"Slow Reader" noted in another thread that the Bay Area newspapers take some wading through to find all the latest drug stuff. Using your link for BALCO material doesn't turn up this one from the SF Chronicle Sunday. Column by Gwen Knapp, which starts like this:
<<The NFL has the most intelligent, thorough, conscientious steroid- testing programming of all four major professional sports based in the United States. It laps the NBA, leaves Major League Baseball at the starting line and humiliates the NHL, which is a no-show in this competition.
And still, drug testing in the NFL is a joke.
The punishment for a first positive test is a four-game suspension. A second offense brings a six-game ban. That's not much of a deterrent. >>
So long as there's this kind of disparity between testing in the pro sports and ours (and we're only making the gap bigger if USATF gets its way) the sport will always be viewed as dirty while others are clean, no matter what the reality is.
Don't lose too much sleep over this. Just as we cannot do anything about stray dogs "yapping" in the streets, we should not worry about other sports that do not want to clean house, even partially. Or if that does not satisfy you, I quote Sophocles from "Oedipus at Colonus", (412 B.C.?), out of context. "Cease lamentation, these things are with Authority".
NFL is run by owners who collectively agree that healthy products(players) lead to greater profits. Collectively agreeing to look the other way on the issue of drugs. Same goes for players union. $$$ + organization = everyone playing by the same rules.
Track is individuals scrapping for peanuts and pencil shavings to make a living doing their sport. Effectively athletes are their own owners and decide what is best for their production. All the athletes don't agree to cheat, so rules are made to disqualify those that cheat. The sport looks bad because of rules that the athletes WANT. The problem is that we suck at enforcing the rules.
Lyle Alzado before he died of cancer made the claim that some 75% of all NFL players are using some sort of performance enhancing drug. Rarely does more then 1 player test positive for performance enhancing drugs in a given year. You figure out what the NFL says about drug use and testing.
Here's a guy who says he didn't inhale. He has been caught at least once. You'd think he would pick his friends a little more carefully. I read that this will cost him 317,000. I was wondering why the SD/Denver game had no line this morning. Must be this. Thought it was because of that ageless Flutie bugger.
"Don't lose too much sleep over this. Just as we cannot do anything about stray dogs "yapping" in the streets, we should not worry about other sports that do not want to clean house, even partially. Or if that does not satisfy you, I quote Sophocles from "Oedipus at Colonus", (412 B.C.?), out of context. "Cease lamentation, these things are with Authority"."
Beautiful! To which I would like to add, "Expectation is premeditated resentment".
>Here's a guy who says he didn't inhale. He has
>been caught at least once. You'd think he would
>pick his friends a little more carefully. I read
>that this will cost him 317,000. I was wondering
>why the SD/Denver game had no line this morning.>>
There was no line because while he may not inhale, he does snort!
This is a track and field board; I think we should stop writing about the NFL and worry about our own sport, which is in a sad state as far as drugs go. Always easier to point fingers at someone else than look in the mirror.
I think some of you are missing an important point. Compared to the NFL, we do not have a doping problem; we have an image problem. One way to help combat the public image of track is a dirty sport is to make everyone aware of how truly dirty the more popular sports are.
Has any baseball player ever been suspended for taking steroids. Absolutely not! Does that mean they're all clean. Absurd! It means they don't test the way we do, and when then find something, they don't punish the way we do. Yet when you talk about baseball to Joe Sixpack, he does not think "What a dirty sport," even though it is. You tell people you're involved with track and the first thing they mention is drugs. And sponsors know that and people in the media know that (indeed, they're part of the problem).
We have to turn this around and saying the NFL doesn't matter to us doesn't help us fix the image problem.
>If he didn't inhale he didn't
>inhale more than once as the way I understand the
>NFL rules you get counselling after the first
>offense and then if it happens again you can be
>suspended, fined, etc.
...my point exactly. That's why I said you would think he would have picked his friends a little more carefully after getting caught once.
Interesting, but showing that other sports are dirty as well will not help our image; it will only show that all sports are dirty, rather than only our sport being dirty.
I think we need to fix this problem from within; not only will that help our image, but morally I think it is the right thing to do. Our sport has a drug problem that must be addressed; "baseball is dirty" does not equal "track is clean."
BTW, you mentioned that they never punish anyone in baseball; that's because they don't test. Although there is a rule against steroids in MLB, there is no testing so the rule is basically moot. MLB may be the worst of all sports in addressing the steroid problem.
Look at the difference between how Marion handled herself yesterday at the Balco grand jury compared to some football player. I could say something about roid rage but won't. Don't want to get the post deleted.
>Interesting, but showing that other sports are dirty as well will not help our image; it will only show that all sports are dirty, rather than only our sport being dirty.
>I think we need to fix this problem from within; not only will that help our image, but morally I think it is the right thing to do. Our sport has a drug problem that must be addressed; "baseball is dirty" does not equal "track is clean." <
I agree that we need to do whatever we can to be 100% clean. But the reason to attack baseball and other pro sports is to increase the public awareness that all sports have this problem, not just track. I think that WILL help our image because the doping issue will then fade into the same background that it has in other sports. And then our athletes and events will be covered for who and what they are, not on how they relate to doping.
There are newspapers that cover track only when there is doping news. They ignored the Pan-Am Games as if they did not exist, but ran stories about the positives after events they hadn't covered. They don't do that to baseball.
If the media and the public understood that all sports are dirty, they would either demand that all sports clean up their act, focusing much of their anger on the big time sports, or they would ignore the issue in track as they ignore it in hockey. Either way, we win because our image is no longer that of the dirtiest sport in the world (which, unfortunately, IS our image today to some people).
Yes, let's keep fighting doping. But let's also address the image problem that is costing us fans, sponsorships, and even potential athletes. And one way to address the image problem is to put our doping problem in its proper context. In a world in which sports are dirty, we are dirty too, but actually much less dirty than just about every other sport. The more people understand that, the better.