Only a couple of guys have even been caught. City: Indianapolis Name: Andy We are going to look back at this era of vilifying athletes for taking performance enhancing drugs the same way we think of baseball not allowing African-Americans … unbelievably ridiculous. Actually, I have a bigger problem with sportswriters making such a big deal of it.
Especially in baseball. We have been asking for this since Part of the problem are the labs. They are post-WW II technology. In a world where science funding is being slashed daily, being at the drug testing trough is a pretty good deal. Those of us in the Olympic sports coach both little kids and professionals. I think our views tend to be a bit different that the purely professional coaches.
City: Long Beach, California Name: Jesse Why should any athlete be banned from taking any medication that will help him recover from an injury, especially when there are no proven long term side effects of the medication?
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If you blew out your tricep, would you rather take a year to recover, or 10 weeks? With all due respect, enough with the sanctimony.
Are you going to give any of the money you made from your Red Sox book back, even though that entire team juiced? It is all about the strength of the brand and fan interest, and we enjoy watching people who make us question whether they are actually human. The problem is that, in order for there to be a meaningful change, it seems like the fans have to do something. I was never offered, and never sought them out.
Because of my choice, I never made any money as a pro, but I did win an amateur world championship and an amateur national championship — and hence was required to pee in a cup a couple of times. What could someone who actually had physical talents do with a ton of focused training? This is the real shame of this era: our sense of wonder and what a human body is capable of has been diminished. Aim can be an issue for hitting the cup. Not necessarily good TV. We need to keep this in mind though; this is a job for them.
A job with a shelf life. Most pros are put of their sport by 30 , lets say. Thats a lot of pressure. And keep in mind, each year you have a new draft pick or call-up looking to take your job. I stopped watching baseball the day I saw career banjo-hitter hit an opposite-field homer into the upper deck at Tiger Stadium.
When individuals earn more for producing more of a product, they will usually make decisions that will help their productivity. One who is bigger, faster, and stronger or the opposite? I know these are simple examples, but you understand my point. We live in a society that encourages excess, so why would or should we expect sports to be any different?
The problem I think people have is they view sports as something other than entertainment. And why not? Because we accept them as entertainment. City: Melbourne, Australia Name: Gary Miller One line from your column struck me as the key to this whole conversation. Who decided that getting laser eye surgery to increase vision is legal yet giving a hormone to speed up the recovery of an injury is not? The line between performance enhancement and performance maintenance must be the blurriest line going around when it comes be professional athletes and the millions of dollars at stake.
I hope your column will raise lots of healthy debate within the media circus over there. Is it fair to say that was, with the homerun battle between Sosa and McGwire? Who cared about cycling before Lance Armstrong? Who cared when Lance was the most dominant?
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The fact of the matter is that excellence and domination is the key to success in these sports. I used to think that McGwire, Bonds, and Sosa were terrible people. But the more I think about it, the more I believe that they were not the problem. The problem is the rules, and whether a player wants to use a PED is their choice. PEDs will never go away. They have yet to do so. Rewrite the rules. Let athletes decide for themselves. What do you think? I used to hate teams and players with the width and breadth of my soul because, for me, it was what gave sports its substance.
But, alas, the thrill is gone. Bottom line. Blame PEDs all you want, but without all the money, there would be no cheating, at least to the extent that we see it now. Then I realized that I was upset because it was the national anthem … at the inauguration.
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All the principles that our country was founded on are summed up in what should be a minute and a half song: independence, struggle, heroism. Instead, Beyonce boasted beauty, perfection, and ultimately, herself. And I thought about how those are the qualities that are now important to America. We value perfection more than integrity.
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We want results without the struggle. Your column has the transparency and truth our sports need. They could test his blood on Super Bowl Sunday and if they found enough stuff in it to rouse a burn victim from a deep coma, no one would take a single step to do anything about it.
No one is stripping him of a SB ring if he wins? Shit, no one would even keep him out of the Hall Of Fame. No one wants to take money out of the pocket of a guy getting that money with the illegal advantage. They reject almost all measures that would improve player safety like better drug testing, requiring better safety equipment, or rule changes and punishments that protect their players from unsafe acts. Heredia says in the interview, and I believe him particularly because of his expertise and active involvement in that world, that cheating is endemic among world class athletes.
Almost all athletes at the absolute pinnacle of their sport — i. They are the rule. There is no way around that, because the cheaters prosper. Simply to keep up with the top two or three competitors who are usually cheating , the next ten or fifteen guys or gals must also cheat. And, because there is often a very small chance of being caught, the unfortunate fact is that cheaters prosper. They get the highest awards their sport can offer. They get the fans.
They get the lucrative contracts and endorsement deals. Look at Justin Gatlin, who tested positive and admitted to doping in , two years after winning an Olympic Gold medal. In this most recent Olympics, Gatlin was coached by Dennis Mitchell, who holds the record for the most absurd defense for a failed testosterone test to ever succeed. He claimed that he had gotten drunk and had so much sex with his wife the night before the test that he had elevated levels of testosterone.
He ran a 9. Not a chance. And the media ate it up. They asked him after the trials how it felt to be the oldest man to qualify for the USA Olympic m team. What a joke. How has it come to this, that every world-class athlete can immediately — and deservingly, in many cases — be put under suspicion of PED use?
The answer is that we, the sports fans the buyers have simply made clear what we want from the athletes the sellers. We want big plays. We want amazing comebacks. We want a 37 year old man with a torn triceps to return to peak-of-his-career form only weeks after what is normally a season ending injury. We want a young man with an incredible work ethic to have one of the greatest seasons in history some nine months after what — for some — would have been a career ending injury.
We want to see the m sprint record broken. We want to see 73 home runs in a season. We want to see the most amazing athletic feats possible.
We want to see history made. That was unbelievable. In fact, a little too unbelievable. For years I told anyone that would listen that Lance Armstrong was doping, but no one, except the French, wanted to hear that Lance Armstrong was cheating when he was winning back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back titles.
The story was simply too good. But, once the cycling fervor had cooled, and Lance had revealed himself to be a somewhat detestable person, and there was incontrovertible evidence, suddenly the media jumped on the story. Suddenly Americans started talking about how Lance was actually a cheat and a liar, rather than a supremely talented, God-gifted, outwork-everyone-else phenom. The athletes are of course also to blame.