Saturday, 13 August 2016

THE SCANDALS OF RIO 2016

"There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about "

                                Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
As sports lovers round the world prepare for the big race between the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt and his friend and compatriot Yohan Blake, as well as the thrilling soccer encounters yet to come, the walls of the Olympic village have been rocked by one scandal after the other.






No, not scandals like Serena Williams imploding in Rio with a 'record' 37 unforced errors and 5 double faults in a single match but crazy scandals that keep the gossip mills turning ceaselessly. The pre-event scandal brought on by WADA against (especially Russian athletes) and all dirty athletes as a matter of fact, served as a mere appetizer -- a sampling of more scandalous menu a la carte.

THE GREEK - CYPRIOT AFFAIR:
Even before the official kick off of Rio 2016, (a very colourful event by all standards), the event centre was rocked by 'the Greek-Cypriot Scandal'.



Two weightlifters , one Greek and the other Cypriot, (from two Nations with strong historical ties ) made modern day history when they were sent out of Rio for testing positive to banned substances. Although the Greek weightlifter's name has been kept away from the public, the Cypriot was named as Antonis Martasidas .

KENYA'S OLYMPIC NIGHTMARE:
Perhaps the most intriguing of these scandals is the allegation that Team Kenya's Track Manager , Major Michael Rotich is operating some sharp underhand business on the sidelines collecting a 10,000 pounds Sterling fee to offer protection to athletes by giving them advance warning of impending doping tests. In a swift reaction Athletics Kenya sternly criticized the National Olympics Committee over this nightmare. But a question that bothers even more deeply is this :


Is Major Rotich wired up so deeply within WADA that he would have access to that information, and in time enough to be able to reach his 'clients' who also would be able to take action that could affect the outcome of the results? This is not just a big question but any reasonable answer to it would require some rigorous investigation.

THE BOXING UPPERCUTS

Boxing as a sport has so far enjoyed modest attention in Rio 2016, but nothing like a series of these uppercuts from 'team scandal'. A day before the official opening ceremony of Rio 2016, Irish boxer Michael Orielly was asked out of the games. He failed a dope test.


But here is the biggest scandal of all. Two African boxers (Morrocan, Hassan Saada and Namibian, Jonas Junis) hit the bare floor at the Bangui Prison Complex on rape allegations. Now this is not where we want our athletes to be -- as Africans this is definitely not where we want them to be. It also raises huge questions on the quality of information and psycho-social preparation given these athletes. Are they aware that any form of non-consensual sexual act is considered to be 'Rape' in Brazil. This implies that a forceful kissing, or forcefully offering money for any form of sexual gratification is technically viewed as Rape in Brazil.



It's still 8 days to the final whistle in Rio, but would these be the only servings of scandal on our meal plates for the rest of 2016? Maybe Moliere's thoughts on scandals should rest with us awhile.

  "It is a public scandal that gives offense, and it is no in to sin in secret"
       Moliere 1622-1673

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