More Lance Armstrong…

The outrage…

Why is it the once every other year report that upwards of 60% of high school students in top-tier schools like Bronx Science, Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech, Staten Island Tech, and Townsend Harris, as well as approximately 50% of Medical school students, law school students, engineering and hard science students in top-tier universities, all use Ritalin, either without a prescription or based on a phony diagnosis and prescription, simply to boost their ability to concentrate, focus, and retain crammed in information with superhuman ability, fails to generate any of the moral outrage in the public or political arenas that professional athletic steroid users do?

Competitive parents shop around for psychiatrists who will actually diagnose their healthy children because they know these drugs will give their kids a competitive edge scholastically. The AMA has labelled this phenomenon as an epidemic in America in their Medical Journals!  So to readers who are concerned about young children being given performance enhancing drugs at an early age I remind you, the top students in this country are already getting them, for academic enhancement! Young children are receiving brain steroids (what psychiatrists call Ritalin among themselves), even though it is equally illegal and a psychiatrist can lose their license if caught giving bogus prescriptions. But who’s checking? Where is the outrage? Why don’t we care as much? Cause it’s not entertainment? Because we don’t make heroes of academic achievers and then take perverse pleasure in tearing them down after building them up? Hypocrites, every one of you, for attacking Lance, or Barry Bonds, or Alex Rodriguez, Marion Jones, or whoever else gets caught up in this ridiculous witch hunt to protect the illusion of some form of American purity that really never existed.

My point is, since we can obviously never truly know if an athlete is “clean” or not, we need to make sure there is at least informed consent; that they aren’t being given drugs without their knowledge or without being told of any possible short or long-term side affects.

And for anyone thinking that special tracks and footwear aren’t the same kind of cheating, keep in mind that unless you are considered a top candidate to medal, you don’t get the customized footwear made for you, and if you’re from a poor country chances are you never got a chance to train on a multi-million dollar track that closely mimics the conditions you will run in during the Olympics. That means that your timing and even your running gate will be thrown off dramatically.  You have no chance.

We are a nation of cheats; it’s called innovation in some circles. Make it as safe as possible for the athletes and get on with the games.

Lance, the USADA, and YOU

Lance cheated?  Oh my.  Wake the f#*k up.

The problem I have of stripping Armstrong is simply this: If you read the conclusions of USADA against Armstrong as far as they’ve been published, they make the testing polices of The IOC and ICU seem ludicrous and idiotically easy to get around, to the point of almost willful blindness.  The details of the testimony against Armstrong are like something out of the movie Animal House when Bluto and D-Day steal and copy exam answers.  If it’s that juvenilely easy to beat the tests, we have absolutely no way of knowing if any rider in the past 30 years was clean.  Simply having taken the tests and passing them is meaningless, apparently.  

Much was made of Armstrong’s apparent misstatement that he passed over 500 tests during his career, when “in fact” he only took 260 tests  (and passed them all).  Excuse me, but my wife has yelled at me “thousands of times” (according to her) in a single day to put my coffee cups in the dishwasher (it was only 373 times according to my independent analysis).  All the Athletes are dirty, and anyone who believes otherwise is living in the same world where the earth is only 6000 years old.  

Landis got caught, and in a pique of jealous rage implicated the greatest champion of his generation.  Call it what it is, the drug generation, and its never going to be possible to put that jennie back in the bottle.  Same in baseball, basketball, and football.  When the home run totals fall to 1980 levels; when star NFL and NBA players are hurt more than healthy, when track and field athletes in the Olympics stop breaking records and revert to speeds of the Edwin Moses and Prefontaine levels; the fans will start losing interest, and the owners and powers will look the other way and let the next generation of athletes do what’s necessary to bring the fans back, and then stab those same athletes in the back when they are no longer perceived as necessary.  This is your fault, fans.  And yours, media.  You are all hypocrites.

Can anyone even define cheating?  The London Olympic committee bragged that it created “the fastest track in Olympic history”.  They spent over $20,000,000 to create a track that would actually spring athletes foreword and higher, so their runs would be faster and jumps would be greater.  This isn’t cheating?  Nike, Adidas, and Reebok invest millions in custom foot ware for the top contenders to improve their chances of winning, and improve the athletes value as an endorser.  Michael Phelps wears a $300,000 body suit that creates the most friction free surface for gliding through the water.  He didn’t buy this.  It was given to him.  Nigerians don’t have access to this, and neither did Michael Spitz, the 1970’s Olympic swimming champion who was considered the greatest swimmer of all time until Phelps shattered his medal records.

Without drugs, naked in a swimming pool, who would be faster, Spitz or Phelps?  Without drugs, naked and barefoot on a sweltering track, who would be faster, Jessie Owens or Carl Lewis (yes, he was drugged up like crazy, everything but steroids).  I’d bet of Spitz and Owens every freaking time!