, 2017 World Championship.

Well the name is quite a mouthful for a mere villager like me, who grew up back in the village, trying all sorts of sporting activities in a multifarious array of unorthodox stadia and without knowing anything like doping or anti-doping. It was natural sporting.

Outside this village anecdote, London provided another great opportunity for sportspersons all over the world to do their best in a “fair competition”.

But it is the way athletes have become victims of the politics between their countries that has inspired this villager to pen this one. Sport is no longer sport. It has become a huge political game between antagonising powerful states. Small states have no chance to win fairly.

Does anyone remember how Russians were totally closed out of the Olympics that other time? Was that sport or politics? Anyone who followed the London sports should have been quick to notice that cheating was written all over the place. Cheating, cheating, cheating. Cheating! Athletes came from all over the world hoping to compete and harvest medals and like in any competition, others harvested thorns. The major problem is fairness.

And, especially for Africa, which historically used to be one of the best in this kind of sport, it was a great chance to demonstrate its talents.

For example runners from Kenya and Ethiopia always are the main contenders for gold medals in such international tournaments. But unbeknown to many Africans and Asians, Western Europe has carefully and systematically come up with methods to harvest all the medals while their political enemies harvest thorns.

The anti-doping systems, which are controlled by US and its allies, have provided the much-needed smokescreen behind which real and natural sportsmen are denied their right to win. It is subtle cheating. And what are the results? IAAF World Championships in London provoked another doping scandal.

A number of Western sportsmen, who won medals had “dirty” background in doping and according to the rules, should have been disqualified for life! But with their capitals in charged, they sailed through.

Unfortunately, nowadays the term “double standards” has become a business card of Western countries even in sports.

Washington and its allies do things that are prohibited in other states. Only Western athletes that have been caught more than two times using banned additives obtained a right to participate. Is it fair? Not really, because there was no excuse for anybody from other countries.

It is very easy to find examples: US runner Justin Gatlin (two times disqualified for doping). Even the audience was shocked that he was allowed to participate. Indeed his participation was meant to wrestle the medal from the cleanest sportsperson, Jamaican Usain Bolt. Then comes Mohamed Farah, a United Kingdom runner. According to the latest leakages Mo Farah, as he is known by his fans, and his trainers were involved in doping scams, but nothing seriously affected his professional career. IAAF 2017 quickly cleared him not because he was clean, but because he is a Briton. They wanted him to win and indeed he won, without going through scrutiny.

After all, the IAAF London World championship proved that doping has become a cheating pandemic of modern sport. And, the main problem is not in drugs, but in high ranked politically backed officials, who allow the use of these drugs at the expense of equality and fair play.

The international community must have a clear position on these cases: there should be no room for doping, privileged athletes and politics in sports. The current situation has destroyed the future of African sports because there is no sense to participate in such kind of tournaments when it becomes a competition between pharmaceutics?

What can Africa do to stop Western countries from abusing international sports?

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