Lawyer Aron D'Souza set to launch 'Enhanced Games' where doping is allowed

ATHLETICS: Lawyer Aron D'Souza set to launch 'Enhanced Games' where doping is allowed

Abigael Wafula 06:30 - 28.06.2023

The decision centers on his idea to create a monster out of what has long been a theoretical exercise, an alternative to the Olympic Games in which doping is allowed.

Aron D'Souza, an Oxford-educated, Kensington-based lawyer wants to launch the first ‘Enhanced Games’ in December next year.

D'Souza believes that doping can be safe and it will make sport and humanity better and fairer. This 38-year-old Australian, who has done well in the legal world, told Daily Mail that a British sprinter has already reached out to him.

“I actually just had a British sprinter reach out to me (on Monday morning). I will be speaking with him later this week. An Olympic sprinter who has worn a Team GB jacket also reached out,” he said.

The decision centers on his idea, supported by a number of academics and Olympians, including a gold medallist, to create a monster out of what has long been a theoretical exercise, an alternative to the Olympic Games in which doping is allowed.

As a proposition, it has gone down as you might expect since it was announced last week. But where our conversation moves up a notch is D'Souza's response to the question of whether there has been any curiosity from British athletes.

“In one version we fully defeat the Olympics and become the dominant international sports event. Or there is natural and it is enhanced. You can watch the Enhanced Games with superheroes, or you can watch the old, natural Olympics with Greek gods. It is two different worlds,” D'Souza said.

The Enhanced Games circulated a surreal video on their social media channels last week. The short clip showed an athletics track, a mystery doper, and a clock stopped at 9.49.

Set against soft music, a voice then shares his tale: “I am the fastest man in the world but you have never heard of me. I have broken Usain Bolt's 100m world record but I cannot show you my face. I am a proud enhanced athlete.

The Olympics hate me. I need your help to come out. I need your help to stop the hate. I need your help for the world to embrace science.”

D'Souza said his secret sprinter is a real athlete whom he 'understands has competed extensively at international level'. He added that they look forward to revealing his identity at the first enhanced games.

“You know, it's such a courageous step. My calendar has been filled with conversations with athletes and it was so hard to get ones willing to come out before the launch,” he said.

The details of D'Souza's plan, such as they are, centre on a Games comprising athletics, swimming, weightlifting, gymnastics and, most alarmingly, combat sports. To date, he estimates up to 200 athletes have expressed an interest in joining him and, crucially, those that do will not be tested for drugs.

'I think that fundamentally adults with free-informed consent should be able to do to their body what they wish. We want to enable that bodily sovereignty for athletes.

If you win an Olympic gold medal, your life was made, you're a millionaire. No! The poverty that even medallists live in is disgusting. And when you see Thomas Bach flying around the world in a private jet and living in a palace at the IOC's expense, that is disgusting,” he added.

Those assessments of the IOC will chime with many rational observers of the Olympics, as will his take on the 'farcical' anti-doping structures currently in place – around 150 athletes from London 2012 alone have been suspended for doping offenses – but it is his vision of a solution that has been the headline in recent days. It's an answer that seems wildly out of kilter with the problem.

Tyson Gay, Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell, Justin Gatlin, Christian Coleman, Ferdinand Omanyala, Samwel Imeta – the list of elite sprinters to have served bans is a long one.

“It points to the façade we have to buy into when we watch the Olympics. For some, that might be interpreted as a more honest series of races; to others, to most of us, it is simply depressing as well as a risk to safety,” he said.

To get this proposal off the drawing board, he is pursuing $50million-$100m in equity capital to offset costs of 'double-digit millions', with a share of the financial pot going to the athletes.

D'Souza has repeatedly pointed to academic papers that support the idea of safe doping in sport and he has an interesting team behind him. That includes Dr George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard University, and on an athlete panel he has amassed an incongruous mix.