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?