ASAGA

Thanks to ‘Tomb’ for this post.

It may seem of little importance, just athletes and drugs; however it is about freedom and if you deny it to any group of people then that can always be applied to anyone or everyone.

ASAGA

The attack on freedom comes in many different ways and in many different areas, from jailing whistleblowers to anti-terror laws. Some of these attacks are in seemingly irrelevant fields such as sport. Athletes being singled out to adhere to rules/laws from which the rest of the populace are exempt. Singling out athletes in this way is bad enough but to place a body overseeing these laws that is outside the judicial system is an attack on the freedom of athletes.

A recent case in Australia of football clubs being used as political tools outside the law is of strong concern. The then Australian Labor government, through its Minister for Sport, spoke of ‘the darkest day in Australian sports history’ in order to try to take the focus away from their dismal poll showings. The Australian Crime Commission looked at it and found there was no evidence of anything illegal and decided not to pursue it, however the sports doping body – ASADA -agreed to and received police powers and increased funding to do so. The Essendon and Cronulla football clubs have been attacked by ASADA, the doping body of sport in Australia. ASADA used intimidation and threats to try to get the players to admit they had taken a banned substance. The players refused as they had not taken a banned substance as far as they knew and ASADA had not given them any evidence that they had. According to ASADA it doesn’t matter if you knew it was banned or that someone was giving it to you without your consent or knowledge. You are guilty. You have to prove it didn’t happen and ASDA can go on rumors to charge you.

ASADA tried to get someone to admit they took a banned substance as they had no worthwhile evidence. Footballers from Cronulla agreed and accepted a penalty of insignificance in order to finish the saga which has dragged on for more than 2 years while those at Essendon refused as they knew they hadn’t and wouldn’t accept an irrelevant penalty to get ASADA off the hook.

The important point here is the role of the media in convincing people there was some grievous crime committed and these clubs particularly Essendon should just accept the penalties. This has been the case without virtually any dissent from all journalists and a witch hunt has been happening for 2 years. The fact that so many people have accepted the guilt without question is of concern. Now one official is appealing a court decision that was seen to be not based on law and the media is trying to label them as monsters for pursuing their legal right.

It may seem of little importance, just athletes and drugs; however it is about freedom and if you deny it to any group of people then that can always be applied to anyone or everyone.

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