Just a couple of observations this week that make me wonder what we need to do to change the way we think in this country. The first concerns track and field athlete Jason Livermore, who will know at the end of next month whether he will be barred for four years for taking a banned substance that he says he was taking to improve his fertility.
Over the last few years, I have covered a number of anti-doping cases involving Jamaican athletes, and more often than not, the athletes, in their defence, claim that they knew nothing about anti-doping workshops, or about Therapeutic Exemptions, or the anti-doping list itself, which is updated by the World Anti-Doping Agency every year.
I find this line of argument bemusing. When you become a professional athlete, you have to be aware of what is involved. You train, you eat right, you get rest, you compete, and you earn money. But you also have to be aware of the things that can affect your career. Things like anti-doping, things like how you conduct yourself in public, and how to position yourself to take advantage of whatever success you might achieve.
Too often, I believe, too many of our athletes are only concerned with training and competing. They seem to ignore everything else, especially about anti-doping, and it's costing them. When you talk to the people at the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission, they will tell you the workshops they host are rarely ever attended by our athletes, who, in my estimation, never seem to believe they are important. That is, until they get into trouble.
That has to change because they also need to realise that they are not only hurting themselves, they are also hurting their country and fellow athletes as well.
The other concern I have pertains to the idiots who seem to lose their minds whenever a political party conference is being held. When it is not the green fools, it's the orange idiots hanging outside bus windows. The bus drivers run traffic lights, endangering the lives of folk going about their business.
What is it about this political fervour that seems to make people take leave of their senses?
It is their right to support whatever party they choose to support, but that support has to be tempered with a sense of maturity and decency. Right now, there is none of that going on among these rabid supporters.
It's time for someone in authority, who has been ignoring these issues, whether intentionally or not, to put an end to the madness before something very bad happens.
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