Olympic Athletes Were Using Plenty of Drugs in London: Why Don't We Let Them Use the Safe Ones?
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Athletes came to London to win medals... and also to get high and party. In a story published by ESPN, US gold medalist Ryan Lochte talks about leaving the Olympic Village for a drug-taking experience with London soccer fans. Australian soccer’s Alicia Ferguson said the Olympic organizers encourage recreational drug use by athletes during the Closing Ceremonies. US soccer goalie Hope Solo talked about some athletes who are such “extremists” that they will take 20 doses in a night. She even admitted that she and other members of the US Women’s soccer team used a recreational drug all night and appeared on NBC’s Today Show while still under the influence!
Why haven’t the media been blasting scandalous headlines about our Olympians poisoning themselves with a deadly recreational drug and about the drug cartels whose product kills 2.5 million people annually worldwide? Because those drug cartels are official Olympic sponsors and their product is legal.
The Worst Drug an Athlete Could Use
Heineken UK is an official London Olympics “provider and supplier.” Budweiser is an official sponsor of Team USA. Yet, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, “alcohol consumption is high enough for alcohol to have been named the most abused drug in … Olympic sports by the … USOC.” According to the report, “alcohol abuse is at least as prevalent in the athletic community as it is in the general population” and has negative effects on reaction time, hand-eye coordination, grip strength, jump height, fatigue, aerobic performance, and hydration. Unlike any other drug, alcohol “affects the body’s every system, linking it to several pathologies, including liver cirrhosis, ulcers, heart disease, diabetes, myopathy, bone disorders, and mental disorders.”
Usually Olympic alcohol use just ends in embarrassment, like 20-year-old Belgian cyclist Gijs van Hoecke, who was booted from his Olympic team when photos of him clearly overdosed became an Internet sensation. Sometimes Olympic alcohol use leads to anti-social behaviors that affect others. Australian rower Josh Booth was just kicked off the Olympic team and sent back home after he vandalized two store windows in a fit of anger over his sixth-place finish following an alcohol overdose that required hospitalization.
When it comes to drugs and the Olympics, one might think of the world’s most decorated Olympian. However, long before being known for marijuana, US swimmer Michael Phelps had to deal with charges of driving drunk in Maryland at the age of 19 after the Athens Games. Back in 2009 he was spotted partying in New York and “drinking straight from a bottle of Grey Goose” and had “ordered four bottles of vodka.” But the infamous photo of him smoking cannabis from a ROOR bong – a type marijuana aficionadi use – led the USOC to apologize profusely, stating it was “disappointed in the behavior” and Phelps is a “role model” responsible for “setting a positive example for others, particularly young people,” and “regrettably, he failed to fulfill those responsibilities.”
When it comes to recreational drugs, like the rest of the Olympics, it is only acceptable to promote the sponsors’ products.
Promoting the most dangerous recreational drug…
Athletes are subject to a four-page set of rules regarding social media that primarily forbids advertising for non-Olympic sponsors and the use of Olympic trademarks. These rules do not forbid the promotion of drug overdose, as evidenced by Tour de France winner and British cycling gold medalist Bradley Wiggins. Here he is on Twitter with a photo titled “Getting wasted at at StPauls,” while another tweet explains how he is “blind drunk at the minute and overwhelmed with all the messages."
The Olympic organizations can administer their own controls over social media when postings simply reflect badly on the team. Australian swimmers Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk got themselves in trouble with Australian officials when they posted some pictures of themselves holding automatic pistols and pump-action shotguns at a legal US gun store. Officials called the social media postings “foolish and clearly inappropriate” and banned them from using Twitter and Facebook.