Dave Zirin argues that trying to identify athletes who gain an advantage through doping is a waste of the government's money and time. Given the state of our economy, not to mention myriads of far more serious criminal activities left unattended to, such an argument might sound logical. Wouldn't they be better dealt with, he asks, by their own sports' federations?
The answer might be yes, if indeed those sports federations had ever been serious about stopping doping. Prior to the government coming on the scene, those so called self governing federations took little notice of the drugs in their sports. Without the government stepping in, one could legitimately ask would any of the All -Star cheaters, such as Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, etc, been sanctioned? I doubt it. More than likely today, they would all be receiving their accolades, playing in celebrity golf tournaments, and writing their Hall of Fame induction speeches.
If you agree with me, that leaves only the government to act as an independent entity with enough clout to expose said cheaters - all cheaters, including the iconic Lance Armstrong if indeed it is proven he used blood boosters, blood transfusion, and testosterone shots, to gain an advantage over his opponents who, by the way, might very well have been doping themselves.
Frankly, I don't give a damn how much money Lance Armstrong raised for Cancer. I'm an athlete and I have cancer. Like Bob Lypsyte and other cancer survivors, I am grateful for Armstrong's effort to raise money for cancer research. It's the least he could have done after the medical profession saved his life and his career. Now, the best that he can do is tell the truth and take his consequences. Redemption without confession is meaningless.
Cheaters should be banned from their sports for life. It is the best way to discourage future cheaters and preserve the integrity of sports. All their awards should be returned. Their names should be struck from any record book. And, if they lied to the grand jury, they should, like any citizen, go to jail. Period, bottom line, end of tawdry story.
Was there anything better than riding your bike when you were a youngster, bending over those handlebars, pumping like crazy, wind in your hair? Here's a haiku about a riding a bike in a city.
The wind behind me
Water bottle is my friend
Watch that taxi door
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.