Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Gareth Hock in Paradise White

What drives the modern sports star to the edge of insanity? Is it the constant pressure of success? Maybe the media invasion of personal affairs? Or even the harsh reality that comes with failure? Today it was reported that Wigan and England forward, Gareth Hock, has been tested positive for the banned substance cocaine and has been provisionally suspended by the Rugby Football League, pending an investigation.

Cocaine isn’t the typical drug associated with the game of rugby, but more you would relate to the rock n roll lifestyle of the likes of Motley Crew and Kiss. You often hear about the odd athlete being caught in the act enjoying a smoke, but the happy powder is one that’s becoming more frequent in the lifestyle of the professional sportsperson.

English international Matt Stevens, was banned for the same reason earlier this year, claiming: “Many athletes – like most of us – like to let off a little steam from time to time.” Surely having the right to demolish the opposition and bring them to their feet, by near enough any means, is stress relieving enough. The sport of rugby itself should be like a drug to the players that have dedicated their lives to play the game - that’s the reason they got involved in the first place.

With alcohol and marijuana having hangover effects on the human body, the increased number of athletes that turn to the mama coca is increasing to let off the ‘ever rising pressures of the game’. Wendell Sailor, Martina Hingis and Richard Gasquet - allegedly - have all fallen victim to the illegal substance.

If sports stars are tempted to turn to the movie star drug, then they must question their dedication to the sport, as there is always up and coming youngsters that will happily fill their boots if given the chance.

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