Written by Bea Shaylee Sayers
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Friday, 10 August 2012

image for London Olympics: More than half athletes warned for supernatural doping

Warnings have been issued to more than half of all athletes competing at the London Olympic Games for exploiting supernatural performance enhancing stimulants.

Last July, the act of "Asking God for divine intervention" was added to the list of prohibited substances and methods of doping in sports.

This controversial decision has been criticized by many professional athletes around the world, but officials from anti-doping agencies have always supported the idea of adding divine intervention to the list of illegal doping.

"Athletes who pray before or during a competition believe they're getting divine help, and spiritual can definitely affect physical. It puts non-believers or simply non-praying athletes at a big disadvantage since they don't have any access to this spiritual doping," said a senior official in an interview before the opening ceremony for the London Olympics. "Our job is to monitor and ban the use of any performance enhancing drugs to ensure equal chances to all athletes."

Due to the controversy and difficulties in accurate identification of supernatural doping cases, a 2-year introductory period has been introduced in which athletes are issued three warnings before facing disqualification from the competition.

In a just released statement, it was announced that more then half competing athletes are on their second warning and face disqualification. However, anti-doping officials admit that proper recognition of supernatural doping to make informative decision about possible disqualification are extremely challenging, and further modifications to the rules may be required before implementation of any penalties.

Kneeling and praying to God or making a sign of the cross are relatively straightforward cases of supernatural doping, but officials can't be sure whether "an athlete is pointing to the Heavens or to the stands, or whether anybody is silently praying to God in his or her head."

Meanwhile, actions have been taken to better protect non-believing and non-praying athletes from unfair play and to ensure equal chances in Olympic competitions. Starting with the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, a special counter-praying team representing all religions and every competing nation will be hired to pray for fairness and equal winning chances for all athletes competing at the Olympics.

2014 Olympic Games are expected to be extremely competitive with possibly the highest number of joint winners in the history of sports.

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