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Olympic Games: Games ideal under threat.

THE Ben Johnson spectre hangs menacingly over the XXVII Games.

The shame and disillusionment with the positively tested Canadian in Seoul is the great fear which lurks in the background on the eve of the big events shortly to take place on the Sydney track.

It was the Johnson episode which created so much controversy and which led to the recent banishment of several leading athletes and in the eyes of many ruined the Olympics ideal.

On the surface Britain appears to be one of the worst offenders in the world but this is only because they co-operate, while other countries apparently go to great lengths to sweep all problems under the carpet.

Emphasis

Since the Johnson episode there has been greater emphasis on drug taking as the whole set-up has become tainted by the drugs scandal which has in no small way been encouraged by some unsavoury characters.

Walking and talking to people around the Olympic complex, which looks like another traffic nightmare in the making, there is an uneasy silence about the drugs question.

The Australian Sports Drugs Agency are determined not to be caught out and they have vowed to have a clean Games irrespective of the cost.

It would certainly be a happy Games if there was no drug scandal.

But do not hold out too much hope. That uneasy silence is expected to be broken - and as usual it will be of volcanic proportions.
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Author:Marshall, Brian
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Sep 17, 2000
Words:239
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