James Magnussen: High-on-dope ex-champ eyes record in ‘Enhanced Games’

James Magnussen will participate in ‘Enhanced Games’, founded by Aron D’Souza, operates outside jurisdiction of World Anti-Doping Agency rules

Australia’s James Magnussen celebrates winning the gold medal in men’s 100m Freestyle final at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, July 27, 2014. —Reuters

Former world champion swimmer, James Magnussen, has declared his comeback to competitive swimming with participation in the Enhanced Games, an event where doping is permitted. 

His goal is to surpass the 50m freestyle world record set by Brazilian Cesar Cielo in 2009, although the attempt wouldn’t be officially recognised due to the absence of drug testing. 

Magnussen, set to earn $1 million for his participation, boldly stated, “I’ll juice to the gills and I’ll break it in six months.”

The Enhanced Games, founded in 2023 by Australian businessman Aron D’Souza, operates outside the jurisdiction of World Anti-Doping Agency rules. 

While the competition envisions events in various sports, including athletics, swimming, weightlifting, gymnastics, and combat sports, details about the date and venue are yet to be confirmed.

Magnussen’s announcement has stirred controversy, drawing criticism from anti-doping agencies. 

The UK Anti-Doping Agency expressed extreme concern, emphasising the safety risks and the violation of fair play inherent in competitions allowing performance-enhancing drugs. 

Despite the potential backlash, D’Souza anticipates widespread athlete interest in the Enhanced Games.

Magnussen, a retired Olympian with notable achievements, including world titles and Olympic silver, aims to approach the process cautiously. 

He emphasises seeking advice, ensuring safety, and documenting the journey through video content to showcase the possibility of achieving enhanced performance responsibly.

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