Erik Surjan Speaks Out On Project Aperio

Former pro athlete Erik Surjan opposes PEDs in sports, and says sports will remain popular.

Online PR News – 15-July-2014 – Spearwood, WA – Erik Surjan holds degrees in Marketing from Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia, and a Master of Marketing from Monash University in Melbourne. He is a multi-talented young man who is currently developing an acting career. He has appeared in television commercials and instructional videos, and is studying the craft some of the top talent in Australia.

He is also a skilled athlete who closely followed Project Aperio, an inquiry into performance and image enhancing drugs in Australia. Project Aperio was the codename for an investigation initiated by the Australian Crime Commission [ACC] in 2012.

The inquiry, Erik Surjan came to believe, had the potential to seriously undermine the integrity of Australian professional sport. And Erik Surjan has the background that gave him an opinion that was better informed than most.

"I was a professional athlete for a number of years," Erik Surjan says, "and a paid Australian Institute of Sport athlete between 2005 and 2008. During my short professional career I won two Open National Decathlon titles, one Under 23 National Decathlon title, and set B Qualifying marks for the 2006 Commonwealth Games and 2007 IAAF World Championships."

The intimation that performance enhancing substances and other improprieties were influencing professional Australian sport, Erik Surjan wrote on his blog, has shocked, surprised and disappointed many. "The question I continue to ponder is, are these reactions of shock and surprise legitimate or were people happy to look past the blatantly obvious as long as their teams and stars were winning?"

The findings of Project Aperio were made public in February 2013, after a twelve month probe. The investigation identified widespread use of prohibited substances in professional Australian sport. It also found that this had been facilitated by sports scientists, high-performance coaches, and sports staff.

"Nothing in Project Aperio and the ACC's 47 page, glorified information pamphlet surprised me and neither should it have surprised you," Erik Surjan declared in his blog. "Professional sport in Australia generates upward of ten billion dollars of annual revenue. According to 2012 estimates provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), that's more than the nominal GDP of The Bahamas and Grenada, who both supplied Gold Medalists at the 2012 London Olympic Games."

Erik Surjan then drew on his fondness for pithy quotations to make an important point. "Oscar Wilde's immortal quote summarises the pursuit of money the best. ‘When I was young, I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old, I know that it is.'"

But Erik Surjan believes that while the findings of Project Aperio may have far-reaching influence, they won't diminish the popularity of professional sports. "I accepted a long time ago that people will push the boundaries of propriety when fame, money and glory are involved," he said. "Do I think there are doping programs in Australian sport? Sure. Am I going to allow it to affect my enjoyment of Australian sport? Not a chance in hell. Do I hope people involved in suspicious programs are exposed, and ‘clean' competitors win against all odds? You bet."

And he concluded: "Here's the reality of this situation...spectators are going to come out in force to watch their stars, some collateral damage will occur, and the wheels of sporting industry will continue to turn. There's always another ‘scandal' tomorrow."

About: Athlete and actor Erik Surjan opposes PEDs in sports, and says sports will always be popular.

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