January 25, 2013 by Colin Kelly
Cheating in sport is the lowest of the low.
Even if everyone else was doing it, even if you felt coerced, even if you’re a good guy underneath. Even if you have a ‘relentless desire to win at all costs.’
Once is enough to destroy a hero and end a career.
But it’s never just once.
It’s sustained, it’s planned, it comes to define you.
And when you’re caught, what do you do?
That’s the point where you can still change your ways, look in the mirror, start listening to your fans and the people around you, re-discover who you used to be.
Who you really are?
Who you really were?
But you plough on. There’s too much at stake, you’re indestructible. You’re a champion for God’s sake. And it’s all for the greater good, right? The world’s a better place with you on that podium. You’re an inspiration, you’re creating jobs and saving lives. You’re too important.
So you put the machine to work. Deny. Divert. Laugh it off. Threaten. Intimidate.
It hits you.
It’s all for nothing because you can’t hold your head up.
And when you can’t hold your head up it’s all you want to do.
You’d trade it all just to feel ‘clean’. To get the ‘real’ you back.
Don’t they understand? You had to do it. It still took guts, it was still a huge achievement. You’re still a good guy. You’ll show them, you’ll do it again, the right way this time.
But no-one’s listening. Their minds are made up. They’ve moved on.
So you go on TV and bleat for a couple of hours. It worked for Tiger. Maybe they’ll let you move on too. Still time to be remembered as a hero.
But Tiger cheated himself, his family and his sponsor’s image. He never cheated the sport.
So spill your guts, shed your tears, seek forgiveness, sit and wallow.
There’s no place in sport for a cheat.