An ‘Enhanced Games’, which allows the use of performance enhancing drugs, has been launched and plans to rival the Olympic Games.
The zany start-up has been created in response to what they believe is an exploitative and corrupt Olympic model. The idea comes from London-based businessman Aron D’Souza, who has grown sick and tired of the current system of elite sport and wants to shake up the market.
D’Souza’s plans would see athletes compete across five categories – athletics, aquatics, gymnastics, strength and combat – while being allowed to use whatever drugs they choose. While whoever came first, second or third would be awarded medals, the biggest prizes would be reserved for those who ‘break’ world records.
The Enhanced Games wants to push boundaries and believes performance enhancing drugs have been wrongly vilified. D’Souza thinks that without drug testing the 100 metres could be run in under nine seconds – way faster than Usain Bolt’s current record of 9.58 seconds – and wants to hold the inaugural event in December 2024.
“Athletes are adults… and they have a right to do with their body what they wish – my body, my choice; your body, your choice,” he told the Australian Associated Press.
“Nothing will improve the productivity of our society more than preventing ageing. It sounds like science fiction now but we live in the future, look at the rise of artificial intelligence and other technologies. We believe that science makes humanity – and sports – better and fairer.”
The Enhanced Games website lists several athletes and doctors who are on board with D’Souza’s eye-catching plan. The most high-profile athlete involved is Roland Schoeman, an Olympic gold medalist swimmer who tested positive in July 2019 for a substance he maintains he did not use.
While the idea has the backing of a small minority, there has already been some push back. Anna Meares, who won a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games in cycling, has slammed the proposal.
“It’s a joke, to be honest,” she said. “Unfair, unsafe – I just don’t think this is the right way to go about sport.” Legendary American sprinter Michael Johnson tweeted: “This is pretty ridiculous.”
While the ethos of the games are based on the idea of no drug testing, D’Souza also believes that a rival to the Olympics is needed in order to give athletes a better deal. The website states that, “Enhanced will deliver a high-impact yet cost-efficient games, so we can share the profits with the athletes”.
It is highly critical of the International Olympic Committee, which organised the Olympics. It states that: “Because the Enhanced Games are for-profit, we are responsible to our shareholders – and are incentivized to run efficiently, and treat our athletes – the backbone of our movement – properly.”