How cock-ups, ticket scams, racism and hypocricy have tarnished The Games

Sport, as we all know, has nothing whatever to do with politics, which is why the 2012 London Olympics will be an entirely blemish-free zone (well, a tad tainted, perhaps, by the arrival of some of the world’s most dodgy leaders and/or their reps).

As the competition’s motto – ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius…Swifter, Higher, Stronger’ – underlines, this extravaganza is simply about the ethos of peace, endeavour and integrity, a salute to the commitment of the countless fine men and women attempting to excel in their chosen events.

So, forget about the London committee’s serial ticketing cock-ups and the minor inconvenience inflicted on a million or more commuters, who won’t be able to get to work for a fortnight…small prices to pay for the honour of hosting such a grandiose junket – even if it costs up to £10bn Britain can’t spare.

And don’t be fazed by the rampant corruption over black-market ticket touting, mostly emanating from International Olympic Committee (IOC) member sources (54 countries are implicated, according to the Sunday Times). But if a promised IOC probe reveals any impropriety, take it as read the miscreants will receive a very nasty slap on the leg and told not to do it again – at least not until 2016 in Rio.

No, let me remind you AGAIN, it’s all about sport, sport, sport. even if pariah states, like Zimbabwe, are allowed to compete or Saudi Arabia has had its sole medal hopes restored, when the Court of Arbitration for Sport bizarrely lifted a ban on its top show-jumpers, despite their horses testing positive for illicit drugs.

And, while we’re on the subject, I don’t want to hear a murmur from the gender-equality lot over the desert kingdom’s refusal to field female athletes or, should it recur – after it did in Athens, when an Iranian got himself deliberately disqualified, rather than face an Israeli in the judo arena – a whisper about racism or anti-Semitism.

THE OLYMPICS: Sport rules – or does it?

So let’s stick to the script, however hypocritical it may seem to some…the global community of sport, respect between athletes, peaceful competition, blah, blah, blah.

That’s why the 40th anniversary of the cold-blooded massacre of 11 Israeli athlete and coaches at the Munich Games by the PLO’s Black September cutthroats won’t be remembered with a respectful minute’s silence at the opening ceremony, despite an international clamour to do so, sponsored by Australia’s Prime Minister and many leading US, British and Canadian politicians.

No, no, noooo! That would ever-so-slightly smack at the spectre of politics raising its ugly head. And all those cuddly tyrants littering the Middle East wouldn’t like that, would they (busy though they are, crushing any suggestion of reform in the most bloodchilling ways)?

Better still, expunge the slaughter from the collective Olympic memory and be content with IOC boss, Jacque Rogge’s glib overview: ‘What happened in Munich in 1972 strengthened the determination of the Olympic Movement to contribute more than ever to building a peaceful and better world by educating young people through sport practised without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit.’

I can only reiterate how Toronto Star columnist, Rosie DiManno, aptly summed up Rogge’s remarks.

‘What bollocks!’ she wrote.

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