Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Big Ramifications

From the "shoulder-charged into oblivion" link:

"Today, Australian sport is Lance Armstrong."

Steady on, Tiger. Have a read of what you are saying. Got any names or details you want to share? Or have you drawn that breathless, over-the-top conclusion based solely on the Australian Crime Commission report? Does *that* have any names or details you want to share with us?

Firstly, a lot of this smacks of a tub thumping authority-grab by various powerful Australian sporting, political, and law enforcement bodies. This whole drama has been simmering for a while. I first noticed it when members of the Aussie swimming team complained about how often they were tested for drugs compared to AFL players, and why the disparity if both sports fall under the same government funding umbrella? How long ago was that? Over a year?

That pricked the ears of slumbering fat heads of the John Coates ilk and it's been escalating ever since.

Lately it has morphed in to a giant game of soggy SAO, and it looks like Andrew Demetriou is gonna have to eat the biscuit.

Secondly, the report's findings have led to many a bold statement reprinted in the newspapers regarding the need for more investigations, and COORDINATED investigations, and MOAR POWERS, and more tax money being poured in to get these more investigations under way.

I would be dubious about *any* report coming from a large bureaucracy, let alone a public service bureaucracy like the ACC. Their investigation finds that "Oh yeah, sport is full-on bad and illegal so, um, yeah, we need to have an even bigger investigation."

I'm sold! As far as Big Rammers is concerned the ACC report doesn't give off the slightest hint of even the possibility of being self-serving. I'm gonna start loudly squealing "Lance Armstrong!"

Tony Tea

There will certainly be some new revelations.

But what's the bet the investigation is chock full of names we are already aware of. Take Danks the Pharmacist. The report mentions, say, 10 clubs. Of those 10 clubs, are the Titans, Bombers, Manly, Penrith, Cats and Suns in the report because Danks the Pharmacist worked there?

Gideon's first paragraph yesterday is a cracker:

IT was like Captain Renault's raid on Rick's in Casablanca. Everyone at the launch of the Australian Crime Commission's sport report was shocked - shocked! - to find gambling/doping/organised crime/disorganised sleaze going on under their noses. Integrity? Why, they had departments for that, didn't they? Down the corridor, first on the left, ignore the snoring.

If past experience is anything to go by the ACC report will feel a little light-weight. Criminal investigations are incredible difficult to pin down, so it will deal only with facts, and most of the facts will be boring: this was sold to whom (but no evidence who took it); this was said over the phone (but only hints at wrong-doing).

At some point, hopefully, the full raft of facts and unreported conjecture will be handed over to ASADA, who'll leverage that for some proper confessions of legal doping that will be surprisingly damning - depending on how surprised you get, as a cycling fan it takes a lot these days.

The other thing to note is that drug agencies have finally - and I mean finally (!!!), because the Ben Johnson case showed this 20 years ago - realised that doping is almost always an institutional problem. Individuals who dope by themselves generally get caught. Clubs who employ doctors to calculate how to do it properly generally do not, until someone spills the beans. That this has gone to the ACC is a really good thing. If a single player was caught doping in the past you can guarantee the club would have thrown him under the bus and kept on going as before.

Professor Rosseforp

Tony, I have written far more about chucking than I would have thought possible, too.
And in the latest brouhaha about corruption, drugs, and Chinese whispers, I have dropped in comments about chucking, in various blogs. The failure to deal with the problem meaningfully has undercut any authority that cricket administrators had, in dealing with corruption, gambling, drug abuse and so on.
Biggers is correct in that the "blackest day in Australian sport" should perhaps have been changed to "blackest day in administration of drug-testing investigations in Australian sport -- we've spent a year snooping and haven't found anything that would cause us to arrest anyone".
Not sure of John Coates' role in the Sydney Olympics vote-buying exercise, but the Australians made sure they won the Sydney Olympics by giving the right gifts to the right people -- and that sounds a little like the kind of thing the government says it wants to stamp out.

Professor Rosseforp

Forget to mention: was able to snooker the word "shenanigans" into one of the blogs, too.


Prof. Says, does. Different things.


Tony Tea

Chucking is a MASSIVE cheat. But I consider those who enabled the cheat to be more culpable than the bowlers themselves.

