News Views: Who’s next?

No matter the excuse, it is disappointing the level doping has reached, the extent of the cover up.

From Ben Johnson to Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, then Barry Bonds, Marion Jones, Tim Drummond, Shawne Merriman, Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong.

Now three Jamaican sprinters and an American, all former world champions or past Olympic medalists, have tested positive for banned substances, performance enhancing stimulants.

This list of athletes caught doping is much longer, dating back to at least the state-sponsored drug programs in East Germany that started in the 1960s.

More are sure to be punished, once Major League Baseball’s investigation of the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic is complete.

And who knows what other names this latest track scandal will shake out, as the trainer for two of the Jamaicans previously worked at a Canadian clinic with Anthony Galea, the doctor who plead guilty to trying to smuggle human growth hormone across the U.S. border to treat professional athletes.

We know why these athletes do it, why they cheat – they want to make the team; they want to win; they want to be the best; they want fame and money.

No matter the excuse, it is disappointing the level doping has reached, the extent of the cover up.

It is at a point now where no one who sets a new standard or approaches one thought to be unobtainable is without suspicion.

Chris Davis hit 37 home runs before the MLB all-star break, during which he revealed that he’s tested for drugs more than the rest of his teammates.

Is that fair?

Usain Bolt, the current record-holder in the men’s 100-metre sprint, cannot escape the scrutiny brought on by his teammates – if they were cheating, was he, too?

One NFL player said earlier this year that HGH use the is rampant in his sport. The league and players association still have not agreed on a testing program.

Why? A baseline for acceptable levels has not been set by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

HGH is banned in the Olympics, as well as MLB and the Tour de France. Use can be detected in a blood test. But there exist masking agents and cleansing routines and even more science.

Drug testing in professional hockey and soccer is also considered inadequate.

So suspicion persists. And as long as it does, no fan will ever know whether what he or she is witnessing is real or not. No athlete will ever be able to measure him or herself against the supposed greats of the past, even the present.

It’s a mirage. Knowing that, the sport becomes watching to see who will get caught next.

That’s sports entertainment today.

The real shame is that more young athletes, those still in high school, believe, that to achieve their dreams, they must use performance enhancing drugs or stimulants.

It is known, and it is accepted.

And so are some of the health risks.

Yes, the rewards can be great.

Ask Ben Johnson about the fall from grace.

Does anyone care anymore?


– The News