The National, Friday February 27th, 2015
OVER the past few months, all the talk and focus on the Pacific Games has been on the venues, contracts and deadlines.
Anyone would think the event was more to do with the venues and structures than the actual athletes who will compete in them.
Granted the venues are a key element of the Games and so should be given the attention they deserve, one cannot help but turn to the men and women who will use them to bring glory to their countries and to strive to stretch physical and mental boundaries in terms of the competition and their ability to finish on top — ahead of the pack.
At the end of the Games performances are what sticks in the memory of the fan and more importantly what the record books show.
Attaining a level of accomplishment that allows one to be crowned king or queen of their particular sport is the ultimate goal.
But that achievement can be hollow and lose its currency if the athlete uses substances (drugs) to gain an edge on their fellow competitors.
The rewards of finishing first these days in serious and semi-professional sport is reason enough for some to risk their reputations.
Respect for the ethical practice and unwritten law of fair contest does not apply to these people.
Although the Pacific Games is not considered an event that has drug problems, there have been instances where athletes have been caught using means other than their own sweat and honest effort to claim medals.
Drug testing will be carried out in a major PNG sporting event for the first time and this shows that we are joining the rest of the world in maintaining a level playing field and that anyone who attains their moment of triumph does so because they put in the effort and made it on their own.
The way any contest should be played.