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FoulPlaySI
FoulPlaySI

Currently, 12 Russian cities host one of the main sport events of the quadrennial the World Cup. A holiday, the national teams are being prepared for several years. In turn, the host country (or countries) strives to host this event at the highest level, prepares infrastructure, builds stadiums and provides security. This is all for the only one purpose to allow millions of football fans to enjoy the unforgettable atmosphere of the championship, the spirit of competition and the unity of nations.

Russia has done everything possible and even a little more to put all this into practice. Thousands of fans arrived in this country, even in spite of the fact that the governments of a certain number of countries had called for a boycott of this event several months before the championship. Amid growing tension between Moscow and the European Union, British journalists and politicians tried to intimidate European citizens, sharing fake information about the inhumanity of Russian people, about poverty, about inability of this country to hold events of such level. No British official has visited a single match. So much the worse for them. Already now, at the semi-finals stage, the World Cup 2018 broke several sports records, gave us a series of very tough matches (not considering the match between teams France and Denmark, of course), shocked by Germany's inability to pass the group stage, and also allowed to see the real emotions of Panama national team's fans, who scored a historic goal against England.

In these very days, team England is making history, preparing for the semi-final with the team Croatia. For the first time since 1966, the British national football team can once again raise the coveted cup over their heads and become the best football team in the world. Instead of seeing it with their own eyes, most English fans will have to watch it on TV, having become the victims of the cynicism and impudence of their government.

Indeed, the main victim of British propaganda was the population of the Great Britain, and England in particular. Instead of recognizing the apolitical nature of this event, the British Parliament continues to bend its line and talk about Russian problems, closing its eyes to the chaos in their own political life.

By the way, the British officials remained almost the only ones who did not refuse hostile theses about the boycott of the Championship. Thus, the Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Rasmussen, King of Spain Philip VI, UN Secretary General António Gutteres, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland, the President of Switzerland Alain Berset, the President of South Korea Mr. Moon Zhe Ying, Princess of Japan Hisako Takamado (the first visit of the representative of the imperial family for 102 years), King of Belgium Philip, Croatian President Colinda Grabar-Kitarovich and French President Emmanuel Macron supported their national teams and enjoyed the splendor of the goals. Moreover, the teams of Croatia and France, as well as the aforementioned England, continue their way to the Cup. Emmanuel Macron and his wife are even going to attend the final match in Moscow on July 15.

And now imagine the mood of English players who, due to dirty political games, will not see either the Prime Minister Teresa May or Prince William, who, by the way, is the honorary president of the Football Association. In addition, along with officials, the historical game of English team will not attend thousands of fans treacherously deceived by these officials. Instead of tens of thousands of English fans, only about 6,000 people came to Russia. They are now enjoying the holiday, supporting the national team and waiting for its triumph. The remaining 53 million English people stayed at home with a bitter sense of injustice from being deceived and robbed by their own government. They are not able to be a part of this great event.

P.S. If you do not agree with our subjective opinion, just draw your attention [link from unapproved source] of the British comedian and actor Tom Rosenthal. In his column for The Guardian, he described in detail his personal experience of visiting Russia and attending matches.

FoulPlaySI
FoulPlaySI

The world of sport is nowadays a machine for pumping money. The spirit of competition has fallen into the background giving way to a thirst for profit.

Panem et circenses! (Bread and circuses!) is a famous Roman idiom that demonstrates both basic human needs and potential sources of profit. The Sport is a huge part of entertainment world. Lots of fans are ready to spend huge money to attend competitions and see their idols with their own eyes. Unfortunately, various sports officials benefit from it. They line their pockets and allow the others to do the same, but certainly not for free. The system is running like clockwork: fans get their emotions out while sponsors broadcast advertisements. Construction companies receive orders to build stadiums and other facilities while sports officials take bribes. This pretty idyllic picture is however far from the principles of fair play and ethics that should govern sports competition.

  Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice began a broad investigation of corruption in the world of such sports organizations as the International Olympic Committee, the International Football Federation, the International Association of Athletics Federations and the National Olympic Committee of the USA. The Justice Department is exploring possible racketeering, money laundering and fraud charges related to two track and field world championship events in Doha (Qatar 2019) and Eugene (USA 2021).

 Another example of corruptness can be seen in close ties between the sport’s largest anti-doping organizations and pharmaceutics companies. In 2014, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) signed a global collaboration agreement with the United States pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer that would allow Pfizer to share information on pipeline products that have a potential for athletic performance misuse, and in parallel allow WADA to exchange information with Pfizer on substances that are being abused by athletes. Nevertheless, we should understand that this collaboration is just a smokescreen aimed to develop potentially new and «not prohibited» performance enhancing drugs and sell them to concerned parties or countries.

As we can see, IOC, WADA and other organizations have been created by people who have nothing to do with clean sport but who are perfect in counting numbers and committing frauds. After all, isn’t it the biggest problem in today’s sports world?

FoulPlaySI
FoulPlaySI

Doping in sports is widely discussed in mass-media, and necessity of fight against doping is declared almost every day. No one actually doubts that the use of banned substances in sports should be vanished into oblivion, as well as penalties for anti-doping violations should be stricter.

