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Analysis
04-03-2017
Reports of world class athletes' doping allegations potentially used as a political tool to destroy the reputation of competitors' athletes
Author : Hendrajit, Geopolitical analyst of the Global Future Institute (GFI)

Actually, the sportsmen and sportswomen caught using performance-enhancing drugs (doping) are not new things in the world of sport. When sport is nowadays more closely associated with the prestige and dignity of the superpowers, the issue of doping has the potential to be used as a political tool.


Before we discuss further, we should first describe some world class athletes accused of doping. Maria Sharapova, the Russian tennis star has recently been accused of using banned substances in the form of meldonium for years. According to Maria Sharapova, she did not know if Meldonium was part of doping.

In another case, Ben Johnson, the world's fastest sprinter from Canada was accused of using banned substances Stanozolo at the Olympic Games in Seoul South Korea in 1988. In fact, he won a gold medal. As a result, his gold medal and record with a time of 9.76 seconds was abruptly revoked by the committee.

In 2013, Tyson Gay, the US fastest sprinter admitted doping and did take part in the world championships. The day after the Gay's statement, Jamaican athletes Asafa Powell and Nesta Carter was also reported of using doping.

The Argentine football star Diego Maradona was caught for doping at the Football World Championship in the United States. Even Indonesia has ever become a victim of using doping.

Arif Rahman Nasir, the Kempo sportsman at the 2011 SEA Games, had to be suspended and banned frong taking part in the sporting event because of doping. As a result, his gold medal must be returned to the SEA Games Federation.

In swimming, Indonesian sportsmen had a similar fate. Indra Gunawan and Guntur Pratama were suspended and banned for reportedly being proven using methylhexaneamine substance, a specific stimulant substance (S.6.b) that is included in the prohibited list of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Whereas in the Asian Indoor Championship and matrial Arts Games 2013 in South Korea, Indra became the first champion in the 50 meters breaststroke. Of course, because of the case, his gold medal must be returned to the committee.

Political meddling behind Richard McLaren reports

But there are some quite alarming facts that need to be examined deeply. Because, if we look at some facts related to this case, generally those reported of allegedly using doping are the champions of gold medals from various world-level championship events. As Ben Johnson, Irina Korzhanenko, Kenyan boxer David Munyasia, as well as some sportsmen that we mentioned above including some Indonesian athletes.

At this point, the reports of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to some world-class athletes for accused of doping, could not simply be trusted its credibility, especially when Canada is a pro-American and Western European country. So it is not impossible the reports made by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren in 2016  had a political interest and could no longer be considered credible.

The fact that there are several world-class athletes from Russia accused of using substances categorized of doping, is probably influenced by the United States and some Western countries.

If, indeed the case, then it could be concluded that there are strong indications there has been a political interference in the sport. Namely to encourage the sport as part of geopolitical pressure against a particular country. Or even to destroy the reputation and credibility of the sportsmen of the countries targeted through the politicization of doping.

On this stand, the Jakarta-based Global Future Institute (GFI) strongly supports any effort taken various parties objected to or suspicious of possible political motivation behind the McLaren reports, to investigate deeper into the reports.

Beware of political meddling at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia

As we all know, Indonesia will host the Asian Games in 2018. Of course, the Indonesia's reputation and credibility will be at stake in the Asian event which will reportedly be held in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra. Moreover, Indonesia is the second time hosting the games, after the first in 1962 during the reign of President Sukarno.

Given the fact that two Indonesian swimming athletes Indra Gunawan and Guntur Pratama had suffered the fate of accused of doping and the Kempo athlete Arif Rahman Nasir, the Indonesian government, in this case the Ministry of Youth and Sports, has to further increase vigilance so that the Indonesian outstanding athletes in the Asian 2018 Games could not be easily trapped into doping scandals and knocked out of the arena.

Political meddling in the sport as stated by some circles related to the the Canadian Richard McLaren reports by using the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to some sportsmen winning gold medalists from several countries has to be carefully taken into account. In turn,  there will be no more Indonesian athletes having the same fate as such athletes as Indra Gunawan, Guntur Pratama and Arif Rahman Nasir in the much-awaited sporting event.

Thus, in anticipating the 2018 Asian Games, it would not be enough if it is handled by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, but also must coordinate with the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs and the State Intelligence Agency (BIN).



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