We have all had our encounters with an act of dishonesty. Most, if not all of us, enjoy a little masquerade called ‘getting away with it’. Being innocently part of something frowned upon and seeing how far you can go without being noticed is a thrill we develop since early childhood. From being the last one found in a game of hide and seek to copying homework from a classmate. Somehow, these adventures are the sedimentary roots of receiving satisfaction from accomplishment without being caught or laboring towards its achievement. The less effort we put into an accomplishment, is an accomplishment by itself.
Hence, we look for shortcuts on our daily route for work or try to master the process of elimination on our multiple-choice exams. With this behavioral conditioning and our quest of attaining success with the least effort, comes the common moral dilemma of gaining ground using unethical means and the same situations are often encountered by sports professionals which forces them to use performance enhancing drugs, better known as doping.
Splashed over the news frontier over the past few months has been the scandalous demise of one of the greatest athletes to ever live, Lance Armstrong, who was the shining star of one of the best-orchestrated stories in the world of sports. An aspiring cyclist who got diagnosed with cancer, only to overcome it and make his way back into the sport by winning a series of Tour de France titles, one of the most enduring competitions in the sports world. After reaching the pinnacle, lauded as the crème de la crème of cyclists and being the poster boy of adversity, he now finds himself as the poster boy of doping.
This is not the first time that sporting icons are found guilty as previously there was Maradona, Ben Johnson, among many others that resorted to using Performance Enhancing Drugs.
Now why do such athletes choose this path? One of the main reasons rests in the primary nature of the world of sports, which is the high level of competition. Records are getting better, talent is identified earlier and the sports training regime is constantly improving, leaving athletes with little room to being successful or even staying at the top.
In this hub of fierce competition, professional athletes have to start working in their teens for many years to have very few chances to achieve their goals and to get that edge; they seek help from the dark side which is available to them in using performance enhancing drugs such as Erythropoietin (EPO), testosterone, blood transfusions, to name a few. In the Armstrong defamation, and under medical supervision, blood transfusions were exercised by extracting blood, fusing it, and re-inserting this cold blood into their shivering bodies a month later to boost the rider’s oxygen carrying capacity which effectively improves stamina.
Darwinian theory is built in our societies by promoting survival of the fittest. In our upbringing, we are pushed to be the best. We teach our kids to be the best students, go to the best schools, drive the best cars, have the nicest homes and the list goes on. Naturally, as we breed this foundation in our society, it will not only become sports professionals that will find themselves forced to become obsessed with victory even if obtained illegally, but it will eventually transmit to other sects of our world as well.
Khalifa was born and raised in the UAE, with a 4 and bit years university stint in the Canadian lands, before coming back home to work for one of the investment arms of the Abu Dhabi government. Inspired to be the Ray Romano of the magazine, only as a sports journalist that is.
Khalifa believes the world of sports never gets the credit it deserves for its impact on this world. For some, its mere entertainment, but for some its soul therapy and sometimes, survival. In this sports universe, deep in its pockets, he was able to find a lot of pleasure reading for sports journalists like Phil Ball, Gabriel Marcotti, among many others. Considering some of his favorite literature comes from sports writers, he will use this column titled “Tifosi”, which stands for “fan” in Italian, to share this passion with others by discussing sport events that can relate to both fanatics and non fanatics.
Latest posts by Khalifa Al Hajeri (see all)
- A Sports Fan In A Sport City - March 1, 2015
- Moving Towards Individualistic Sports - February 1, 2014
- The Impact of Hosting Major International Sports Events - January 1, 2014