Without a doubt, the major sport of the Olympic games is Athletics. As the Olympic Games is the most watched sporting event in the world today, how much longer can Athletics continue to allow its name to be dragged through the mud as a result of never-ending stories about drug-taking within the sport. The problem the sport has is not only one of persistent drug taking around the world in various countries and continents, but also at the very highest level of the sport. In 2013 six Jamaican athletes tested positive, with former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell, three-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown and Olympic relay gold medalist Sherone Simpson among those who failed tests, while 17 Kenyan athletes were also suspended in 2013 for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Add to this the suspension of Tyrone Gay, one of the United States and the world's foremost sprinters, and it is obviously a problem that is not going away. Then you have the story of Justin Gatlin currently the leading sprinter in the world this year. At the age of 34 Gatlin is running faster now than at any time during his career and this is after two bans totaling six years in his career. Is it really possible that a human can run faster as he nears the end of his career than he has done at any other stage during his career? Now we also have a story surfacing about Mo Farah's coach Alberto Salazar who is alleged to have been involved in a drugs scandal back in 2001/2 with Mo Farah's training partner Galen Rupp. Drug taking is a poison within all sport that needs to be eradicated and quickly. There should be zero tolerance across the board. No second or third chances should be given to any athlete who is caught cheating the system. It is unfair to all the clean athletes across the world and it also sends the wrong message to youngsters who want to take up the sport.
The sooner the authorities get their act together and decide on a simple procedure to ban all cheating athletes for life, the better for all concerned. If they do not, then the situation will get out of hand and the sport will be ridiculed the world over and known as a sport where cheats prosper.
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