Yet again another blog entry and another topic in which I feel very strongly about. Drugs. We live in a society where drugs appear to not only become more readily available but they are seen to be more used. I often ask myself questions – Why? What edge does this give you? Do you need a “buzz” to give you the confidence to go up to someone in a club?
What worries me are the kids growing up in this world who can be so easily influenced by what they may see or hear. Kids may watch Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo and try to emulate their heroes with a ball at a park all day, but what’s to say that someone won’t be just as easily influenced by the millions of pounds Lance Armstrong has made off the back of a lie? I am by no means claiming that a young kid is going to be exposed to performance enhancing drugs however, if someone sees someone they have idolised for such a long period of time and for them to do something so morally wrong and against law, will this make it all okay in their eyes? Will this lead that young person to believe recreational drugs are okay, or crime in general for that matter.
I write this in era where drugs are worse in sport than they have ever been before, or at least we are more aware of them. This comes off the back of one of the world’s most recognised and decorated sportsmen being found guilty for doping. Lance Armstrong joins a list of many athletes who have used performance enhancing drugs to enhance their chances of fame, money or to nullify their personal insecurities – either way in my opinion it will leave a lasting effect on future generations and something stronger should be done to stop this.
This is not the only case of drug use we have in sport – Many professional sports stars have been caught for recreational drug use also. Take football for example there are the more well known cases of Diego Maradona and Adrian Mutu at but what about the one’s which can slip under the radar. Gary O’Connor was caught at Birmingham City using cocaine and was fined and suspended by the club; however the club never made it public and claimed he was having an operation and would miss some crucial games. How many other cases are there like this and others who haven’t been caught? How many young St. Johnstone fans grew up idolising George O’Boyle before he had his contract terminated for gross misconduct after using cocaine at a Christmas party? If this wasn’t for a timely intervention by the club physio would anyone have been any the wiser?
To me it seems very conceivable how someone can be caught up in what they believe to be normality when really all it is a jumped up version of what people believe to be stardom, it’s about what we can do to help influence kids in the right way. If this means the UK anti-doping agency introduce firmer laws on recreational drug testing as well as performance enhancing drugs then I for one am all for it.