So Lance Armstrong is riding RAGBRAI. BFD! I was a huge supporter of my fellow Texan through the trials and tribulations leading up to his ultimate confession. Wanted to believe with all my heart that his amazing accomplishments were product of Real Hard Work. Once he came “clean” I did a 180 and now consider him a scoundrel of the first order. All the fan boys that are aquiver about riding with Lance this week? Tools.
Same with Major League Baseball. There is hardly a hue and cry from the majority of Americans though and that has me scratching my bald head.
In a day where “better performance through chemistry” holds sway it is hardly surprising that these egregious offenses are little more than passing news.
Eddy Hellebuyck was friend of mine. An extremely talented masters runner that succumbed to the temptation of performance enhancing drugs. Started putting up some eye popping times, winning national titles, and lying through his teeth. Again, a real scoundrel. His bad decision got his name wiped off the record books and branded him forever as a cheat.
Tyson Gay. Marion Jones. Ben Johnson. Flo Jo. Justin Gatlin. Maybe even your very own neighbor. The list of disgraced “greats” is a mile long. But does anyone other than their competitors really care?
All it takes is a phone call to your doctor with a complaint of low energy and, Rx! Have a little testosterone injected, implanted, or ingested and watch those times start dropping. Get that mileage back up to where it was when you were in your 20s? Why not! Recover more quickly and feel energized for every workout? Heck yes! Maybe recapture some of your former glory? Sounds too good to pass up!
I understand the temptation but also abhor those that sink so low. Especially those that either lie or try and defend or justify their choice.
But most people don’t give a hoot, preferring instead, like I did with Lance, to ignore or simply refuse to believe their heroes are anything but that.
Maybe the winds of change will blow back to honest competition. Let’s hope so.