Take Asterisk of Galle. When he arrived on the scene the Shrees would have instantly observed he had a dodgy action. There is no way they would have thought his action was legit. But they did not tell him his action was filth and stop him bowling. Why? Because he could take wickets, which the then-minnows badly needed. Instead they cooked up a scheme to have him to play: he has a flexible wrist; his arm is bent; he can't bend his arm; he has a congenital birth defect; it's an optical illusion; you're all racists; bowl leggies to finish an over (which unfortunately Darrell Hair no balled - not sure if the Shrees thought an umpire would call a no ball off a leggy, but it worked out in their favour by calling Hair's judgement into question); bring him on from the other end if an umpire calls him (which they knew was bound to happen).

Then, when the ICC finally did the testing and it was discovered that he did indeed bend his arm, it was all too late and they had changed the rules, anyway.


"the Australians made sure they won the Sydney Olympics by giving the right gifts to the right people"

But Prof, who gets the Olympics without feeding the voracious IOC members' appetite for gifts and feasting on a scale that would make a medieval Warlord blush?

Got to say, Gideon annoys me frequently but throwing Casablanca references around gets my vote on just about anything.

In case I become an IOC member and any of you are bidding to have the biggest sporting junket of your lifetime in your back yard, you'd do well to remember that.

Professor Rosseforp

Lou, nobody gets the Olympics without "gifts", but if you have used such tactics you have no right to prattle on about corruption and organised crime in sport.
By the way, if you do become an IOC member, my vote's in the bag -- provided you remember that little favour we discussed earlier. No more need be said.

Professor Rosseforp

Tony, once again on Muralidharan. I agree that his action would have been sorted out at sub-grade cricket in Australia.
I have no problem with his flexible wrist -- it is flexible, and to roll the wrist is entirely within the rules. I have no quibble with the fact that his arm is bent. Again, there is nothing in the rules that says you have to bowl with a straight arm. I suspect that the excessive wrist movement causes excessive elbow movement.
My complaint was that his arm bent prior to, or during the delivery, and did so visibly -- and this gave him a distinct advantage over batsmen: 1. it increased the amount of spin he could extract ; 2. it made it harder for the batsmen to predict the arc of the hand during the delivery (most bowlers make a rough circle as their arm pivots around the shoulder, and the ball is released somewhere along that radius, usually just behind the head to just in front of the head ; if a bowler bends the elbow, that circle is disrupted ; the ball can appear from almost anywhere).

Tony Tea

Prof, you miss my point, or at least I made it badly. I agree with all you write about the wrist, bent arm, etc. My point is that the Shrees were using those as excuses for why Murali could never chuck.

He doesn't chuck - his arm is bent!

He doesn't chuck - he's just rotating his wrist.

He doesn't chuck - he can't straighten his arm.

He doesn't chuck - youse is all racists.

He doesn't chuck - it's an optical illusion.

He doesn't chuck - everyone chucks!

Professor Rosseforp

Continuing the rant: the claim that all bowlers bend the elbow during the delivery may be accurate and is regularly stated. Early in Muralidharan's career, some deliveries were questionable ; later in his career, virtually every delivery was dubious.
However, the other part of the research into bowling physiology that is discussed less is that throwing is not observable in most bowlers who provably bend their elbow. This must raise the question: did early law-makers get it wrong with attributing chucking to elbow-bending? This is certainly one possibility that cricket authorities have ignored, while happy to quote other research that allowed Murali's action.
My own view (rigorously tested with a tennis ball at the local park) is that throwing definitely involves shoulder movement. Try making an outfield throw without jerking the shoulder, and you have to "bowl" the return in. Elbow-bending alone is not a great help.
Needless to say, Muralidharan's shoulder-jerking is extreme, and causes a lot of the dropping action of the bowling hand that looks like a throw. I have no doubt he could bowl with a brace and still "chuck" because he could still jerk his shoulder.
Of course, that shoulder movement is not proscribed in the laws of the game.
It should be discussed.

Big Ramifications

I'm not saying I don't think a few names will be named and interesting taped phone conversations will eventually come out of this. I'm semi-suspect an Australian test/ODI/T20 cricketer is on the gear. Been saying it for years and I've said it on this blog.

