The Fifth Estate
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At the 1960 games in Rome, the first known Olympic doper, Danish cyclist Knud Enemark Jensen, died after being given Roniacol before his race - a drug intended to increase blood circulation.
Yet from the East German swimmers, to Ben Johnson and Marion Jones, athletes have continued to push the boundaries of peak fitness with illegal doping. When Lance Armstrong finally admitted to Oprah Winfrey last month that for him it hadn’t actually been ‘All About the Bike’, the collective disappointment was palpable.
Now, an Australian Crime Commission report has revealed damning allegations of doping, match fixing and links to organised crime in Australian sporting codes.
What should we make of the ACC report? Should we expect more from our athletes and our sporting organisations? And what are the ramifications of sports science wizardry (and other forms of cheating) for Australian athletes, administrators, coaches and fans?
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, the Fifth Estate, now in its sixth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Gideon Haigh has been a journalist 32 years, published 32 books and edited seven others. His latest is book is Stroke of Genius: Victor Trumper and the Shot That Changed Cricket published in 2016 by Penguin Random House.
Peter Gordon is the president of the Western Bulldogs. He led the rescue of the Footscray Football Club in 1989 and served as president from 1989 to 1996. He was an Australian Football League director between 1990 and 1993.
Tim Lane has been broadcasting and writing about sport for more than 40 years. He spent three decades with the ABC covering football and international cricket, and worked at five Olympic Games. Today, he writes a weekly column for the Sunday Age and continues to broadcast AFL games and cricket on 3AW.
Sally Warhaft has been the Wheeler Centre’s in-house news anchor since 2012. In 2018 – over 100 episodes in – the anthropologist, broadcaster and intrepid interviewer’s fortnightly live series continues, as she responds to the most important debates of the day and reignites stories that have fallen off the front pages.
Every second Tuesday, Sally hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs. It’s an event series and a live podcast taping rolled into one. Topical guests are announced in the weeks prior to events: keep an eye on our website (or in the Wheeler Weekly) for updates.
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