Seems parents of athletes swimming for the Burlington Aquatic Devilrays [BAD] and Oakville Aquatic Club [OAK] have lost their minds. These parents have discovered that Ritalin – prescribed for patients diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder / ADHD – is a stimulant, and like all stimulants has performance enhancing characteristics. In short, what parents have identified is that kids taking Ritalin swim faster.

But this is not where parents have lost their minds, where they have lost their minds is that parents of kids who have NOT been diagnosed with ADHD are apparently heading off to their local family doctor in hopes of getting a diagnosis of ADHD (reminder: when their children don’t have ADHD) with the real intent of obtaining a prescription for Ritalin so that their kids don’t ‘fall behind’, or get ‘left behind’, or whatever is the rationalization used to drugging (sorry…medicate) their children so that they hopefully will be able to swim faster.

Stop. Re-read what was written above and think about the implications.

What is being said to these children?

(a) You are not capable of competing with these other kids unless you are ‘on’ drugs.

(b) I do not believe in your potential as an athlete without you being ‘on’ drugs.

Its the parents of these athletes that must be on drugs because the underlying message to medicating your child – no, let me clarify that… drugging your child – is that the way to succeed in sport, hence in life, is not through training, proper attitude, mindset, diet, sleep, etc…, the way to succeed is to cheat.

What’s the goal? To raise an entire generation of Lance Armstrongs who don’t know the difference between cheating and not cheating because they can rationalize it a million different ways from… everyone else is doing it, to ‘its normal’ for the medical staff to offer recovery aides, or anything else that coddles you into denial of what it is you are actually doing and lets you sleep at night.

If junior gets medication for being slow… what’s next? Does junior get medication for being stupid? Because, lets face it… if you don’t get math, or science, or history or whatever as easily as the next kid… well, the next kid must be on a math drug or a science drug that cured their stupid. I suppose if you have stupid amounts of money then you don’t even bother with the drugs, what you do is bribe college entry officials, or better still… the soccer coach – even though your child doesn’t play soccer – with a cool $400k in order that your child gets college plus a soccer scholarship.

Studying? That’s for losers!

Just like training. No one actually trains, its all about getting drugged up before workout, and then doing dive sets at an all-out pace. Rinse. Repeat. Then head to a meet to see if you can go perhaps even a bit faster.

When it comes to peeing in a cup and explaining the PEDs… hey no problem, mommy or daddy got me a TUE. Which means… I can cheat legally.

Where is Swim Ontario/Swimming Canada in all this? What about coaches of Swim Ontario swim teams?

Exactly… no one has the guts to call it out for what it is: legalized doping (in children no less)!

Long term consequences? Who cares? All that Swim Ontario/Swimming Canada want is to ‘Own the Podium’… as long as the doping is legal what do they care how a swimmer got to be fast? Swimming Canada Hi Performance Coaches have no clue on how to actually coach athletes to be hi performers (hence why the majority of Canadians head to the US), so legal doping… its the ticket for Canadian coaches to finally look like they know a thing or two about swimming.

Neither Swim Ontario nor Swimming Canada actually care about Canadian children, so why should they care about the long term consequences of teaching children to ‘medicate up’ in order to be or remain competitive.

Once again… the state of swimming in Canada, the very sad state of swimming in Canada.

And once again, why jTOEST remains unaffiliated from Swim Ontario: we believe different.

The needs of children – proper modelling of what it means to be a success, to be successful – is prioritized ahead of the insane needs of adults to have their children compete against all other kids in some form of “I’m a better parent than you are because my kid is faster in the pool than your kid pissing contest”.

Clearly none of these parents have ever had a child so sick that they had to be put on medications that were so toxic, so deadly, with so many terrible side effects that it made you question whether the drug was in fact designed to heal, or if the treatment was going to be worse than the disease. But wanting nothing more than health for your child you consented to the treatment, to the drug, with your immediate desire being to see your child come off that drug as quickly as possible.

No parent that has had to deal with a child so sick would ever want their child back on any medication or drug.

These parents who are willing to drug their child have lost all perspective on what is important in life. I truly hope that they wake up and realize what they are doing. I understand that they may think that drugging their child so they can keep up with their training partners seems like a smart solution… it isn’t, I just hope that they wake up before the real damage to the psyche, to the well-being, to the health of their child is done.

No child should ever be told that they need to take drugs in order to win in life, to succeed, to achieve.

Its plainly and simply wrong.