Your Story

Sports Doping, breeding injustice or just another sacrifice?

It’s Saturday morning and all around the country children are excited. Today is game day and they are preparing themselves for the competition. They don their footy boots or soccer ball, perhaps a cricket bat or a tennis racquet. They look smart in their uniforms as they sidestep invisible opponents in the hallway or hit one over the imaginary bowler’s head. They are learning about competition and sportsmanship. Not just how to compete successfully and win but that winning isn’t everything. Like a couple of brawling Lion cubs, these Saturday morning tussles prepare children for the competitive world which they must soon enter. But are these lessons any longer relevant, amongst the scientifically enhanced progeny who dominate modern sporting arenas? Or in their search for ever increasing rewards, have today’s supreme athletes dropped the ball on sportsmanship?
Legendary basketball coach John Wooden once said, “Sport doesn’t build character, it reveals it”. But what is being revealed in modern sporting practice is a win at all costs attitude and a willingness to go beyond the bounds of natural skill and talent. In high profile sport these days, it’s becoming less about the athlete and more about the team physician.
Unless you have been hiding under a rock, or holidaying in the Antarctic, you have probably read or listened to Lance Armstrong’s shocking revelations about blood doping and drug use in the ranks of professional cycling. Speaking with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong admitted to using cortisone, EPO, Human Growth Hormone, Testosterone and blood doping. The seven time Tour De France winner also affirmed his belief that he could not have won those titles without the use of such medical enhancement. Not because he was an inferior athlete naturally, these tactics have become necessary in order to compete.
Of course, Armstrong’s situation is not unique. Open any Australian newspaper recently and once the fatuous ramblings of our nation’s political leaders have forced you to turn to the sports section, you will be bombarded with tales of unethical medical practices and match fixing in the NRL and AFL. It seems that like the politicians, our modern sporting hero’s will do whatever it takes to win. Even if that means cheating.
Finally, I’d like to reflect on another saying from the legendary coach and remarkable person that was John Wooden. “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be”. Unless we heed this advice, there may come a day when sport is no longer about athletes. A time when competition exists only to measure financial success, rather than courage and sacrifice. A game where winning comes down to the expertise of team doctors, rather than champion athletes. Until the day young Billy forgets the lessons that he learned all those years ago at little league. And joins them…

By Richard Rayner


It's astounding, time is fleeting

GRAB your friends and head down to the Coffs Harbour Racecourse

President puts orchids on show

Woolgoolga District Orchid Society President Brian Newman with an award winning Dendrobium orchid, C.K. Ai 'Oka'

ORCHID Society president to put plants on display.

Northern Beaches sport stars soar to new heights

OUTSTANDING: Swimming's next big talents, Madeleine McTernan and Tara Everson (centre) were presented sporting awards by Kevin Hogan (second from right).

Local swimmers recognised by Federal MP for Page

Local Partners

Carlos Santana added to Bluesfest 2017 line up

Carlos Santana at Bluesfest 2013.

Calling all local black magic women

The Dixie Chicks to headline 2017 CMC Rocks festival

US country music group The Dixie Chicks.

ORGANISERS move festival dates to lock in US country music stars.

What's on the big screen this week

Denzel Washington in a scene from the movie The Magnificent Seven.

DENZEL Washington returns in a shoot-em-up Western.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E3 - Which picnic date is better?

The Bachelorette Georgia Love, centre, with her top 11 bachelors.

Lee and Matt get some one-on-one time with Georgia.

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Spring property hard to find

SHORT ON SELLERS: Spring is yet to see the usual influx of vendors keen to sell.

Spring selling season off to a slow start

Coffs region is hot property

The region’s housing market is looking up, with projects on the radar in Tannum Sands and Boyne Island.

Units and houses are both pulling strong returns for Coffs

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record