Posts filed under ‘Other’

Believe it or Not? You tell us

This website has always been about sports other than AFL, however the verdict of “Not Guilty” by the AFL’s internal Anti Doping Tribunal into the alleged doping of players at Essendon Football club has caused us to dedicate one story to this issue.

First of all was any other outcome ever likely? Seriously, were the AFL ever going to find a club as big as, and with as much history as Essendon guilty and then possibly have to expel them from the competition?  For those outside of the tight-knit AFL propaganda wheel this was never going to happen.

Despite not covering this sport, it has been common knowledge amongst most people in the media that the drug testing in the AFL has been some of the slackest in Australian sport. Rumours abound of clubs being tipped off that certain players are due to be tested and the clubs telling those players not to come to training, so they cannot be tested; another player then being tested in their place. Why have they not gone to said player’s house and tested him? Then there were rumours of players who did test positive being told that they had a “hamstring strain” and would have to sit out a few weeks until they could be tested again and were clean.

The Tribunal found that there was “insufficient evidence” to uphold the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s belief that the 34 past and present Bombers were injected with the banned drug Thymosin beta-4 during 2012. Which many will read to say there was evidence, but the AFL felt not enough to tarnish their competition or expel one of their top clubs.

Not surprisingly the Australian Sports Anti Doping Association (ASADA) were very disappointed with the findings; although they honestly cannot be surprised as when it comes to this sport in Australia the normal rules do not apply. After all it is called our “national game” when clearly other sports have far more right to be named as such.

ASADA CEO Ben McDevitt has said that he was disappointed by the decision and still insists that Essendon’s behaviour in 2012 was “absolutely and utterly disgraceful.” “It was not a supplements programme but an injection regime and the players and the fans were so poorly let down by the club,” he said in a statement released by ASADA. ASADA will hold a press conference tomorrow and still have 21 days in which to take up the right to appeal the decision, although one wonders what good that will do.

So as a sports fan do you believe this verdict? We would love to hear what the average fan thinks, and whether the AFL by reaching this decision have in fact further harmed their credibility.

 

March 31, 2015 at 1:47 pm 2 comments

Rules Pointless Unless Adhered To

Sports administrators in the main are very sensitive people. The want all the praise but are not keen on criticism. One would have thought heading into a field where you are never going to keep everyone a happy a thick skin would be a prerequisite.

What is a major concern to sports lovers and participants is the inconsistency being shown by those running the various sports.

Rules and regulations are put in place by the various governing bodies yet none seem to have the courage to enforce those regulations; some sports enforce where it suits.

A prime example follows the introduction of a new side to a state competition. One of the conditions of entry so NTFS has been led to believe was that the new side would not go out and target players from existing clubs and entice them to the new club with incentives. Yet the feeling among a number of the existing clubs is that this is exactly what has happened. One club official claiming that the departing player was honest enough to share the deal he was being offered and explaining why he was leaving.

When this was taken up with the game’s governing body the club was allegedly told “What can we do?”

If you as a governing body are not going to do anything why put rules and regulations in place? When creating these rules it would be wise to outline the consequences of clubs or individuals breaking these regulations and the sanctions that they face. In this instant surely a fine or a deduction of points would have been the ideal way to show that such behaviour would not be tolerated?

Of course the ignorance of some clubs, run in the main by volunteers is a major cause of the mismanagement. Clubs are not aware of many of the rules or the constitutions under which they are operating and as a result people obtain positions they are not entitled to and no one says a word. In one sport one man currently holds three official positions, one with a club, which precludes him from holding one of his other positions, yet has anyone said anything?

They say we get the politicians we deserve, it would appear that sport is getting the administrators it deserves. Each club should take the time to read the rules and regulations as it is in their long term interests that they are adhered to. It may not affect your club now but it may down the track, so if one club steps out of line the others have an obligation to stand as one a nip that breaking of ranks in the bud.

