At the recent US championships, Adam Nelson was given his 2004 Olympic gold medal. The former winner had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, and now, nine years after the event, Adam Nelson finally got his gold medal.
As a journalist and someone who loves track I have to say the following:
For drug testing to work, it has to catch the cheaters. When all they do is catch masters athletes or old former Soviet block throwers on strychnine, I am suspect.
While it breaks my heart that Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell tested positive, I understand, that for drug testing to work, it has to convince the athletes, coaches and trainers that all are on an even training field.
I do get weary of, anytime we have a series of busts, some folks write about the death of the sport.
Do me a favor and watch the Tour de France tonight. One good buddy, a total track hound, has been hooked on the Tour this year, why? ” Cycling has cleaned up, and the guys have good and bad days, so someone you have never heard of has a good day, then is exhausted, and another rider comes up! Cycling is exciting again.”
Drug testing will catch the majority of cheaters. For Drug testing to work, though, it has to work on positive tests, out of competition testing and jurisprudence recognized in US and World courts. Using any means possible to catch cheats is just lowering ourselves to their levels.
Using banned substances is just plain wrong. Whether you are a Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, a Jew or an agnostic, right and wrong exist in your system of beliefs.
Want to curb cheating in sports? Teach Sports ethics. ESPN, the pinnacle of sports media, needs to recognize athletes who get their Ph.ds (Allan Page), start an after school program, build a hospital, live a good life.
One can be a fine athlete, a great coach, a fine trainer and not be a thug, drug cheat or rude. Sports needs to be part of a well rounded life, not the meaning of life.
Consider this while on your run, walk or yoga class today.