The whole of the world is on drugs, there I said it.

When I say 'the world' I mean sport and when I say sport I mean athletics, and in athletics most of them probably aren't on drugs - but that’s certainly the perception now.

With a host of competing sports all vying for screen time on television sets across the globe, it's a difficult marketplace for athletics to find a regular audience in. Especially when most others don't have the same cloud of controversy constantly showering shame on their leading lights.

Ever since Ben Johnson's eye-bulging performance in the 1988 Olympics, the issue of doping in athletics has been an almost ever present cause of concern for the governing bodies.

Ben Johnson - sport's most famous cheat?

Every time the juggernaut of discord and suspicion seems to have rolled past the IAAF headquarters something causes it to perform a U-turn and head back, horn blaring, reaffirming the rather sad fact that it seems there will never be a day where we have completely rid the sport of drugs.

The most recent debacle is hugely damaging, the ramifications of which came close to touching the one man who simply cannot be found to have been doping.

For the sake of the future of athletics, Usain Bolt must remain clean - and luckily enough he is - because I can't help but think that any trangression on his part could well spell the end of athletics in the eyes of the public.

Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay, two of the biggest names in the sport, and the two men who kept Bolt literally and figuratively on his toes - are now under investigation for doping offences. Their subsequent bans are yet another savage indictment of what happens when the desire to win at any cost goes unchecked for some of the more high profile athletes, who simply cannot handle the fact that despite their best efforts, they cannot catch the quickest of the quick.

Powell and Gay - are accused of cheating

The facts are still not completely clear,  but what is clear is Gay and Powell are guilty of thinking they could evade the authorities and gain a competitive edge because of their standing in the sport.

Whilst it may be frustrating to constantly come up short against the same runner time and time again, the paying public, as well as the potentially more important sponsors, will not tolerate it.
I have no interest in ever seeing Tyson Gay or Asafa Powell run again - not that I follow athletics too closely - but it's that kind of perception that will harm the sport in years to come.

Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery won't be remembered for all the records they broke (especially Jones) or the medals they won; they will be remembered for the money they had to pay back, the jail time they served, and the perjury that lead them to that jail cell. 

Marion Jones - went to jail for her part in the BALCO doping scam

The win at any cost mentality is a dangerous one. It can act as the driving force behind someone like Tyson Gay constantly striving to achieve more and better himself around every bend, and at every starting blocks.

But it's also the same mentality that no doubt caused him to cheat when he finally found an obstacle he couldn't run past, or through.

In the immortal words of John Candy's lovable but ultimately flawed character Irv, in Cool Runnings: “A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you're not enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.”