Irony in the Time of the Olympics

It was a typically British farce that there was a lot of bother over whether drugs cheat Dwain Chambers should represent Britain at the Beijing Olympics. We are going to a country that has a human rights record that the Nazis would have been proud of and we are worried about a fellow who took drugs, served a ban and now would like to compete again?

Speaking of Nazi Germany, I wonder how the BBC would have represented the 1936 games if they were held today? Presumably, Monkey would have been replaced by a cartoon based on Adolf the Aryan and his adventures in prehistoric Germany.

Back to Beijing, however, and I am beginning to think that this should be called the Ironic Olympics. The Daily Telegraph reports that Beijing has been warned about the threat of new performance enhancing drugs, which could be more difficult than ever to detect. Given China’s previous record with drugs – see the scandals involving its swimmers in the 1990s – it is a good job that the threat from the drug is ‘minimal’ (although how does that square with the scientific warning that the drug is being used now?). But, no doubt, the swimmers were acting without the knowledge of the state. China has, after all, a good record of letting its citizens get on with their lives.


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