IOC, Have No Business Trying To Police Drugs!

IOC, Have No Business Trying To Police Drugs!
Posted by FoM on August 09, 1999 at 12:20:28 PT
Jack Todd, The Gazette
Source: Montreal Gazette
Let it never be said that we don't do our bit to help athletes in trouble. Looking ahead to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, therefore, we have provided this handy form to help with the inevitable post-test press conference. Simply circle the categories that apply and read as soon as you find yourself in hot water: 
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. As you know, I called you here this morning because of my positive test last week for: a) nandralone; b) stanozolol; c) Sudafed; d) laughing gas; e) enough cocaine to jump-start a Boeing 747. It is my belief that this substance turned up in my urine because a) My friend Bennie the Junkie has been shooting it into my butt twice a week for the past year; b) I had such a bad case of the sniffles that only three boxes of Sudafed would do; c) Somebody spiked my Kool-Aid while I was busy checking out the gams on that cute Slovenian hurdler; d) Aliens beamed me up to determine why I am such an amazing physical specimen and injected my body with an unknown substance while they were buzzing the White House in their flying saucer; e) Three little letters: C-I-A. Even though I am innocent as the driven snow, I would like to apologize to: a) my teammates; b) my mother, father, wife and girlfriend; c) my transvestite buddies down at the His-'n'-Hers Bar & Grill; d) all those innocent bozos who think it's possible to stay clean and run a world-class 100 metres. When I won my gold medal last week, I was: a) completely free of any recreational or performance-enhancing drug; b) pumped up on so much Stanozolol it's a wonder I don't look like Arnold; c) higher than Keith Richards at Altamont. I promise that I will return to competition as soon as: a) I've had a couple of years to flush this crap out of my system; b) pigs can fly; c) my suspension is lifted; d) I get Johnnie Cochrane's phone number. - & THE LAST WORD ON DOPING GOES TO: The incomparable Bill "Spaceman" Lee. Asked last week how long it will take Mark McGwire to flush the androstenedione out of his system, Lee said: "He'll be in the grave four years - and he'll still be glowing." - ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE: Steven Vezina turned out to be an unapologetic little worm whose teammates need to meet him in a dark alley. We don't know from the Dominican high-jumper or the Mexican baseball player. The bragging Dennis Mitchell is one of the biggest hypocrites in sport and the only pity in his case is that the U.S. track federation keeps trying to pretend all its athletes are clean. If there's one athlete who might actually be clean, it's Linford Christie, who simply had no motive to be taking steroids after his semi-retirement from the sport. That leaves the great Javier Sotomayor. Sotomayor is special - with the Soviet pole-vaulter Sergei Bubka and Carl Lewis one of the great track-and-field athletes of the past three decades. If you want to understand how great Sotomayor really is, put a high-jump bar up to eight feet, walk up next to it - and try to imagine soaring over that bar with nothing but your own strength to get you there. The drug for which Sotomayor tested positive, cocaine, is a recreational drug. It wrecks lives and shatters families - but it's still a recreational drug, and at any rate, Sotomayor had ingested the drug a few days before, so it had no effect on his performance at the Pan Am Games, an event he could have won on one leg, anyway. The problem is that the IOC and the other amateur sports bodies have no business policing recreational drugs: as the wave of recent positive tests shows, it's all they can do to keep up with the real cheaters. By taking on the police responsibilities dictated by the U.S. in its mad and ineffective "War on Drugs," officials are focusing on the wrong thing - and in the process they have smeared Sotomayor, one of the great athletes of his time. - THAT DON'T IMPRESS US MUCH: The collective yawn with which Montrealers greeted Tony Gwynn's 3,000th hit should surprise no one around here. Gwynn is a singles hitter in a home-run world and a genuinely good person in a sport where we would rather see a genetically enhanced monster hitting 500-foot taters than a roly-poly chap who is a master of the art of putting bat on ball. Still, the mere 13,540 who turned up for Gwynn's 3,000th at the Big O was a disappointment. In defence of Montreal's no-show fans, however, it must be pointed out that his milestone hit left Gwynn a mere 1,256 behind Pete Rose and 1,191 hits behind Ty Cobb, not to mention 311 hits behind the immortal Eddie Collins. If Gwynn's achievement did anything for us, it was to highlight the absurdity of the Rose situation: Gwynn has been a amazingly productive hitter throughout his career and yet he is roughly eight solid seasons away from tying Rose's record. In a sport that has been run by creeps and scalawags for 150 years (hello, George Steinbrenner) it is simply not acceptable that a player who had 4,256 hits is not in the Hall of Fame.  & while we're at it, let's not forget Wade Boggs, who proved for the ages that prolonged associations with floozies don't necessarily interfere with your batting stroke. - BITS & PIECES: How come Ted Blackman gets the witty Arnie Gold of Cote St. Luc in his E-mail - and I get mad droolings from the fax machine of some lunatic obsessed with Tiger Woods?  Just using the word "lunatic" makes me miss Nick Auf der Maur.  If the Jacques Menard group is about to spend between $15 million and $18 million to purchase the land for Labatt Park instead of leasing it from the feds, then we're getting close.  Lee thinks he could still pitch in the majors with his good control and the circle change. He'd like to come back for the Expos. They want to get fans out to the park, Lee coming out of the bullpen to take on a lefty in the eighth inning would draw more fans than Gwynn going for 3,000, guaranteed. - THE GOOD: Javier Sotomayor. Tony Gwynn. Wade Boggs. Bill Lee. Joanne Malar. Terry Baker. Mike Pringle. Vladimir Guerrero. Orlando Cabrera. Mike Thurman. Chris Widger. Dustin Hermanson. Ugueth Urbina. Thomas Johansson. - THE BAD: The Alouettes inside the 20-yard line. - THE UGLY: Steven Vezina. Richard Nixon. The War on Drugs. Jim Leyritz. Friday night on Crescent Street.Pubdate: August 9, 1999Related Articles: Sotomayor Fails Drug Test - 8/05/99
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