I have to say, I'm really not fussed with the big hoopla that is going to be the London Olympics, 2012. I might check in on the opening ceremony and the odd high profile event where we are in with a shot at gold. But other than that, I have to confess that I couldn't give two hoots. It's not that I don't like sport either (tennis and football are my favourites), but aside from the fast track events, the Olympics has never really floated my boat. I don't understand why people get so excited about what to me is a borefest of sports that you never hear anything from at any other time - and for very good reason. I am also going to be watching from behind the palms of my hands, maybe even from behind the sofa when they let Boris (our esteemed London Mayor) loose on proceedings. The whole world will be watching, for goodness sake...However, watching Boris spout nonsense will be nothing compared to the shame I will feel when Team GB is forced to present to the world athletes that have previously been given lifetime bans. Theoretically, I like to believe that everyone deserves a second chance in life. But I do believe there should be a few exceptions, representing one's country at a national level being one of those. Doesn't matter if it's playing for the national football team, competing in the Tour de France or at the Olympics. Once you have cheated, that should be it. You know the consequences and you accept the punishment when you are caught.
Which is why I found the ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport - overturning the British Olympic Association's Lifetime ban policy - extremely disappointing. After all, what does it say to our children when they hear that cheats do not necessarily always get their comeuppance? It's bad enough that they see footballers diving all over the football pitch, getting rewarded penalties and causing their fellow professionals to get sent off. But now in what is supposed to be the purest sporting event in the world, cheats can once again prosper. Dwayne Chambers and David Millar may indeed represent Team GB once more, and if they win gold - how hollow will that victory feel?
These are fairly depressing times, what with austerity and the nagging feeling that society's moral standards are on the decline. Dull as I personally may find much of the actual sport, I would still like to feel that the Olympics stands for what is still good and pure in the world. That is still about hopes and dreams and people triumphing, sometimes against all odds. The Olympics is still a symbol of the world coming together - a light that never goes out. So why sully its legacy? Even if other nations choose to allow those who have let down their country and fellow athletes to compete again, why should the British Olympic Association, who still wishes to honour fair play, be forced to go against its principles?