Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bud Selig In Spandex

Interesting reading all the doping criticism lobbed at the Tour de France. One headline even described the Tour as "coming apart."

OK, let's see. TDF organizers run the most stringent anti-doping program found in any sport. Riders caught doping are kicked out of the Tour (leaving to a chorus of boos), arrested and interrogated. Their teams withdraw in disgrace. The doping supply chain is investigated right back to the crooked doctors and illicit suppliers. 

So far the system appears to be doing what it's supposed to do: catch cheaters.  Yes, there are riders who will do anything for an advantage; they're stupid.  They may believe they'll never get caught; they're wrong, and now they're just criminals.  There may be other cheaters as yet unknown.  Probably always will be. But the Tour "coming apart?" C'mon, get a grip. Or better yet, use your powers of observation to learn something.

Try contrasting cycling's approach to Major League Baseball's decades-long "don't ask, don't tell, don't want to know" attitude. Hell, an entire all-star team of juiced-up MLB stars will probably get voted into the Hall of Fame, more's the pity. Last I saw, no teams had withdrawn from the sport and gone home, no managers were fired or disgraced.  It could even be argued that several managers (cough**Tony LaRussa**cough) benefited mightily from all the artificial joy coursing through players' veins (cough**Mark McGwire**cough.)

Certainly nobody's yet been arrested, though if it does someday happen it'll be for lying to Congress not for doping or because baseball gives a flying fig. Yes, it took Congress (of all people) to drag MLB into the real world, screaming and yelping all the while about intransigent unions and the difficulties of testing...blah, blah, blah.

And yet nobody says baseball is "coming apart."  Funny, that. The only thing coming apart is certain observers' sense of reality. And Bud Selig's reputation.

1 comment:

Comm's said...

When I read the articles surrounding the guy kicked out last week and his whole team dropping as well, it was an affirmation to the process.

Cycling will always be maligned by American sports.