Things going from bad to worse for Australian sport
Ever since the release of the Australian Crime Commission and ASADA’s investigation into sport in Australia, things seemed to have lurched from one disaster to another for what we consider to be our national past time.
Australian’s love sport, but lately it’s been hard to find a positive sports story.
Yesterday morning we woke up to news that players from the Australian cricket team, from the NRL and from rugby union had been stood down and a player from the AFL had been fined.
While much of the focus has been on Shane Watson and his three teammates who were dropped after the Homeworkgate affair, other major sports in Australia are also dealing with their own issues.
When the NRL season started last Thursday night everyone must have been glad to finally talk about the on-field action but it just hasn’t turned out that way.
The Cronulla Sharks issue is going from bad to worse and is not going away anytime soon.
Then the morning after the first round is complete we discover that repeat offenders Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson from the Canberra Raiders decided to spend the night drinking on a house roof.
Dugan then failed to show up to training yesterday morning which led the Raiders to stand down both players indefinitely.
Then after that came the news that Collingwood’s Travis Cloke had been fined $1000 for repeatedly parking his car in the Chief Executive’s spot at their training base.
This came hot on the heels of the same club fining Brownlow Medallist Dane Swan for undertaking an unauthorised television interview last week.
Admittedly, Cloke’s is not as big an issue as some other incidents but it is still a case of players disregarding instructions and showing very little respect for management and the clubs that pay their salaries.
And that would not be all the controversy for the day.
The Queensland Rugby Union released a statement regarding winger Digby Ioane’s one match ban for being involved in an alleged assault at a Melbourne hotel last Saturday afternoon.
Ioane may consider himself lucky.
Any other time a prominent footballer is involved at an incident at a hotel or club then the spotlight is firmly placed on them for some time. But with the amount of controversy surrounding a number of sports in Australia currently, he seemed to fly under the radar.
It’s now almost easy to forget that only a couple of weeks ago we were discussing the behaviour of swimmers using Stillnox on the eve of the London Olympics.
Then along came Ben Barba, battling his own demons. His off-field issues have led him to become indefinitely unavailable for the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Now Shane Watson is apparently weighing up his future as an Australian Test cricketer while the Cronulla Sharks are battling to stay afloat.
As a whole, the last 12 months have not been the best in Australia’s sporting history.
It was also only last year that jockey Damian Oliver was banned for 10 months for illegally betting on races he was involved with while he stated he had been battling with an alcohol problem.
How about Bernard Tomic refusing to play Davis Cup and repeatedly having brushes with the law relating to traffic offences?
What about the Gold Coast United debacle in the A-League?
NRL had the continuation of the Ryan Tandy betting scandal, while the AFL season was marred by the Kurt Tippett affair as well as the Melbourne Demon’s tanking allegations. That is just to name a few.
But all this was just a warning for the storm that would hit in early 2013.
Australian fans deserve better and any more controversies could lead to people becoming disillusioned with their favourite sport.
That is if they haven’t already.