Swimmer Will ‘Juice To The Gills’ For $1.5m Prize At Drug-Friendly Olympics

A fishy choice of metaphor...

Swimmer Will ‘Juice To The Gills’ For $1.5m Prize At Drug-Friendly Olympics


The ‘Enhanced Games‘ have been a long time coming. Announced last year amidst a context of widespread steroid use in Hollywood that is fast filtering down to mere mortals, the billionaire-backed event hopes to normalise the concept of PED use among athletes, or at least provide those interested in testing the outer limits ofhuman performance with a chance to compete.

Set to take place in 2025, the event is already causing waves in the sporting community. Sport Integrity Australia’s chief, David Sharpe, has openly criticized the event as “grossly irresponsible,” pointing towards the apparent dangers of prioritizing profit over the health and well-being of athletes.

The brainchild of Australian entrepreneur Aron D’Souza, the games have attracted significant financial support — from the likes of US billionaire Peter Thiel — as well as widespread condemnation.

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Sharpe’s concerns centre on the health risks associated with the use of performance-enhancing substances as well as the example that said use would set for the world’s young people and future athletes. He stresses the importance of maintaining the integrity and fairness that Australian athletes — and those around the world — have worked so hard to uphold over the years.

The warning comes amid the news that James Magnussen, a former Olympian and Australian swimming champion, has pledged to compete in the Enhanced Games, potentially receiving a A$1.54 million (US$ 1 million) bonus if he can break the 50-meter freestyle world record during the competition.

Aiming to challenge and disrupt traditional sporting events by allowing the use of performance-enhancing drugs, officials say that the Enhanced Games could undermine decades of anti-doping efforts. While Sharpe did not directly mention Magnussen in his intervention, he nevertheless issued a stark warning about the consequences of competing in such an event, including possible exclusion from future sporting events elsewhere.

Aron D’Souza’s vision for the Enhanced Games includes a wide range of sports, from swimming and diving to gymnastics and combat sports, with potentially massive (though as yet undisclosed, beyond Magnussen’s stand-alone offer) prize money promised to athletes who can break world records.

The ultimate irony here, however, is that none of these records would be officially recognized due to the lack of drug testing. Regardless, D’Souza — supported by Thiel and a handful of other extremely wealthy backers — is currently negotiating with global broadcasters and venues worldwide to host the games and qualifying events as hype continues to build momentum.

Sharpe’s call to prioritize athlete well-being over profit reflects a broader concern for the long-term impact of the Enhanced Games on the sporting landscape. Do you think this is a long overdue leaop into a brave new world of human performance? Or is it undoing decades of work to keep athletes safe and the playfield field level? Let us know.