Did you miss your
Login with username, password and session length
American Records from 1896 - 1972
American Records from 1972 - 1992
American Records from 1993 - 1997
Hall of Fame
All Time Best Junior + Senior American Records
Golden Standard Rankings of Junior + Senior Mens American Records
Design for a Quiet, Low Vibration Olympic Weightlifting Training Platform
Golden Standard Calculator
Soviet Height/Weight Chart
Ivan Abajiev Training Lecture
School of Champions
Editorial: Keep Pound-ing Away!
Topic: Editorial: Keep Pound-ing Away! (Read 464 times)
Chris Ⓐ LeRoux
MS, CSCS, Exempt from USAW bureaucrats
Tread On Me At Dire Risk
Editorial: Keep Pound-ing Away!
Aug 08, 2006, 05:17 PM »
Keep Pound-ing Away!
Dick Pound must continue the crusade against steroid use in sports.
There can be no surprise that Floyd Landis' B samples also tested positive over the weekend. Even his lawyers had been expecting that.
Nor was it a shock that isotope tests proved that artificial testosterone was present in his urine, obliterating the already-laughable claim that Landis has the oddest body in all of sports, manufacturing the male hormone in near-toxic amounts. The Landis' camp had already diversified its single-theme defence and was up to something like five different explanations for the uber-masculinity in his urine. What's next, an assertion that Mennonite furniture fosters artificial testosterone?
This is a sad, sad, spectacle, and already everyone has stopped listening. Landis' predictable protests sound like a man shouting into a well: they go nowhere, and with each echo seem thinner, less real and farther away. He has become a pathetic creature, another foot soldier in the drug-drenched parade to obscurity. As a European wire story pointed out last night, L'Equipe, the French sports paper which treats cycling the way The Sporting News treats baseball, reported Landis' B samples on Page 12. They know that the Big Race has become the Tour de Farce.
The last eight Tour de France races have been won by Americans, and in a previous era Greg LeMond took three titles, the first North American to win the fabled French race, which until recently was almost mystical in its reputation. But pro cycling is farther away from spectator acceptance on this continent than it has ever been, despite a sharp rise in mass recreational participation. Now, the two-wheeled professional races will never make it here.
Mountain biking, perhaps yes, as long as it steers clear of the chemical dependency which has come to define its rich relative. And that's a shame, because cycling is a beautiful sport. Anybody who had a chance to take in the World Road Racing championships in and around Hamilton just a couple of years back was captivated by the magnetic orgy of sound and sight: the colourful uniforms, the smooth whirr of tire against pavement, the cacophony of cheers in dozens of different languages, the sheer pain of exertion etched onto the riders' drawn faces.
But with Landis' tests, the suspension of several teams even before the Tour de France, the suspicions around and outright accusations hurled at Lance Armstrong, the European riders who have died from improper drug use, all we can see in the highest level of the sport, is ugliness. Dirt. The fraternity of the syringe.
It seems that the activities which were our earliest stepping stones to sport have become the most sullied. Even before most of us had tied on a pair of bob skates, which eventually led us into hockey or figure skating, we ran. We were taught to ride a bike. We took to the water. We tried to see how much we could lift. But it was in Olympic swimming that widespread drug corruption was first widely exposed, with weightlifting right on its soiled tail. Cycling has clearly been the most thoroughly compromised and it was running which gave us Ben Johnson, scores of other proven cheats and the BALCO folks, who had apparently already spilled their ugly fluids into baseball.
Justin Gatlin, the co-holder of the world record in the 100 metres, the event which with the mile run has been the measuring stick of basic athletic superiority for more than a century, tested positive the same week as Landis. For the second time, despite knowing he'd be tested regularly.
Running, cycling, swimming, lifting. These were our earliest activities -- not even sports, really, at the time -- and as such seemed so pure. Now they seem so tainted. In the end because they were based on power, they were the most susceptible to drug abuse, with big money as the stimulant. The entire economic structure of those sports at the highest level depended upon passing threshholds, upon creating superstars, and a blind eye was turned for a long time, just as a blind eye was turned in baseball in its attempt to overcome the strike of '94, just as a blind, over-patriotic eye is being turned in hockey in its attempt to overcome the lockout of 2004.
Dick Pound might be a shrill, exaggerating crusader, but he is absolutely right in this respect: no sport in this modern world could come off completely clean unless it isn't administering the right kind of tests, at the right time, for the right substances. You probably couldn't gather a group of 600-plus accountants or journalists or seamstresses to all test negative, and their jobs don't rely upon intense physical aggression.
Say what you want about Pound, WADA and other anti-drug crusaders, but they are on the right track are absolutely necessary, and they must keep on fighting. They are the cops of sport's massive and complex global village, and they need our help, in the form of condemnation of cheating and cheaters. Sport is being increasingly compromised by a number of factors, mostly relating to money, but chemical enhancement is among the worst of the interlopers because, like gambling (another head-in-the-sand area of hockey), it attacks the very foundation of sport: competitive integrity.
The theory in this corner has always been and always will be that it is a shorter step to go from, say, steroids to absurd mechanical aids like a metal spring in the elbow for baseball pitchers, than it is to go from being clean to using any kind of performance-enhancing chemical. It is the thin-edge-of-the-wedge theory.
If we turn the other way, or fail to condemn drug use, drug users, drug suppliers and drug apologists in sport, it won't be long until we are paying to watch athletes who are essentially robots.
And those who have been caught don't do sport--not just their own but all sport--- any favours with denial after denial. They're going down anyway, so it would be better if they blew the whistle and exposed the larger machinery which leads to this chemical abuse, so we can begin to dismantle it.
"Show me the government that does not infringe upon anyone's rights, and I will no longer call myself an anarchist." ~Jacob Halbrooks
Editorial: Keep Pound-ing Away!
SMF © 2011
Page created in 0.507 seconds with 34 queries.