As the Tour de Farce cycles to another ignominious and scandal-tainted end in Paris, we are left to ponder the rights and wrongs of performance enhancing supplements taken by man and, occasionally, (admittedly, man-administered) beast.
I have lost count of how many people have been caught up in recent years over the drug revelations by the body that regulates cycling. Then recently we have an outburst from Gary Player on the eve of the British Golf Open at Carnoustie claiming golfers are taking drugs. Tennis has not been immune from allegations, and players indeed have been banned for improper use. Jockeys (and their mounts), athletes in track and field, and just about every sport you can name has its problems. And, I suspect, it is more prevalent in the professional ranks than the amateur. Money does strange things to people.
Of course, add to this the fact that in a "hearts on sleeve" series of revelations, it seems that half the new British Cabinet have been admitting to smoking (at least) cannabis when they were students. This, against a background of growing evidence that smoking cannabis can lead to schizophrenia, might account for a lot of things in Britain today!!
But, I digress. Back to sport.
Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I always thought that sporting achievement was a mark of honest human endeavour - not a question of who had access to the best medical science available to improve performance "unnaturally". At least, not in a competitive environment. If you want to experiment on human bodies, keep it separate - or- do as many have suggested to me recently, acknowledge that drugs are out there and always will be, so just let everybody take what they want - and let the best bio-chemist win! Perhaps the 2012 Olympic Games in London could be a real showcase; The first chemical Olympics, and if Labour still happen to be in power, they will at least be able to provide senior level Government Ministers, faces wreathed in smiles, who "understand".