There's an alternative Olympics where everyone is 'on drugs'.

The 2024 Olympics and Paralympics are around the corner. But all anyone can talk about right now at least is another sort of sporting event - the kind where there's no drug testing

The Enhanced Games was announced last year, founded by Australian entrepreneur Aron D'Souza who claims it will be a "better version of the Olympics". Athletes competing won't be drug tested, meaning they're allowed to use performance enhanced drugs such as anabolic steroids. 

Swimming and diving will be part of the Enhanced Games, along with track and field athletics, weightlifting, gymnastics, and combat sports.

Australian Olympic swimmer James Magnussen has said he's very open to the idea of competing.

Watch: Some quick background on the Enhanced Games. Post continues below. 

Video via NewsNation.

This week, Magnussen said he would be interested to compete for a A$1.5 million prize if he is able to break the 50m world record on steroids.

Magnussen is a two-time world champion in the 100m freestyle, and said he was prepared to "juice to the gills" in an attempt to break the 50m world record.


"They've said they've got a billion-dollar person backing them. If they put up a million dollars for the 50 freestyle world record, I will come on board as their first athlete," Magnussen told the Hello Sport podcast.

"I'll juice to the gills and I'll break it within six months. I'm going to need one of those super suits to float me, because if I get unbelievably jacked, then I'll sink. When I was swimming, I was about 21.5 so I need half a second. So juice and a suit, happy days."

The current record for the 50m freestyle is 20.91 seconds, and this was set back in 2009. If this record is beaten in the Enhanced Games it won't officially count as attempts from this event won't be recognised by worldwide governing bodies, or the International Olympic Committee. 

Following Magnussen's comments, the Enhanced Games confirmed they are offering a million-dollar prize for the race, also saying Magnussen will compete. 


D'Souza, the founder and president of Enhanced Games, said he expected dozens of Australian athletes to follow Magnussen's "heroic, courageous first step".

"I have no doubt now that James has done this publicly there will be dozens, hundreds of athletes," D'Souza told AAP.

D'Souza has also promised the same prize money to the first sprinter to better Usain Bolt's 100m global benchmark on the track. For context, D'Souza has two billionaires and multi-millionaire as financial backers.

Now the founder is in negotiations with global television networks and streaming outlets, while venues around the world are pitching to host the Enhanced Games. Up to seven qualifying events will be staged this December around the world, including Australia, with the inaugural Games slated for the middle of next year.

Not everyone is crazy about the idea though. 

Australian sport's anti-doping chief feels the event is "grossly irresponsible" while warning of severe ramifications for athletes taking part. Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) chief executive David Sharpe has accused Enhanced Games organisers of putting profit before health.


"Australian athletes have historically demonstrated high levels of integrity and this undermines decades of commitment from Australian athletes and their sports to clean and fair sport," Sharpe said to AAP. 

"Athletes participating in the Enhanced Games may find themselves unable to participate in recognised sporting events in any capacity, including as a coach or administrator and not just as an athlete."

Retired Australian Olympic swimmer Libby Trickett has been following this story with great fascination. 

Mamamia's The Quicky asked Trickett that if she were still swimming, would she participate in the Enhanced Games, especially considering the hefty monetary prize.

"For me the answer is very easy, and the answer is no. It doesn't motivate me to get back in the pool. If I was to come back, it would purely be to come back to the Olympics. Having said that, I understand why as humans we are fascinated and interested to see what something like the Enhanced Games would be," she explains. 

"I'm very conflicted because I cannot fathom how dangerous this is going to be for the athletes who do choose to compete. I really, really, really hope that it's done under medical supervision because that's the only way I can kind of justify in my head something like this to go ahead. I hope they are fully aware, rather than just looking at the monetary prize."

There are a range of health impacts related to taking performance enhancing drugs, such as anabolic steroids. 


It can cause damage to the liver, impact the heart and increase aggressiveness often referred to as 'roid rage'. For men, it's been found to reduce sperm production, shrink testicles and also lead to breast tissue development. And for women, it's associated with excessive hair growth on the body and abnormal menstrual cycles. 

Another potential consequence of the Enhanced Games or events like it, is that it could create a more 'us versus them' mentality among athletes, especially when it comes to what records are considered legit. 

"There will without a doubt be that sort of mentality. It will be interesting to see if these people in James Magnussen's words 'juiced up to the gills' will not be able to break the world records. I think that will be really telling about the abilities of the athletes competing at the Olympics and Paralympics," Trickett notes. 

Trickett says it would also be "really interesting" if a documentary were to be made about the event and follow the journey that the athletes take and the potential impacts experienced. And overall the concept of the Enhanced Games is "interesting" she acknowledges. 

At the end of the day though, she hopes people still value the Olympics and Paralympics for what they are - athletes whose success is chalked up to their bodies, hard work and preparation. 

Mamamia has reached out to James Magnussen for comment. If/once received, we will be sure to update this piece with his comment. 

Feature Image: Stock from Getty/AAP.