D’Souza said his idea came while working out in an Equinox gym at South Beach in Miami last year. He noticed high levels of enhancement all around him, whether it was women who had cosmetic fillers or men who were obviously taking steroids.
‘No-one’s interested in curling, or bobsled, or breakdancing, let’s focus on the sports that people actually watch.’
Enhanced Games founder Aron D’Souza
“People are now very open, men in particular, about using TRT, steroids,” he said. “And I thought to myself now is the time. We’ve had the legalisation of cannabis, we’ve had all sorts of progressive social movements that we really need to be rethinking what sports are and the place of sports in our society and its interaction with science. ”
His ambitious pitch would open the door to amateur athletes contesting games freeing challengers from having to sign up for national teams to qualify and take home lucrative prizes.
Amateur athletes could qualify by posting videos to YouTube, before being flown out for a qualifying event.
“These are people who have never competed publicly because they are enhanced, and they’re breaking world records in their basement and sending us videos of it,” he said.
“Our goal is to create the most participatory sports event in history.
Devine said green-lighting doping would widen the gap between athletes with access to wealthy government schemes, pharmaceutical companies and sports federations, and those from poorer countries.
“We should remunerate athletes properly and retain the protections afforded to them by the
regulation of doping,” he said.
The AOC spokesman said they knew nothing of the “Enhanced Games” but that “sport needs to be clean and it needs to be safe for all athletes”.
“From an AOC perspective, the prospect of so-called enhanced sport is not something that can be taken seriously.”
D’Souza said his games would not use the lucrative earnings from media broadcasting rights to fund new venues but instead pay competing athletes.
The event would pare back to five the number of sports it would stage.
“No one’s interested in curling, or bobsled, or breakdancing, let’s focus on the sports that people actually watch, that have television impact, that have social media impact and that’s: track and field, swimming, gymnastics, combat sports and weightlifting,” he said.
“Those five sports can be run at any divisional university campus, there’s over 100 cities in the world with pre-existing infrastructure where we can just go and rent that space for a few days and that’s going to cost us just a few million dollars instead of wasting $US30 billion to build new stadiums.”
When pressed on whether the concept would encourage dangerous levels of doping, he said there would be electrocardiogram screening of all contestants, including to detect any underlying heart conditions.
“We are devising the most advanced clinical pre-screening protocols,” he said.
“Our athletes will be subjected to ECGs to make sure, in particular, that they don’t have large hearts, so they can compete safely and understand the full risk of their current health profile.”
An exhibition event is planned for December 2024, six months after the conclusion of the next Olympics Games, in Paris, and ahead of a planned full event in 2025.