If in this busy world that we live in they feel they do not have time to do such things they would be wise to elect a representative  whose sole job is to monitor such issues and ensure for the good of the clubs and the sport that rules and regulations are adhered to. They currently cannot rely on the administrators to carry out this role which in truth should fall under their remit.

If the administrators are not prepared to ensure that everything is run by the book, then is it any wonder that anarchy is sticking its head above the parapet?

March 31, 2015 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

France Wins Box Seat

Everyone knows the story about the tortoise and the hare, well it may just be that France is the tortoise.

The nation was devastated when cross Channel rival, London won the rights for the 2012 Olympic Games, Paris having been in the running for the global event. However France may well have the last laugh.

It is in fact a Paris based company, Vinci, who currently operate the Stade de France who have won the lucrative contract to manage the London 2012 Stadium, as well as the Queen Elizabeth Park. Vinci, will be responsible for installing 21,000 retractable seats to allow spectators at West Ham United games to be closer to the action pitch side, while still maintaining a world class running track. The Stade de France is one venue where retractable seating has been a success in the main as the pitch is in fact slightly lower so that the seating remains tiered and close to the action.

It may just be that this French company can reap the rewards without the initial investment. Withs such strong rivalry between the two nations this is bound to be nice compensation for missing out on the Olympics in 2012.

March 4, 2015 at 9:53 am Leave a comment

Men Only – No Thanks.

We are not big fans of sports administrators but on this occasion we must applaud the stance taken by the International Olympic Committee who kicked out a proposal from Saudi Arabia that they should be allowed to bid for a men only Olympics. They had wanted to have the Women’s events to be hosted by Bahrain.

Let us not forget that only under immense pressure did Saudi Arabia send two female athletes to London in 2012. This was tokenism at its best. Come the Asian Games last year they reverted to sending a purely male delegation.

Many feel that although the IOC sensibly rejected this idea, they need to take a far stronger line and make it clear that unless Saudi Arabia cease this sexist approach they will not be welcome to participate at future Olympics. After all it is the IOC who invite each nation to participate. Maybe next year the invitation needs to be lost in the post.

February 26, 2015 at 10:29 am Leave a comment

Kenya Looks to Ban Agents In Fight Against Drug Cheats

Drugs are a blight on sport, but with the rewards for success being so high most athletes are prepared to push the boundaries to achieve that fame and wealth.

In the 1980’s Chicago-based Bob Goldman, a doctor and founder of the U.S. National Academy of Sports Medicine, asked elite athletes whether they would take an enhancement which guaranteed them gold medals but would also kill them within five years. More than half those asked said “yes.”

Move forward twenty years and this mindset had not changed “I was shocked to see that out of 198 world-class athletes, 52 percent would be willing to give up their life for five years of an undefeated run of wins,” Goldman told Reuters during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

He has repeated the survey every two years for the next decade and the results have always been the same. Just over half of the athletes questioned said they were prepared to die as long as they won Olympic Gold.

Many sports fans do not appreciate that one of the reasons The International Association of Athletics Federations fought so hard to stop amputee Oscar Pistorious racing against able-bodied athletes with his carbon-fibre blades, was they feared if he started winning against able-bodied athletes, in that search for Gold some athletes would seek amputation when there was absolutely nothing wrong with their legs. When you hear that athletes are prepared to die for Gold this is not such a far-fetched idea.

One country whose testing for doping has come under question in recent years is the USA in 2013 they came in 4th on the table of shame in terms of athletes banned for testing positive to banned substances, but it was the fact that the Kenya came in third that raised a few eyebrows. There is no Kenyan anti doping agency and only one laboratory for testing in the whole of the African continent, and that is in South Africa. The Kenyan authorities claimed that 90 per cent of the tests in which their athletes had tested positive, were because they had been taking medication which had contained banned drugs. Many of these athletes though were tested in the USA and some felt that the Kenyan’s were being made scapegoats.

