When was it? Throughout the cold war, practically every athlete in the Soviet Bloc was either a policeman or a military officer, with no duties other than to train. And the sick and twisted "amateurism" in the US did much more harm than good. The people running the profitable sports simply used it as an excuse to keep all the money for themselves (as the NCAA still does). Heck, one of my older friends, who won in '60, was barred from the '64 games because somebody gave him a watch. I think your sentiment is quite right, but you've got to make a distinction. The IOC really does suck... as, by the way, does the USOC. But the fact that athletes are allowed to make a (usually meager) living training now isn't the problem.
ybiC:The Olympics aren't even about athletics anymore, but are simply one more avenue for consumer-targeted marketing, like most (all?) professional sports.
*sigh* Problem is, the Olympics have been a business for quite a long time now... before '84 they were just a very poorly run business.
Not that I'm against business. But there are good businesses and bad businesses. I think the Olympics really had to start marketing themselves properly to survive. They didn't have to totally sell out de Coubertain's vision, and start screwing over the athletes. Scumbags.