Today’s explosive revelations that lifted the lid on illegal drugs and match fixing in Australian professional sport should come as no surprise.
The whole shameful issue is rooted in the extraordinary amount of money available to our top athletes and the opportunity for punters to profit from their exploits.
And the biggest single earner from this system is…government, which relies on legalised betting for about one tenth of its income.
When legalised betting was extended from horses and dogs to human only sports it established a slippery slope that guaranteed today’s result.
Organised crime… ever on the lookout for new revenue streams…has gleefully embraced the prospect…with clear evidence … and convictions of competitors who have performed or not.. according to the instructions of their crooked masters.
Australians have loved to cast aspersions at foreign sportsmen and women who’ve been caught out.
Who are we kidding to think that some among the ranks of our own countrymen and women have not taken bribes for performing to affect a result?
Evidence that the other half of the tragic story… extensive illegal drug taking… has been staring down sporting administrators in this country for decades.
The West Coast Eagles were the most prominent local team exposed for drug taking and links with notorious criminals
Today they and their other local AFL rivals…the Fremantle Dockers…have gone to ground, refusing to acknowledge or discuss the crime commission report.
And Essendon FC… now only the tip of the iceberg that is this scandal… are likely one of only several clubs that will now have the broom put through them.
And AFL is not alone…it seems the tentacles of crime…drug traffickers and match fixers… have permeated most major professional sports in this country…including Soccer, Rugby League, Rugby Union, tennis and cricket.
What govt does about it will define the future of the most high profile sports…since no parent should want their son or daughter signed up to a future where they’ll be called on to cheat or risk their health for dirty money.