Fink: Australia can be proud of drugs record

FOX Sports columnist Jesse Fink believes due credit should be given to Australia for at least trying to eradicate the problem of drug cheats in sport.

Other Sports News: Australian Crime Commission press conference

Australian sport is in turmoil over allegations the country's biggest codes - the Australian Football League and National Rugby League - are awash with prohibited drugs, compromised by organised crime and at the mercy of shady sports scientists and even shadier match fixers.

The extent of the situation is even more dire than the Australian Crime Commission let on in its press conference on Thursday.

"The use of WADA-prohibited substances is more widespread than identified," it said.

The reaction from local sports figures and politicians has been predictable. Attacking the agency for releasing the report so publicly, for smearing Australia's reputation without presentable evidence, for not naming names.

The detail will undoubtedly emerge in the coming days and weeks. Expect a few panicked culprits to out themselves, which is surely part of the ACC's strategy.

In my view the ACC is to be applauded for lobbing this stone into the lake of complacency that is the Australian media when it comes to the insidiousness of drugs in sport.

In just 48 hours of fevered press reaction we've got a better understanding of what has really been going on at some clubs and the rubbish they've been administering to their players than we could have expected from years of standard reporting.

The administrators of the nation's sporting bodies have been put on notice. They have been caught napping. A wake-up call was urgently required.  

But to think Australia is an isolated case when it comes to the scourge of peptides, hormones and other drugs affecting sport is whistling Dixie.

Is the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS and NHL being subjected to the same sustained investigative scrutiny from domestic crime agencies in the United States? Is the EPL and Super League in England? Is La Liga in Spain? Is Serie A in Italy? Is the Bundesliga in Germany or Ligue 1 in France?

Talk to different people and you will be told different things.

Do not be misled by the press ructions or the sensational headlines. Australia is not a rogue state on the issue of drugs in sport.

It has not lost its halo as a "clean" sporting nation.

What the events of this week have in fact underlined is that Australia can be proud that it is one country actively doing something about drugs in sport and not putting its head in the sand.

Something other countries cannot justifiably boast.



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