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August 7, 2006 | by  | in Opinion |
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Biting the Hand that Injects

If Hanse Cronje were alive today, he’d be fast approaching his 37th birthday. Should his international cricketing have career ended in less scandalous terms, (and, naturally, had he not have died the same way Krusty the Clown did on the Simpsons), he would almost certainly be manning the commentary booth at Lords or The Wanderers, or indeed acting as an ambassador of excellence in a sport that prides itself on tradition and gin-soaked sophistication.

But, alas, that wasn’t Hanse’s style. Where Maradona scored a goal thanks to a helping hand from bloke upstairs, Cronje slipped in the piss of the cellar-dwelling juggalo downstairs. He was disgraced, humiliated, and became synonymous with dirty dealings both on and off the sporting field, tainting the good name of Hanse for all eternity (honestly, would you now trust anyone called Hanse?).

Cronje bit the dust – or faked it – back in 2002, and yet, the world of sport is still very much playground for a perverted few with greed on their minds. The long-held ideals of fair play and sportsmanship have continued to be besieged by those hell bent on corrupting them in a bid to have a slice of delicious sporting success. In spite of some reasonably staunch attempts to lay this taint to waste, it’s unfortunate to say the taint is still there. And it’s dirty.

Last week saw Tour de France winner Floyd Landis return a high sample of a substance usually unseen in France: testosterone. Immediately, the humble sport of mountain cycling was thrown into chaos amidst accusations it was little more than a hotbed of corruption and sleaze. The actions of Landis, who still maintains his innocence (the result of his b-sample is still pending), only further decimates the image of not only cyclists, but elite sportspeople worldwide. The absolute misfortune of the first two-balled Tour de France winner in seven years testing positive for a performance enhancer is so freakishly uncanny, there’s absolutely no chance there could be a repeat performance somewhere else… and the time it took you to read the previous sentence, Olympic 100m Gold Medallist Justin Gatlin annihilated several records by being the second American world champion dumb enough to test positive for a performance enhancer in the last week. And don’t even get me started on Olympic discus champion Natalya Sadova of Russia who also faces a lengthy stint on the sidelines for a similar doping offence. Three distinguished athletes, the pick of the litter, the shiny nuggets of golden distinction, the Lana Cocrofts of the Wheel of Fortune of Sport: Cheaters. Every last one of them.

I could continue to list examples of countless other misdeeds, but I think the point is frightfully clear; in spite of all efforts to eradicate doping from the world of sport, drugs have curdled their way into the world of milk and honey and it has started to turn bad. It’s an epidemic the likes of which world sport has never faced before and it’s something that looks set to entrench itself in sporting culture…

Until now. I, calling upon my vast knowledge as the sports columnist for a student publication that invites readers to use its pages as toilet paper in times of need, propose the following solution to the problem of doping/bribery/match fixing, and such. My proposition is one-fold, but it’s a goody. Every athlete who turns in a positive drug sample is instantly offered a contract to compete in the former World Wrestling Federation.

Now, think about it. What showcase of human idiocy cultivates a culture of bribery, match fixing and drug use more than the world of Professional Wrestling? They don’t go together as well as wine and cheese, in fact, it’s probably more of a Budweiser and Grits type of relationship – but what better arena for these obviously talented athletes to flex their wares than in an organization where championships are awarded on the basis of steroid consumption and/or the ability to take a chair shot to the head? The WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) has a history of hiring former Olympic athletes (Gold Medallist Kurt Angle and Oreo-shaped weightlifter Mark Henry), as well as a history of completely transcending the bounds of stupidity and skyrocketing through the glass ceiling of class and sophistication. It’s win-win!

Imagine it: Floyd Landis has the Undertaker on the ropes, victory is but a ‘Steroid Stomp’ away, when all of a sudden, Hanse Cronje’s music hits and he storms the ring with a cricket bat, laying siege to both competitors, while the crowd loses all inhibitions and the referee tries in vain to stop the chaos with vigorous bell ringing. Oh my!

Oh well, if anything it would inject some excitement into Sky 1’s schedule.

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Kia ora, biography box, kia ora.

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