SWANNY'S WORLD OF SPORT: Being an idiot can sometimes help

I presume it's not compulsory to be an idiot to run world sporting organisations, but it clearly helps.

Wednesday, 3rd May 2017, 4:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:18 pm
Paula Radcliffe could be unfairly punished.

The naked corruption of past officials with FIFA and the IOC are well documented, but there remain far too many grand-standing, PR-obsessed, self-promoting personalities in key positions.

Athletics chiefs are busy embarrassing themselves. They want to expunge all world best times/distances from before 2005 from the record books in a rather feeble and indeed cynical attempt to prove they are serious about cleaning up their sport.

It’s a noble idea if everyone who set a world record before then was a cheat. Many were and deserve to have their names forgotten and their reputations trashed.

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Maria Sharapova should be denied a wild card to Wimbledon.

But many others were clean. Why should Paula Radcliffe lose her marathon record just because Florence Griffith-Joyner was a bent sprinter?

Why should Jonathan Edwards be stripped of his triple jump mark just because the most infamous cheat of them all, Ben Johnson, was doped to the eyeballs?

It’s illogical and damagingly unfair to those who competed without chemical help.

Athletics is not the only sport to become confused by drug issues.

Maria Sharapova should be denied a wild card to Wimbledon.

The return of Maria Sharapova to the ladies tennis tour is currently causing a stink, and not just because she has come back with an ever louder grunt and an ever more piercing shriek.

The organisers of a recent event in Stuttgart were quick to award a drugs cheat a wild card place in their little tournament, but I will be appalled if the French Open or Wimbledon do the same. I wouldn’t put it past them though.

What sort of message does it send out to others tempted to boost performance by taking substances they don’t actually require when, if you get caught, you serve a short ban and then watch tennis promoters fall over themselves to have you back?

Football administrators have also shown themselves up this week by announcing an investigation into Huddersfield’s line-up to play useless Birmingham City last weekend.

Huddersfield boss David Wagner’s sole duty is to look after his own club. It’s a bonus of securing a Championship play-off place so early to be able to rest his better players against a team likely to scrap, kick and fight in their bid to survive.

Cricket’s rulers are just as potty.

This Twenty/20 competition they will launch in 2020 could be the death of traditional cricket in this country.

It’s ill-conceived as area-based teams won’t generate the support of traditional counties, the weather won’t allow it to flourish and many current professional cricketers will be left out in the cold to play in a sub-standard county competition while the many slogging mercenaries fill their boots.

I predict it will flop after a couple of seasons at best and those behind the scheme will avoid responsibility.