In the 1980s, American researcher and publicist Robert Goldman asked elite athletes whether they would take a drug that would guarantee them overwhelming success in sport, but cause them to die after five years. The result was astonishing – more than half of athletes responded positively as in previous research by Gabe Mirkin.

The similar analyses held by American scientists in 2013 have shown that only 1% of respondents would take “magical suicide pill.” Thus it shows that the Goldman dilemma is dead today and the international sporting community rather disapproves the use of doping. Returning to the above-mentioned analyses in 2013, only 12% of responders would agree to take banned and harmless drugs. However the disapproval of doping doesn’t mean the problem of doping is overcome. This raises another dilemma: what is doping and what is medical treatment?

It is a very hard task to pick the wheat from the chaff and choose the substances to be banned as doping. There’s no secret that almost every professional athlete uses different types of stimulators, creams and vitamins to increase the effectiveness of a training session and reduce the recovery period. But the border between allowed and banned substances remains unclear.

At the same time, this unsettled issue works in favor of American pharmaceutical companies. These industrial giants develop and produce new performance-enhancing medications in close cooperation with WADA. The companies inform anti-doping authorities about the latest substances that can be potentially used as doping. For instance, such an agreement has been reached in 2014 between WADA and Pfizer headquartered in New York City.

Nevertheless pharmaceutical companies are ready to make money of supplying the athletes with controversial substances. The main goal is to sell off the drugs before they become prohibited. Especially it can be applied to sport supplements.

Sometimes under the guise of harmless sport nutrition the producers smuggle and sell prohibited substances.

The BALCO scandal in 2003 is a clear example. Victor Conte, the owner of San Francisco-based Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) was found guilty of selling sport supplements containing substances that could go undetected by drug testing, even on the Olympic level.

In 2013 Mr. Conte launched another company called Scientific Nutrition for Advanced Conditioning (SNAC) that is still operational. And there’s no guarantee that the man with damaged reputation won’t revert to type and produce a new “invisible substance.” However, WADA keeps silence, it seems that such scandals are beneath WADA authority.

February 11, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed that the United States helped orchestrate the Olympic doping allegations and subsequent ban of the Russian team from the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Due to the recent developments Russia will definitely look for the way to revenge the USA for Olympic ban. American sport-related business – especially pharmaceutical companies – can be put under Russian sanctions, there are no doubts. If China follows Russia the consequences will be very painful for American economy because of the size of Chinese market. This scenario is not fantastic as Beijing has repeatedly supported the steps Moscow undertook in its feud with Washington. The Russian doping scandal can rise to a new level.

FoulPlaySI
FoulPlaySI
Olympics / TUE: Breaking Bad / View Post

[image from unapproved source]

International sports competitions constitute a vital element of the contemporary life. Olympic Games, World Cups, Continental Championships are thrust into the public spotlight and they are not only about leisure interest. In fact, such an event is a way to increase the international status of the country, its prestige and political heft. That’s why the victory becomes priceless and the means to achieve it are quite extreme.

Therapeutic Use Exemptions have already become an essential part of professional sport. Today, this legal doping is not considered as something unusual or unfair. There is no resentment among athletes, coaches or doctors either. And here we face double standards. On the one hand, international sports community promotes a healthy lifestyle, on the other it turns out to be represented by people with chronic diseases unable to compete without any pharmaceutical support.

There is no doubt that sometimes TUEs are used by real frauds who take drugs under the pretense of imagined illnesses in order to improve their performance. However, it is even more blatant when ill or injured athletes are nearly forced to sacrifice their health for the benefit of sports managers, sponsors or the country they represent.

Kathleen Baker has become such a victim. At the age of 14 Kathleen revealed that she suffers from Crohn’s disease, a chronic gastrointestinal inflammation. Despite this serious illness the young girl was forced to compete while poisoning her body with strong hormonal agents. Baker herself called this period “a complete nightmare”.

[image from unapproved source]

The interference into the sports career of an American basketball player Brittney Griner looks horrible as well. FIBA and WADA have found nothing evil in the prescription for lisdexamfetamine, a drug that can cause addiction and other psychological troubles.

[image from unapproved source]

Athletes’ need to take different medical substances stuck so hard in their psychology that even the most prominent champions do not imagine their success without drugs. Such tendency has already turned into obsession. Sometimes sportsmen use substances without understanding whether they really need them. For example, the famous swimmer and multiple Olympic champion Michael Phelps used gabapentin during the certain period of time. Formally this substance is prohibited only in horseracing. But why did the athlete need to use the antiepileptic substance while not suffering epilepsy? This question remains open.

[image from unapproved source]

All statements on the importance of sport for propaganda of healthy way of life look hypocritical while enormous number of sportsmen (not only professionals but amateurs as well) make progress overcoming the diseases – real or imaginary – only with the help of powerful drugs and get more and more new health problems. Sport will never become “philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind” until it remains the arena of governments’ ambitions and advantageous business. Therapeutic Use Exemptions serve as the first obstacle the international sports movement must overcome in order to be able to take the path of purification.

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