My complaint is the outrageous conclusions drawn by journalists BASED SOLEY ON THIS REPORT.

Weapons of mass destruction. They were in Iraq. Doncha know? It was in an official intelligence report.

Since that moment, anyone who believes a report just coz it is a report is a moran.

Big Ramifications

And how come cricket hasn't been mentioned?

T20 slog fest "power game" + T20 Indian Premier League $$$ = huge motivation to get on the gear

Not long ago the Americans had a big OH NOES DRUGS IN SPORT! navel gaze, and their own version of Dr Dank was most famously involved with baseballers.

Tony Tea

Gideon mentioned in that article up above that T20 was ripe for steroid-based enhancement.


Well said in all 3 comments Rammers.

Big Ramifications

Gideon mentioned in that article up above that T20 was ripe for steroid-based enhancement.

Cool, thanks Tony. Would you believe I DNRTFA... and I came up with that genius conclusion all by myself?


I think the Yank Dank you're referring to is Victor Conte.


On the playing side of it Jose Canseco played Typhoid Mary:


Tony Tea

"Cool, thanks Tony. Would you believe I DNRTFA... and I came up with that genius conclusion all by myself?"


Well, okay. Yes.

Is Canseco really dumb? I saw him interviewed once and he was no rocket surgeon.


My only familiarity with the chap is via a Simpsons episode. However a google image search reveals a Warneesque vanity.

On the baseball thing, from memory, the players started juicing because of extremely lax testing standards.

THE DARKEST DAY IN AUSTRALIAN SPORTS(!!!) seems to have come about because the sports scientists are so far ahead of the testers. Which has led to ASADA, with their stringent testing, crying 'nah, nah, nah, you're all cheats!'.

Tony Tea

Coincidentally THE DARKEST DAY IN AUSTRALIAN SPORTS(!!!) is in an election year.

Tony Tea

By the way, several months down the track, how can anyone prove what the Essendon players may or may not have taken? Or was that Essendon's idea - delay until there is no real chance of proof positive?

H. G. Nelson

This is a FARCE!

A hastily cobbled-together sham!

Big Ramifications

PHONE TAP CALLER A: Just got back from Bangkok. Christ, what a hole.

PHONE TAP CALLER B: So did you organise those peptides OK? No dramas?

PHONE TAP CALLER A: Yep, she's all sweet.

ACC AGENT BLUEY HILLS: OMG Did you hear that? Peptides are illegal.

ACC AGENT HELEN LOVEJOY: And they organised to bring some back to Australia. ORGANISED CRIME!!!

ACC AGENT BLUEY HILLS: Quick, put it in the report.

Have you ever seen a hydroponics bust in the news that wasn't breathlessly described as a SOPHISTICATED hydroponics set up? 1000W globe in a large cupboard fitted with a bathroom exhaust fan: sophisticated.

Big Ramifications




I noticed Andrew Bolt pinched all me ideas for his latest article. Reference me or cut a cheque, Andrew.

Professor Rosseforp

Good point on the "sophisticated" setup of hydroponics.
Likewise, pedophiles always operate as a "ring of pedophiles", never as a group, or a loosely-connected bunch of people who met on the internet.
Young people who die in car accidents were always the kind of person that used to "light up the room" when they smiled.
Why do we distinguish between organised crime and other sorts -- is there a disorganised crime? I know a spur-of-the-moment bushfire lighter is not exactly organised, nor is the person who ramraids the local $2 shop (it happened in our neighbourhood) -- but they are not exactly disorganised -- just less organised.
I suspect "thorough and ongoing inquiries" are really just inquiries where nothing has been uncovered yet, although I have never heard of an inquiry described as casual or lackadaisical (as opposed to thorough).


keeping Cricket a game of Gentlemen.

John Hxxxx

Both Australia's and South Africa's bowling attacks would be sadly diminished if the laws on throwing were rigorously applied.

Murali threw every ball he ever bowled. Steyn clearly throws his effort ball

Tony Tea

Come on, John, ante up. Which current Aussie bowlers throw?


Hurlem is throwing for Pune. He's just taking the piss.

The comments to this entry are closed.