Sport – guilty until proven innocent?

Sport is not my area of expertise. Most of the time, sporting news goes in one ear and out the other. But not today because ABC 774 [bushfire warnings radio station] has been flooded with news of the findings of the Australia Crime Commission. In a nutshell, the Commission found that  ‘legal’ drugs are permeating our sporting institutions.

The problem is that these ‘legal’ drugs are only legal because they have not been found in Australia. Yet. Once they are confirmed here, they can be made illegal but this means that the law is always playing catchup with industries that are expert at staying one step ahead at all times. Of even greater concern is the evidence that suggests some of these ‘industries’ include organized crime. The fear is that athletes will be ‘groomed’ with such grey-area drugs and then blackmailed to co-operate in match fixing.

I simply don’t have the knowledge to comment on how real this problem actually is, or may become, but it did make me think about a legal issue that we all take for granted – the assumption that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

Now I have no objection to that assumption when it applies to people, however I find it really strange that we extend the same presumption of innocence to ‘things’. Like drugs.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to publish a list of acceptable drugs and then ban anything and everything that is not on that trusted list? [We do that with internet security]. Then if someone wishes to use a particular drug [or if it is needed for some rare disease] they must prove the drug is not being used for performance enhancement.

I’m not a legal eagle either, so perhaps my commonsense solution is too simple to be practicable, but I’d really like to know why it couldn’t, or shouldn’t, be done.

Any experts out there who’d care to comment?



About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

10 responses to “Sport – guilty until proven innocent?

  • lorddavidprosser

    Wow, what a challenge to hand down. Your idea seems logical which is probably why no-one will think of it where it counts.Were it not for the time, I’d suggest doing drug tests on all athletes before any major contest (or after)and then banning FOR LIFE anyone found to be cheating. If they can prove they’ve taken a prescription drug for a particular illness OK, but nothing self prescribed. Lance Armstrong took his sponsors for millions and became wealthy off the back of it so if we don’t come down heavily some will think the risk worth it.


  • anneb54

    I think about the Lance Armstrong affair, and the match fixing in European soccer and wonder whether this is just the tip of the iceberg in our footy code.


  • Honie Briggs

    Are you sure you don’t live here in the U.S. Meeks?


  • metan

    I’m listening to 774 as well and when they said earlier that they were amazed to the extent that cheating was rife within sport I nearly choked! Is there money to be made? Well then someone is going to cheat aren’t they? I can’t believe it isn’t worse!


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