As a diehard sports fan, it really does disappoint me to watch so many different sporting codes go down in ruins these days.
The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) released a report in February that had taken 12 months to compile regarding the state of Australian sport. Instead of outlining possible solutions to help reduce the drugs, match-fixing and other illicit goings on, the fans and sporting public (on the majority) only got details of situations previous.
Now, I am all for writing down reports on issues that have arisen before, but any organisation who decides to back its problems into a corner is severely compromising not only the integrity of Organisation X‘s sport, but right around the world.
It has been going on for years, but there are some who believe these problems “do not exist” and shirk away from dealing with them.
The Lance Armstrong case is a good place to start. Drugs in sport was finally brought to the forefront of the world; yet it took years of investigation and inquiries before Armstrong, in January this year, finally admitted what we had all been suspecting for a long time; that he had used performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in professional cycling. Yet, despite a life ban, I have not seen any conclusive evidence that will put away anyone involved in illicit substances, or any methods of radically changing the sport which now has a severely tarnished image.
Australia has done the same, to an extent. All we have received is a huge bundle of facts regarding the Essendon drug saga and Melbourne tanking scandal (along with the ACC report). All well and good, but if we (as a general sporting community) desire a clean up of sport, it is through practical methodology, not explaining to us either what did happen or what is going to happen. Action needs to be taken.
Drugs exist in sport. Match-fixing exist in sport. So does tanking. But if we back these issues into the corner, then how can we fix sport?
Admins need to pull their heads out from behind their computer screens and attack the problem, not make false promises or statements.
The Melbourne Demons were fined 500,000 dollars not for tanking, but conduct breaching; yet there was still a mammoth investigation into the 2009 season, where the Demons supposedly tanked to get priority draft picks.
For sport as a whole to pick itself out of the dirt, something needs to be done. Fast.