Nine-time Olympic medal winner Leisel Jones won’t take part in the Enhanced Games, but isn’t against the concept.
The Enhanced Games is the brainchild of Australian entrepreneur Aron D’Souza, who is proposing an event where professional athletes can use performance enhancements to break records for a $US1 million prize.
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The Melbourne-born London-based businessman is in negotiations with global television networks and streaming services to screen the inaugural Enhanced Games.
Venues around the world are pitching to host the first event, which has been criticised by Olympic officials as dangerous.
Former swimming champion Jones, who has a rich collection of 21 global championship medals to her name, can see both sides of the argument.
Jones celebrates on the podium during the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Credit: Getty Images
“I’m in two camps, I’ve always said this would be a wonderful idea just to see how fast people can go,” Jones told The Rush Hour.
“I don’t want to participate in it myself, I’m not in a position to do that. The risks are too big for me I think for the side effects and what not.
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“If this clears out people who genuinely want to do that (take performance enhancing drugs) and are doing illegal things in sport, if that clears them out our clean sport, that would be wonderful.
“This will hopefully keep clean sport, clean.”
Jones, who was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2015 and awarded an OAM for her contribution to swimming, is not against James Magnussen signing up to compete in the 50m freestyle.
Australian swimming star Magnussen became the first high-profile athlete to announce his participation in the Enhanced Games.
The 32-year-old retired from competitive swimming in 2019, after being crowned 2011 and 2013 100m freestyle champion.
“I have kept myself in reasonable shape in retirement,” Magnussen told the Hello Sport Podcast on Friday.
“I’ll juice to the gills and I’ll break it in six months.”
Jones, however, can’t see how extra muscle will help him.
“He is already very shredded, he’s already extremely muscular and lean, he doesn’t really need to put on too much size so I don’t know that the steroids are going to be that helpful,” said Jones.
“You want to float as much as possible, muscle is very heavy and doesn’t float very well.
“They’re beneficial for women because they can build their testosterone and be bigger and leaner.”
Jones also believes world records should be kept separate.
“I just don’t know what they are going to do with world records after that though.
“Keep that (world records) separate,” she said.
– With AAP