Monday, February 04, 2013

Can we believe anything is true in sport?

We’ve had the scandal about doping in cycling. In a feeble attempt to defend his position, Lance Armstrong claimed that taking performance enhancing drugs was so widespread, you either had to join in or not bother to take part. Yeah, right Lance – innocent victim!

None of us are so naive enough to believe that doping was and is confined to just cycling. Any sport where performance enhancement techniques will reap benefits was going to be fair game to those who wanted to cheat.  Like with any criminal activity, keeping ahead of the authorities and not being found out is the name of the game for these so called “sports” people.

Football is probably one of those sports where the participants would not benefit from drugs to the same degree as they do in cycling. The problem in football is somewhat different.

Europol are currently investigating 380 football games which they claim were fixed. They have discovered an Asian syndicate responsible for coordinating around 425 match officials, club officials, players and criminals to rig games, a procedure that would have brought them 8m euros in profit from bets.

Knowing this, can you ever watch a match again where your team, who won so well the week before, suddenly lose to less worthy opponents and not suspect foul play? When the incentive to lose is stronger than the will to win, it seems anything can happen in the “beautiful game”.

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