The Enhanced Games are planned to feature sports such as athletics, swimming, weightlifting, gymnastics and combat sports.

The Enhanced Games is a concept that was founded by Australian businessman Aron D’Souza in 2023. The Olympic-style event has one aspect that makes it unique from other sporting extravaganzas. It allows for athletes to dope.

The Enhanced Games are planned to feature sports such as athletics, swimming, weightlifting, gymnastics and combat sports, none of which would be subject to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules.

The objective behind the Enhanced Games is in boosting athletes’ incomes in non-Olympic years.

D’Souza told the BBC that athletes had contacted him keen to “make some real money” during non-Olympic years.

“Excellence deserves to be rewarded. It is unfortunate that our Olympians earn so little,” he said, lambasting what he called a corrupt International Olympic Committee whose members lived in opulence.

“There are a lot of athletes who are going to compete at the Paris Olympics, including some of the top Team USA track and field athletes who have reached out to me.

“Because, let’s be honest, they’re flipping burgers to provide for themselves, and financially it just doesn’t work for them.

“So they’re very excited to compete at the Enhanced Games to make some real money and have an opportunity to grow their fame, to monetise and practise their sport in the three years that the Olympics won’t be happening.”

D’Souza further said steps would be taken to minimise risks to athletes’ health.

“There’s of course concern about health and safety, and I always underline the fact that everything will be done under clinical supervision,” he told BBC.

“The best thing to do is to enhance yourself with clinical advice, with clinical supervision, and that is much safer.”

No date or venue has been set for the event just yet. But D’Souza claims 900 athletes have expressed interest in being part of the event.

The prize money on offer includes at least $1 million upfront for “the first ’enhanced’ athlete to publicly break Usain Bolt’s (100m) world record of 9.58 seconds.

James Magnussen, an Australian swimmer who won gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics in London and Rio de Janeiro and is a two-time 100m freestyle world champion, was unveiled as the first major name to sign up.

Magnussen vowed to come out of retirement and “juice to the gills” in his bid to break the 50m freestyle world record, all for the $1m prize money on offer.

What has been the response to the Enhanced Games?

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has rubbished the Enhanced Games and its concept. Reuters

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe didn’t mince words on what he thought of the concept. “Well it’s bollocks, isn’t it?” Coe said at a press conference ahead of the World Athletics Indoor Championships.

“I can’t really get excited about it.

“There’s only one message and that is if anybody is moronic enough to feel that they want to take part in that, and they are from the traditional, philosophical end of our sport, they’ll get banned and they’ll get banned for a long time.”

Coe, a strong anti-doping advocate, added: “I’m sure there are crazy things happening in other sectors, we occasionally get them.

“I really don’t get sleepless nights over it. It’s not going to be a page turner, is it?”

WADA, the global anti-doping body, has dubbed the Games “a dangerous and irresponsible concept”.


Source link