Between 50 and 100 Paris 2024 athletes 'in registration process for Enhanced Games'. 'X'@aronpingdsouza

Speaking to Australia's News Corp, Aron D'Souza, who founded the inaugural Enhanced Games, said that there were "many who are in the process of registering." Swimming and diving, athletics, weightlifting, martial arts and gymnastics will be among the Olympic sports. Registrations for 2025 are "very advanced."

"Aron D'Souza, founder of the Enhanced Games 2023, said: "We have many people who are in the registration process at the moment who are competing at the Paris (Olympics)." The first Games will be held in 2025 and negotiations on the venue and the broadcast are "very advanced".

D'Souza assured that "between 50 and 100 athletes ready to compete at the Paris Olympics" are "in the process of registering" for the first Enhanced Games. Doping will be allowed, according to the event's director. Aron D'Souza's intention was to create this new competition as a means of increasing the income of athletes, and there has been a great deal of controversy over its break with the current structure of sport.

The Games are scheduled to take place in 2025, with negotiations on the venue and broadcast "very advanced". D'Souza did not specify whether the registration process was a written contract or simply a verbal expression of interest.

Former Australian swimmer James Magnussen expressed his support for the Enhanced Games. GETTY IMAGES
Former Australian swimmer James Magnussen expressed his support for the Enhanced Games. GETTY IMAGES

"You will see at the Paris Olympics that some athletes will be very open to the concept of the Enhanced Games. We have a pretty elaborate plan for the Paris Olympics," he said. If confirmed, the Olympic athletes would reportedly come from the five main Enhanced Games disciplines: swimming and diving, track and field, weightlifting, martial arts and gymnastics.

According to his model, athletes would receive a basic salary. World records would be rewarded with one million dollars. This is the basic appeal to persuade athletes to take part in this new competition, which could see the light of day next year.

Of course, given its structure and rules, it would not be subject to the World Anti-Doping Agency's rules, and competitors would be able to use substances to enhance their performance and reach the finish line. This concept has been met with disdain by the Olympic movement and flies in the face of the theory of traditional and modern sport.

WADA has described the Games as "dangerous and irresponsible". World athletics president Sebastian Coe said anyone "stupid enough" to take part could face a "long ban."

Times are changing, as Coe himself acknowledged, and it is possible that athletes' demands for increased income are very legitimate and understandable.

So far, the most high-profile athlete to come out publicly in support is Australian swimmer James Magnussen, who won the 100m freestyle world titles in 2011 and 2013. Magnussen has openly stated that he would be willing to participate in the expanded Games.

D'Souza said he was not authorised to name any of the 50 to 100 Olympic competitors, but claimed that 1,500 athletes had formally applied to take part in the Enhanced Games since he first issued the call.

He said there had been "great traction" among swimmers and power sports such as weightlifting. But he admitted he found it "a bit more challenging" on the sprint track in athletics.

The London-based Australian businessman, who is backed by some high-profile venture capitalists including American billionaire Peter Thiel, added: "Our perfect candidate is not the 19-year-old going to her first Olympics," AFP reported.

"It's the 28-year-old who's been to the Olympics twice, won silver, and thinks 'I don't want to be a personal trainer'.
"They feel they have a bit more to go before they 'retire' and are out of the elite sport at 30."

From now on, and even more so once the Paris 2024 Games are over, an important question will arise. Once the Games are over, there will be a very long period of four years during which athletes will have doubts. That's where the Enhanced Games want to appear as an alternative.

Recently, Kieren Perkins, the Chairman of the Australian Sports Commission, called for the event, which allows doped athletes to compete, to be suspended, according to the Spanish newspaper AS. His comments, which alluded to the risk that athletes may face, were a direct jab at the celebration of the Enhanced Games. Speaking at a SportNXT conference in Melbourne, he said. "Thinking about the Enhanced Games is ridiculous. Someone is going to die if these events are allowed to grow and develop."

Of course, the International Olympic Committee and World Athletics are opposed to his organisation