The furore over drug use in professional sport has escalated to monumental proportions in recent times. The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) inquisitional enthusiasm to prevent any kind of doping has resulted in the institution of one of the most intrusive and inhumane inspection systems ever conceived.
This week Jools Oliver told a national newspaper that she regularly checks her famous husband Jamie Oliver’s phone and email accounts to make sure he is not being unfaithful. This was greeted with a storm of disapproval, but is checking your partner’s correspondence healthy behaviour within a relationship?
There’s a saying that there are two kinds of women; those who make life easier for other women, and those who make life harder. Like any good saying, there are times when it feels true. But there’s an alienating premise to it. It assumes that it’s the responsibility of women to navigate – not challenge, but navigate – patriarchal pressures. It assumes that misogyny, with all its evils, is our fault.
Whether one plays to win or plays to simply play doesn’t bother me one whit. If you can’t win in sport, you lose. I don’t want India to win in cricket, Reading or East Bengal clubs in football, or Roger Federer in tennis at any cost; I want them to win at all costs. The pursuit of winning a game, unadulterated by petty diversions, is the very essence of sport.
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