Will Japan Cancel the Summer Olympics?

Back to Fukushima

RT (Dec 2019)

Film Review

I don’t get it. Why doesn’t Japan cancel the Olympics? The Coronavirus gives them the perfect excuse to do so, without losing face over the ongoing disaster at Fukushima.

This eerie documentary follows a half dozen or so elderly Fukushima residents as they return home. The Japanese government is slowly reopening decontaminated* areas as “safe” for returning residents.

Most returnees carry hand held Geiger counters, and there are ubiquitous digital road signs that display ambient radiation levels (in microsieverts).

It’s primarily elderly retired residents who are returning, given there are no schools or work opportunities in Fukushima. The government has reassured returnees that the elderly are more “resistant” to radiation, as most radiation-related cancers take decades to develop.

The government has built a 50 unit public housing facility, of which 30 units have been occupied. Most returning residents have been warned to remain indoors as winds flowing in from contaminated areas can increase radiation levels unpredictably.

At present visitors to Fukushima stop at checkpoints to be given protective clothing and dose meters at checkpoints. They are also scanned for radioactivity on their departure.

After watching the video, I still find it mind boggling the Japanese government still plans to hold the Olympic baseball and softball events in Fukushima in July. I can’t see how they can do so safely without providing protective clothing and masks for all the athletes and spectators.


*The main decontamination that has occurred is the wiping down of contaminated buildings and the remove of contaminated topsoil (to be stored in mountains of plastic bags in decontamination areas) and its replacement with new uncontaminated soil.

The film can be viewed free at Back to Fukushima

Doping: the Ugly Truth About the Sports Industry

The Dark Side – Secrets of the Sports Dopers

Al Jazeera (2015)

Film Review

The Dark Side is a 2015 documentary about the health professionals who assist Olympics and professional athletes acquire performance enhancing drugs, as well as helping them avoid detection on drug testing. Liam Collins, a British track star, goes undercover for Al Jazeera and easily obtains growth hormone, insulin, EPO (erythropoetin)*, HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), clomiphene and Delta-2 and other anabolic steroids from unscrupulous doctors, naturopaths (who have prescribing authority in the US and Canada) and pharmacists. He also learns the name of prominent baseball and NFL players who are illegally using these banned substances.

Prior to the release of this documentary, an estimated 40% of professional baseball players were using banned substances. In the past baseball authorities have been somewhat lackadaisical about drug testing. Public interest in baseball was flagging, and the big increase in home runs turned this around.


*EPO stimulates red blood cells, enabling the blood to carry more oxygen.

**HCG, a pregnancy hormone that stimulates placental development, increases testosterone in men.

***Chlomiphene is an anti-estrogen that stimulates ovulation in infertile women. In men, it accelerates testosterone production.