The following column is the modest proposal from Elliott Denman, a 1956 Olympian, on how to deal with drug cheats such as Lance Armstrong. Tell us what you think!
Here’s a hint of what Elliot is up to, where could we put the likes of Lance Armstrong and other notorious drug cheaters?
Lance Armstrong, photo by PhotoRun.net
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
Take the ferry across Puget Sound west from Seattle and aim for Bremerton. Head north on
highway 16 through Chico, Silverdale and Poulsbo. Continue on north past Port Gamble and Shine. And that should get you to highway 101.
Once on 101, swing on up and west and around to Forks. If you see signs for Bogachief, Ruby Beach and Kataloch, you’ve gone too far. Take a U-turn north to milepost 176.
Turn right. And soon you’re at your destination.
Look for the signs.
They’ll say “Olympic Corrections Center.”
It’s right there, on the far west end of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, tucked away neatly in the furthest northwest corner of the northwestern United States.
It’s been there since 1968 and superintendent John Aldana will be quick to tell you it was designed to house some 380 minimum security violators.
Question for Superintendent Aldano: Might you, possibly, just possibly, have room for another guest?
Hey, in view of ongoing events, what better new residence might there be for Mr. Lance Armstrong?
Yes, indeed, Lance Armstrong and the Olympic Corrections Center, perfect together,
Sentence him to a stay long enough to get himself really and truly corrected.
Seven years? OK, too long.
How about 21 weeks (three for each of his Tour de France drug-boosted and now irrevocably stained Tour de France victories, something close to the
the riding time of all those spins over the Vosges and the Alps laid end-to-end) ??
After all, he’s not a murderer or child molester.
Just a cheat of all cheats.
As he told Oprah (and as the world saw Thursday night), here’s man who clearly needs help.
How about these utterances from the lips of the seven-time Tour now non-champion and now non-bronze medalist in the road time trial race at the 2000 Sydney Olympics:
“I told a lot of lies. I repeated them a lot of times.”
“I know the truth. It wasn’t what I said at the time.”
“My story was so perfect….for so long.”
“I’m a flawed character. It’s all my fault and the blame falls on me.”
“I didn’t invent the (drug) culture but I didn’t try to stop it, either.”
“I had no fear of getting caught. It was all so sophisticated.”
“I had a ruthless desire to win, and that’s a flaw.”
“It was my attitude, my defiance, my arrogance.”
“I didn’t feel I was cheating. I just wanted a level playing field.”
“I see the anger, the disappointment and the feeling of betrayal I have caused. It’s all there,”
“Yes, I was a bully. I tried to control the narrative of everything.”
“If there was something I did not like, I’d go on the attack.”
“I thought I could control the outcome of everything.”
“Dr. Michele Ferrari? (the alleged drug provider and facilitator.) He’s not toxic, he’s not evil.”
And that was just the first day of the Oprah interview.
Now, I want to know when Lance Armstrong is going to repay the millions of taxpayer he pocketed as a liar and fraud, doled out by the U.S. Postal Service (which now, and ironically, continues on the brink of bankruptcy.)
Now, I want to know want to know when he’s going to really and truly apologize for the desecration of his professional sport and the damage he’s done to the Olympic ideal, and cease dishing out further half-truths – or no-truths – in the pathetic attempt to wheedle his way into any extension of his athletic career.
Me, I’ve been mad at Lance Armstrong since the day, poor boy, he refused to interrupt his training routine to accept the Jesse Owens International Trophy, ready to be presented to him before a chock-a-block Waldorf-Astoria ballroom, as the world number one Olympic-sport athlete of the year, 2000.
Lance Armstrong sent his mother instead.
And while, while we’re at it and moving right along, let’s check back with superintendent Aldana. Let’s see if he’s got room for other guests.
Let’s see if we can negotiate retroactive sentences to the Olympic Corrections Center.
Maybe there’s a place, out in the Pacific Northwest, at milepost 176 of route 101, for Ben Johnson, for Marion Jones, for Tim Montgomery, for C.J. Hunter…
For Dora Ratjen, the women’s Olympic high jump medalist for Germany (who was really a man)…
For Kornelia Ender, and so many of the other East German swimmers who testerosteroned their way to heaps of Olympic golds…
For Russian track sisters Tamara
and Irina Press, often called “the Press brothers”…
For Jarmila Kratochvilova, still the world record-holder in the women’s 800 meters three decades after giving the appearance of a “Mr. Czechoslovakia” candidate.
For Soviet Union modern pentathlete Boris Onischenko, who jimmied the workings of his epee to record hits that never were; thus earning the eternal epithet “Disonischenko.”
And, just this past summer, for Nadzeya Ostapchuk, who “juiced” her way to the London Olympic gold in the shot put, only to have it grabbed back quickly and fortunately (thanks to major advances in the whole testing process)and presented to the rightful owner, Valerie Adams of NewZealand.