Fast food

Stop! You may have a headache; you may even have a slight cold; but before you reach for a couple of whatevers to sort it out, do remember that you may thereby render yourself ineligible for an Olympic gold medal. Alternatively, fired by the fate of Andreea Raducan, the sniffling 16-year-old Romanian gymnast who sought such relief and lost her medal as a consequence, you could start dropping two Nurofen a day in a bid to improve your time to the bus stop. We say: hold on a minute.

Stop! You may have a headache; you may even have a slight cold; but before you reach for a couple of whatevers to sort it out, do remember that you may thereby render yourself ineligible for an Olympic gold medal. Alternatively, fired by the fate of Andreea Raducan, the sniffling 16-year-old Romanian gymnast who sought such relief and lost her medal as a consequence, you could start dropping two Nurofen a day in a bid to improve your time to the bus stop. We say: hold on a minute.

Whether or not you can cheat innocently is a matter more properly left to moral philosophers and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which will announce its decision on Raducan's appeal today. We here are more concerned with considering why the Olympic Games cling to such outmoded ideals when, in every other field of human activity, improving on nature is encouraged, applauded and rewarded.

No, we want to propose a no-nonsense solution that could end all these rather repetitive and tearful press conferences: why not take a leaf out of the book of that legendary runner Alf Tupper, "the Tough of the Track", and insist that athletes ingest nothing but fish and chips for at least a year before competitions?

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