Monday, 30 June 2008

To boycott or not to boycott, that is the question.

There is an argument currently under way that suggests that Dwain Chambers should not be allowed to contest the ruling by the British Olympic Association that he be excluded from Britain's Olympic Team to the Beijing Olympic Games this August.

The question for me right now is not that he be excluded, or indeed included, despite his ban following his use of performance enhancing drugs, or whether or not there should be such a high profile public debate about it.

The Daily Telegraph quotes an open letter from the BOA as saying,

"The core foundation of the Olympic Movement is its values of fair play, respect and friendship...

My own opinion is that this core value has been missing for as long as I can remember and that it is bound to be missing for as long as nations compete in sport under their national flags. It is, I believe, of such importance to some countries to win at all costs, that they will condone the secret use of drugs in their teams on a massive scale.

The USA, along with China, and the Soviet bloc, as they were, used drugs and politics to get one over on their competitors. We all recall the stories years ago alleging Bulgarian women shot-putters of needing to shave twice a day. But joking apart, these countries and others have lost the ability to play the game.

I also feel that China should never have been awarded these games, purely on their record of human rights, and so now, for what it may be worth, I say "Boycott The Games."

I for one will not watch or cheer any team at the Beijing games. I don't for one minute imagine it will make any difference to anyone other than me. But it will sit well with my conscience. If enough people who felt likewise, were to do the same and let the sponsors know, then a real change could be made.
That would mean not buying Coca-Cola for instance; or a McDonalds, or using Visa to buy them. There are enough sponsors apart from those giants, to be influenced.
And I would like to see the Chinese people that have recently been arrested and detained in mental institutions for their outspoken oppostion to these games, released...

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