Home Ethics Contemporary Issues Athletes are Cattle, Meat on the Hook and Pawns

Athletes are Cattle, Meat on the Hook and Pawns


Is there any real reason to watch the Rio Olympics?  The World Anti-Doping Agency, a guardian of sports funded partially by taxpayer’s money from around the world, wants to make sure the Olympics and all other sports are clean.  Unfortunately, they have found Russian athletes are not clean from doping.

Do sports organizations like the International Olympic Committee really care about the performers at voting time when the primary focus is essentially voting on the next city to host the Olympics in an exchange for money trade-off.  After all, members of these groups have been accused of taking bribes.  If you think they care about the long-term health of the performers and test for drugs for health reasons, think again. The most important aspect for sports organizations is to protect the logo.  After all, the logo is what ensures that money is coming in. The athletes come and go, they are fodder, a sport uses them. Some make a great deal of money, but most do not and are discarded.

Richard McLaren, a lawyer hired by WADA has released a report following his investigation that Russia was involved in a widespread doping scheme. The next question is what to do with the Russian team; do you bar them from the Olympics? There will be some athletes who did not take part in the scheme who will be hurt, but athletes are just cattle–pawns in a bigger game.

The 1980 US Olympic Team never went to Moscow, nor did American allies because of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.  The Soviets and the Warsaw Pact nations returned the favor at the 1984 LA Games. African athletes missed the 1976 Montreal Games because a rugby team from New Zealand played against South Africa. There was a protest because New Zealand was not tossed from the Games for supporting apartheid in South Africa. Athletes are just cattle grazing on the sports ranch with the ranchers doing their best to protect the brand.

By Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business.

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner


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