Athletes cheat during games open to get into Regionals?
Sometimes you have to think about how crazy our world is. People are just about willing to do anything for money, fame, or the mere chance at it.
Does anyone have any actual proof that cheating took place during the open? I doubt it, and unless someone comes forward with hard evidence, no one will. Some might speculate cheating took place when one of the Regional athletes doesn’t perform as well as they did during the open. But there will be no absolute proof that they cheated to get there. Their poor performance could be blamed on a multitude of factors such as rest, illness or some other catastrophic event. In the end it will speculation at best.
Does HQ need to do something?
To that I answer, sure it does.
I know that people expect others to be inherently honest. They expect others to live up to a code they live by, honesty, integrity etc. But guess what, the whole world isn’t peaches and cream. There are some pretty lousy people out there that will take advantage of any situation for personal gain. No matter how rosy some people want to make the world out to be, it isn’t.
People get murdered, robbed, hijacked, scammed, and more every day, for money and sometimes even less. If you don’t believe me, just read the news headlines. It seems that this new “sport” is not immune either.
The moment money was brought into the games, it opened the door for the unscrupulous to try and take advantage of the system.
For those that don’t understand how lucrative it could be to cheat during the open, let me give a hypothetical example to what could happen. Forget the prize money, this is about business.
Lets look at the Southern California Region as a hypothetical example
There are around 205 affiliates in this region alone. All of which are competing with each other. Sure they all put on a good face and say “Were not in competition with other affiliates” but let’s face it, business is business and they have to put food on their tables just like everyone else. With business, it always has, and always will be, survival of the fittest.
As was once said to me by an ex affiliate owner who will remain nameless “The cream rises to the top”.
Lets say you’re in a saturated market like So Cal, you’re a new affiliate owner and have little in the way of an advertising budget. You dropped a bunch of cash on some new gear or even purchased it on credit. You have this building you just leased and all the expenses that come along with that. You need to drum up business. You’re probably competing with several other affiliates in the area for new athletes who are looking to join.
The problem is that you need to convince the new converts to spend their money with you. That usually means advertising, but hey you don’t have the money because it was spent elsewhere. Heck, even if you did advertise, you’d have to convince the athletes to spend with you over the other guy. To do that you need a solid reputation, but you don’t have one, not yet anyway.
For the new athlete it doesn’t take a genius to figure out where to go. If there’s only one affiliate nearby, it’s an easy choice, because it’s the only choice. But what if they have several affiliates to choose from, well that decision is harder.
Do I go with affiliate A. Who has been there and done that, the one with all the equipment, all the athletes, and was recommended or B. The new guy on the block, who just started?
If you’re like me, I do my research before spending money and choose a product or service with a proven track record. Unless the new affiliate owner has won a big event, is a big name athlete, or has one on staff, they are up running an uphill battle to get new business.
So what’s the easiest way to get a name for yourself? Simple, make it to Regionals.
So why am I writing this?
While reading through various comments on the official Games Facebook Page, I came across what others were calling a scam. The post was regarding a 40-year-old competitor who until the last WOD had only posted mediocre scores, yet on 12.5 he throws up a very high score. I’m not going to give the competitors name, because I have no proof that anything scandalous had happened and neither does anyone else.
Some comments were summarized, as “Can we just get along” while others were pretty blatant in their accusations. At least one comment was taunting the competitor in question, calling for a video submission to prove legitimacy. Another was genuinely angry since they were supposedly pushed out of the running for a Regional spot due to this sort of thing (which I couldn’t confirm).
There was no proof of wrongdoing, but it begs the question of what HQ can do to stop both the athlete who might have fudged his or her score, or the games public at large from posting unfounded accusations?
Well I have a few suggestions (of course).
For future games.
- An affiliate owner must have their score either validated at another affiliate or submit a video.
- Affiliate teams must submit a video or get validated at another affiliate.
- A review panel should be organized to investigate this type of behavior. If the panel determines wrongdoing, they can ban those involved, up and to removing CrossFit Affiliation.
In a perfect world, everyone would be honest and fairies would drop $100 dollar bill sprinkle dust around, but this isn’t a perfect world. As I said before, whenever money is involved, crazy stuff happens.
That’s why things need to change.
These rules would keep the scam artists away and shut up any naysayer’s. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video has to be worth more.
It sucks when something as great as CrossFit gets muddied up like this, but that’s the world we live in, like it or not.
I for one would be pissed if I missed my chance at the podium due to someone who cheated to get in. I’d also be pissed if I had knocked a WOD out of the park and got blamed for cheating. A small change in the rules would stop a lot of the stuff on both sides of the fence.
It’s just my two cents on the matter.
Do you have an opinion? If so I’d love to see it posted in the comment section.
See you in the hills.