With the Rio Olympic Games around the corner, John Oliver warned that viewers should prepare for the usual glut of cheesy athlete profiles, or “inspiration porn.” But as Russia’s recent doping scandal proves, the Olympics also have a dark side, a theme Oliver explored in an exhaustive Last Week Tonight report.
Russia’s state-facilitated doping involved secret agents, high-level security and a conveniently placed wall hole. “A Russian lab used a secret hole in the wall in an attempt to win Olympic medals, making this the first known example of a literal glory hole,” Oliver cracked.
Despite intense monitoring, athletes have managed to circumvent the system over the years, using creative techniques to acquire clean urine and issuing bizarre excuses (including vanished twins and testosterone-pumping sex romps). According to a 2013 New York Times report, an “estimated 29 percent of athletes at the 2011 world championships … said in anonymous surveys that they had doped in the past year.”
Oliver ended the segment with a parody of the inspirational athlete profile, starring Matt Walsh (Veep) as an Olympic trainer who pushes a budding runner to his peak ability – though consuming massive amounts of pills and substances (including a 5-Hour Energy shot straight into his eyeball).
“For me, to win in Rio, that would be a fairy tale come true, you know?” the athlete confessed. “It would be a Cinderella story, but like, if the slipper didn’t actually belong to Cinderella and she took a lot of drugs to change the size of her foot to fit the slipper, and then Prince Charming fell for it. And they lived happily ever after.”