Opinion

Whatever happened to free-range sportsmen?

The Queensland Times reporter Andrew Korner.
The Queensland Times reporter Andrew Korner. Rob Williams

I FONDLY remember the days when there was a lot less money floating around in professional sport circles, because people seemed to take it a loss less seriously then than they do now.

Between the constant onslaught of betting commercials and the ever-emerging scourge of drug use, I am not sure which is the biggest killer of the honest enjoyment of sport.

The comparatively mild annoyance of betting aside, there is something seriously wrong with someone who can justify pumping steroids, calf's blood, turkey semen, stingray tears, eastern quoll bile or whatever their choice of weird, untested internet mutant juice, into a human body in the name of whatever it is they think they are going to achieve.

I don't care if it is technically legal or not.

Please don't tell me that our professional sportsmen have become so much of a commodity that they must now assume the lifestyle of hormone-addled meat chickens.

What ever happened to free-range footy players?

Surely even the old-fashioned beer swilling, barrel-bellied "athlete" - someone like former Aussie cricketer David Boon - is preferable to the kind of person who is willing to win at all costs.

That old saying of putting everything on the line used to apply to what you did out on the field, but it has certainly taken on a new meaning after the events of the last week.

Now it seems that there could be sportspeople taking their biggest risks while they are still in the change rooms.

Don't get me wrong - I hope that this is all, somehow, a big mistake, and that the accusations that have been flying around this week are overblown.

A part of me also thinks that there is no smoke without a fire, somewhere.

While I look forward to a ruthless ASADA investigation weeding out all of the cheats - if there are any - I also hope that it is only a very small element.

At the same time, it would not surprise me to find out that this problem is widespread.

Where there are vast amounts of money involved, it seems there are always crooks and vultures circling for a piece of the action.

Topics:  doping, naughty korner, opinion




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Harding backs 'unfunded' veteran centre

BIG PLAN: Senator Barry O'Sullivan (left) chats with returned serviceman Michael Blaine and LNP candidate for Blair Teresa Harding about their campaign for a veterans recovery centre to be based in Ipswich.

Harding will fight for veterans centre

10 things to do in Ipswich this weekend

WINTER HARVEST: Local farmers Dave Goffman, Tony Gibb and Nick Gibb from Gibb Brothers in Peak Crossing.

Explore the region after making your vote

Brothers hunker down for next six games at home

CAPTAIN CURAGEOUS: Brothers coach Jason Connors returns from Rockhampton toDay ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Swifts.

Bluebirds and Brothers do battle

Latest deals and offers

Junior trio prepare for first cage fight

Real Life MMA fighters Brook Boetje, 9, Hunter Williamson, 10, and Sophie White, 11, prepare for their first ever cage fight.

Real Life MMA fighters Brook Boetje, 9, Hunter Williamson, 10, and Sophie White...

V8 drivers hit Willowbank

James Courtney and Mick Doohan at the 2016 Australian Kart Championship at Willowbank.

V8 drivers James Courtney and Mick Doohan spectated at Willowbank's Australian Kart...

Robbery CCTV

Night Owl Redbank Plains was held up at knife point overnight.

CCTV footage of robbery overnight at Night Owl Redbank Plains.

Arts and culture get a boost in council budget

HAPPY CAMPER: Council’s culture boss Cr Charlie Pisasale will be delighted $400,000 has been allocated for a business case investigation for IPAC.

IPAC at the forefront of councillor's agenda

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four