Spend the day at the races drinking champagne, or what ever it is that you drink when you go to watch the horses, get into your car and head up to town for a spot of commentating, get pulled over by the boys in blue and found to be over the drink drive limit and okay you get a ban and a slapped wrist but hey no worries you’re still able to take your place in the England Rugby elite squad ahead of the six nations. And of course play for your club. After all you were probably a bit unlucky to get caught and although drink driving is not acceptable, alcohol still is, indeed its consumption in often industrial quantities is part of the social scene at clubs of all levels. After all the premier cup competition for European clubs is sponsored by Heineken.(I suppose the Medellin Cup or the Norte de Valle cup would not have quite the same ring about it.)
Test positive for a “recreational drug” not a performance enhancing drug and your world falls in about you. You become a pariah, you have “let your club down”, you have to front up to the international media and lay bare your soul. And there is the small matter of a ban, likely to be a minimum of two years, not just from playing but from training, from coaching indeed having almost no contact with the sport that you love and excel in. So as well as having to deal with the “illness” of drug addiction, your career is torn away, removing the one thing that might help you to focus to over come the bloody thing.
Somehow it all seems a little bit hypocritical to me. No doubt there are clever arguments as to why one method of poisoning yourself is worse than the other, why one is social acceptable and the other not.
So for what its worth I wish Matt Stevens of Bath and England all the best. He has shown great courage so far and I guess he will need a lot more before he gets his life back on track and hopefully puts on the blue,black and white of Bath Rugby again. I know its a cliche but Rugby is a family so lets hope that Bath Rugby and the RFU don’t cast aside one of their own for one stupid mistake.