So much for all the promises of a clean tour this year. That cycling was now free of drugs.
There is almost no moral difference between the professional sport of today and the amphitheatres of antiquity. The degree to which human life is bought and sold is the same. Modern sportsmen may not be expected to die for our pleasure any more. But they certainly destroy their bodies in all sorts of ways for money, and the result is the same, our gasps at their performances, which wouldn't be as loud or profitable without the drugs which turn the athletes into chemical robots. The implications of genetic engineering in ' sport' are chilling - to abuse a noble word.
The reasons for these modern circuses are also very similar to the reasons of the Caesars. As a distraction. But also as a vast marketing machine for Consumer junk of all sorts.
The Olympics is often still unthinkingly held to be a wonderful display of physical perfection. A kind of global Agricultural Show, where the finest specimens of cattle and crops were paraded and garlanded by conformity to the rules of the Association. These standards of perfection have always been sinister and poisonous, and they still are.
The only difference between the modern Ideal of Perfection and the Classical one being that the former was a visual depiction of hereditary, theistic, hierarchical power, of the ethos of the God King who does not have to compete for his position, and whose body is therefore soft and undistorted by physical work. Praxiteles did not tend to worship muscle .
The modern bucket-necked ideal perfected by the gymnauts and their steroid suppliers is one of pure power. A depiction of the ethos that Might Is Right. That the thug with more muscle than you has the right to rule over you. Which is the same message pumped out by Hollywood.