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In An Unprecedented Move, John Oliver Is Wrong About Doping

By Emily Chambers | Last Week Tonight | June 27, 2016 |


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Don’t you hate it when you’re in a new relationship, and everything is going really well, until you have your first fairly minor disagreement? That’s sort of how I feel about this segment from John Oliver.

Not the part where he illuminates the fucked-up regulatory system that governs anti-doping. And not the part where he argues that it could be dangerous for the athletes themselves given the lengths to which they’re currently willing to go to get the competitive edge. No, the point at which he becomes irrevocably wrong is when discussing the ramifications of allowing doping. Specifically when he says this:

At which point you’ve basically destroyed the integrity of sport.

Really? John, John, John. Did you forget that you were taking about the Olympics? That was a nice crack at NBC, but you have to know the more apt title is the BiAnnual Dick Measuring Contest Between the U.S. and Russia, right? Shouldn’t we have said goodbye to the integrity of the sport back when this became a contest to see which superpower could pump out the most elite athletes their respective, extensively funded countries could provide? Or when we started allowing countries to poach the best performing athletes from other countries in order to increase their chances? Or when Michael Fucking Jordan competed in a goddamn “amateur” competition?

I’m not saying that doping should become a free-for-all, I’m arguing that we shouldn’t be basing any of our anti-doping restrictions on the idea that this is about the “pure sport.” He knows that the stylized bios on athletes are bullshit, he just doesn’t seem to understand why.



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