Vol. 2, Issue 12, March 23, 2004
Rock Paper Scissors Tournament Marred by Steroid Use
The Western Regional Rock Paper Scissors tournament held in Seattle this past week saw players disqualfied for the first time due to use of illicit steroids.
"For years we have watched as the scourge of steroids has bogged one professional sport after another down with scandals," said Wojek Smallsoa, Chairman of the World Rock Paper Scissors (RPS) Society's Steering Committee. "It is shameful that the temptation to take performance-enhancing drugs has finally reached even the rarified ranks of our competitors."
The World RPS Society is the worldwide governing body of the sport of Rock Paper Scissors. It provides overall direction, guidance and policy control with a goal of promoting the sport to a wider audience. It is supported by a standard operational branch, local, regional, national and international office structure with offices in most countries around the globe. Its World Headquarters is located in Toronto.
"This is a tempest in a teapot," grumbled Stacy Quinnell, one of the competitors disqualified in the surprise sweep during the tournament. "Physical performance is entirely secondary to strategy in this sport, so I fail to appreciate why the World RPS society is making a big deal about it."
Fifteen out of twenty-four semifinalists were disqualified after drug tests found steroids in many of the top-ranked competitors. Because so many top players were removed from contention, the tournament went instead to an unknown 16 year old player from the small town of Colfax, Washington. Bookmakers in Las Vegas were not amused.
"It is really indicative of the tremendous pressures affecting all professional sports," said ESPN commentator Brent Foster. "The stakes are so high that people are willing to incur the substantial health risks from taking steroids in order for a better shot at the crown."
"However, it is kind of puzzling why the World RPS society decided to focus on this issue at the present time," added Foster. "It is entirely possible that the whole drug sweep was intended primarily to give Rock Paper Scissors credibility as a "real" sport. Which, of course, it isn't."
Others vigorously dispute this interpretation.
"Rock Paper Scissors is an ancient and noble sport," asserted Samsoa. "It predates virtually every so-called professional sport currently played in the United States. It requires a unique blend of physical and cognitive abilities found nowhere else in sporting competition."
In fact, because Rock Paper Scissors relies so heavily on mental ability, Samsoa announced that future sweeps would also check for substances designed to enhance intelligence.
"People have been known to prepare for tournaments by eating lots of fish," he noted. "Such devious attempts to alter the purity of the competition will be sorely surprised in future events when we conduct more random drug sweeps."
ESPN is not planning to broadcast the next Rock Paper Scissors tournament.