Last week Kenya announced that they will sanction agents managing four of their athletes who recently failed drug tests. They have openly blamed these “foreign agents for leading athletes into using performance-enhancing drugs.” Having been criticised  in the past for not taking adequate measures to try and stamp out the growing number of doping cases this approach has raised a few eyebrows. However the Kenyan authorities may well have a point.

“If you manage three or four athletes who have been sanctioned then you (the manager) will also be sanctioned ” President of Athletics Kenya Isaiah Kiplagat is quoted as saying. ” You don’t deserve to manage Kenyan athletes. Our new Sports Act gives us powers to take action on such agents. We won’t spare anybody.”

This may well be what is needed to restore what had been an almost impeccable record for Kenyan athletes.

To show just how lax the US Doping system is, this writer was advised by an athlete competing in the USA that it was commonplace for most of the team to smoke marijuana before a flight to the next game or a long bus trip. The theory being that the drug would relax them and their muscles and therefore limit damage sitting for long periods in a confined space. If this is as commonplace as this athlete claimed, why are there not more US athletes facing suspension?

Maybe the Kenyan’s are right and they are being targeted unfairly. Maybe their approach of banning the management of the Athlete is in fact a move in the right direction. It would be good to see other nations take a similar approach, as something must be done to try and stop these cheats. Yet with a mindset where more than 50% are prepared to die as long as they win a Gold medal one feels it will take a great deal more than this.

February 26, 2015 at 9:53 am Leave a comment

Qatar’s Running Partner?

Qatar being awarded the 2022 FIFA World Cup has been clouded in controversy, but while many are still scratching their heads as to how they managed to pull off a victory in the hosting rights and how the tournament will be played in sweltering Summer heat, many have missed the fact that Qatar is hosting a number of other key sporting events.

They are in fact hosting the World Championships in Squash, Swimming, amateur boxing and believe it or not Athletcs.

The World’s wealthiest nation recently beat Eugene Oregon in the USA to follow London 2017 as host of the Athletics World Championships held every two years. The voting on the IAAF Executive was close with Qatar winning a 15-12 decision.

Once again conspiracy theories have raised their head. However one could say of a ‘brand’ new kind. Oregon happens to be the Global headquarters of Nike. The IAAF’s official sportswear brand is in fact non other than Nike’s archival, Adidas, who also happen to be FIFA’s long running sponsor.

Others are speculating that Athletics is facing a very tough time ahead with the yet to be named high profile British athlete failing a drug test about three months ago. If it ends up being the rumoured Superstar it will be a major blow to the IAAF event in London and to the sport globally. As well as more proof that the drug cheats are well ahead of those testing them.

There is as yet no proof of anything untoward, but a few people are drawing a long bow; whether it ever finds the target is unlikely!

February 9, 2015 at 12:05 pm Leave a comment

Game On!

Frequently we criticise Politicians for using sport for their own advantage, but in Britain they are looking to use it for society’s.

Britain like many first world nations ware appear of the rising problem with obesity in your people, courtesy of Playstation and X box games. The battle between Playstation and the playing field was being lost so they decided to try and doe something to change that.

They have also identified how there is a clear lack of administrators of sport and coaches from ethnic minorities in the community. So much so that Football was summoned to a meeting at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to hear what it was doing to encourage people from these communities to be a part of the game.

Take a look at the sport that you follow in Australia and ask is it too doing its part to be inclusive of our multicultural society. Are we doing enough to make sport truly inclusive or are we losing sections of our community who feel ‘left out?” Hopefully our Ministers of Sport Federally and in each State are following the progress being made in Britain and will tweak their advances to suit their communities.

One major success has been the Sport England campaign called “This Girl Can” aimed at getting more everyday women to get involved in sport. The advertisement had over 1 million hits in a week and is now over 6 million. Hopefully it has the desired effect.

Check out the Clip here.

February 7, 2015 at 2:54 pm Leave a comment

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