Obviously when it comes to performance enhancing drugs the vast majority of us are as ignorant as they come. Now, I had always assumed that TUE was an abbreviation for Tuesday? But in the Athletics world in general and the Olympic world in particular it has a completely different meaning.
Here it’s an acronym for Therapeutic Use Exemptions. Now I don’t see the point in beating about the bush so I’ll just call a spade a spade. It’s an Olympic size fraud that allows athletes to legally cheat. You may have noticed that in recent days TUE has been all over the news as it has just emerged that Sir Bradley Wiggins no less was granted an exemption to take therapeutic drugs for his severe asthma. However it just so happens that the little concoction that he was pouring down his neck contained banned performance enhancing chemicals which just happen to come in handy when you spend a month pedalling like a lunatic across the French alps!!
Of course it’s a fraud against clean athletes. But here’s the rub. As you watch your favourite athletic sport from judo, to pole vault, to shot putting or professional cycling, you’ll never know which athlete has been granted the TUE because there are no rules which demand disclosure. So there you go. Half of the world’s most, supposedly, elite sportsmen and women are close to death from asthma, bronchitis, chest complaints, heart disease and God knows what else. But these athletes can obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption allowing them to compete with prohibited performance enhancing substances swilling around in their bodies. Thank God for Boots the chemist eh? Or should we be thanking God for the ‘Fancy Bears’ without whose hacking into the Wiggins and Chris Froome’s personal medical records, nobody would ever have been any the wiser. Funny how one underhanded method always seems to reveal another don’t you think?
And did you know that as drug taking loopholes are challenged the amount of elite athletes applying for therapeutic use exemptions now outweighs applications for UK citizenship from asylum seekers!!!!
Of course the ‘Athletics Comedy Club’ also known as the World Anti-Doping Association has declared that these therapeutic exemptions are perfectly legal etc etc. Well that’s all OK then because the moral of what these athletes are doing is never called into question? We shouldn’t be surprised because sport is now so morally bankrupt that morals no longer play any part in the pursuit of Gold. You know in Ireland recently, the government was castigated by the European Commission for what they perceived was a cosy tax arrangement which allowed a giant corporation like Apple to pay 0.05% tax. This meant that for every one million pounds profit declared by Apple, they had to pay fifty euros in tax!!! All perfectly legal of course. Who gives a toss about morals? The Irish Government granted Apple its own TUE?
But what gets me is that elite sport is all about being the very best you can be and then pitting yourself against the very best opposition. Elite sportsperson should mean exactly that. Free from disease and illness and as close as you can possibly get to being a specimen of athletic perfection. Anyone who needs therapeutic exemptions to compete on this level should be denied and pointed towards para-Olympic events. Indeed the para-Olympics should have a category exactly for this category of athlete?
Apparently Team Sky has a ‘no needles’ policy which is akin to a mass murderer having a ‘no knives’ policy. It’s complete nonsense. In the meantime, Sir Bradley Wiggins et al may be comforted that what they did was all perfectly legal according to WADA, but in my eyes and in the eyes of so many others his and Chris Froomes’s victories are as hollow as their bicycle frames.
24th September 2016