Coe dismisses doping-friendly Enhanced Games - RTHK
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Coe dismisses doping-friendly Enhanced Games

2024-03-01 HKT 08:21
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  • Coe delivers a speech on the eve of the Indoor World Athletics Championships. Photo: AFP
    Coe delivers a speech on the eve of the Indoor World Athletics Championships. Photo: AFP
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe on Thursday dismissed the Enhanced Games, a proposed Olympic-style event where doping will be allowed.

The Enhanced Games was founded by Australian businessman Aron D'Souza in 2023 with the aim of boosting athletes' incomes in non-Olympic years.

The Games are planned to include athletics, swimming, weightlifting, gymnastics and combat sports, none of which would be subject to World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] rules.

No date or venue for the event has yet been set.

WADA dubbed the Enhanced Games "a dangerous and irresponsible concept".

"I can't really get excited about it," Coe said at a press conference ahead of the World Athletics Indoor Championships that start on Friday in Glasgow.

"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."

Enhanced Games founder D'Souza says 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.

D'Souza added that 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 said.

Since its announcement last year, D'Souza says there have been 900 athletes who have registered an interest in Enhanced competition.

Prize money on offer includes at least US$1m on the table for "the first enhanced athlete to publicly break Usain Bolt's [100m] world record". (AFP)

Coe dismisses doping-friendly Enhanced Games