WARNING--A KIND OF SERIOUS POST
I know the whole Lance Armstrong PED thing is an old, gangrenous topic. Add to the list Marion Jones' story. And let's get old skool...Ben Johnson. Nonetheless, I read a DailyMile post by a commoner this week and a blog post by professional triathlete Cat Morrison the other day that freshened the shit up in my mind, and I remembered that publicly rendering my opinion never happened.
First, a disclaimer: I'm not a doctor. I'm not a dealer. I'm not a doper. I've done zero real research into any of this. I'm totally going on hearsay and personal experience. Second, qualifications: while never a professional athlete (my sport was an AMATEUR sport), I did compete on the level that required drug-testing and had the potential to result in national pride. My finishes in several events required that I be subjected to drug-testing protocol and chromosomal gender testing (this person pioneered the need for that sucky test which consisted of gargling with fucking rubbing alcohol and having the inside of your cheek scraped with a sharp-ass edge of a glass microscope slide). I have also had close friends who've failed the drug testing.
Let's start with a couple of questions:
- Would you ever use a banned substance... one on the naughty list?
- Do you consider some banned substances more egregious than others?
- Is an over-the-counter banned substance less morally weighty than a prescription one obtained illegally?
- Do you know which OTC products are banned?
- Did you know that not all Robitussin and Benadryl is created equal?
- Did you know that some things that were on the naughty list for years are now no longer on the naughty list?
- Did you know that ignorance does not exempt you from the rules?
Here's what I have to say to the cheaters: Y'all are messed up. Stop using the cheating shit. When you get caught, cop to it and shut up. And I say this even to the "small fry" or "accidental" cheaters who unwittingly took the wrong kind of fucking Benadryl (yes, there are different kinds!) and were stripped of medals. Interestingly, it would appear that less than 150 mcg/ml of pseudoephedrine is no longer on the shit-list. I wonder if they're retroactively restoring medals in cases such as this? Probably not.
My friend who got busted and suspended from his sport for two years acknowledged his mistake. That cocaine was a baaaaad idea, he told me. Just kidding! The real story is he was really sick for several days leading up to the Olympic trials in 1992. Bronchitis-y shit. Coughing, couldn't breathe, fever, felt like shit. He went to CVS, forked over his $4.89 and got some Robitussin DM. Ooops! Wrong kind! You can take the MutherFucker Robitussin (Robitussin MF) but stay away from the DeadMuthers (DM), he later counseled me. He finished second in the trials and got tested. It was his swan song as he planned to retire after that Olympics (it would have been his fourth Olympic team). He was old and tired and hadn't won, so the suspension was pretty meaningless. But he was sad to go out on such a sour note.
Here's what I have to say to the people who lose to cheaters who don't get caught or haven't served enough of a penance: Get over it. There will never be enough checkpoints and testing protocols to nail everyone. Clean athletes say they want a level playing field. There is no level playing field. The playing field always has a downhill end, and at that bottom-of-the-hill goal, the poor goaltender has to squint into the fucking blazing, bright sun.
You missed getting the purse because some fuckwad cheater cheater pumpkin eater beat you and didn't get busted? Well, that sucks. BUT let it go. Ready yourself for the next go-round.
My aforementioned friend who got busted gave me this sage advice when I was complaining once about how unfair it all was. I was being treated like shit by our club coaches and the national team coaches for who knows what fucking reason...it was all bullshit and political.
His advice: You just make yourself the best you can be. That's all you can do. Work to make yourself indispensable, un-ignorable, unstoppable. That's all you can do. It doesn't matter what anyone else does. You have to let all that go. Your actions and your integrity speak volumes. Let that be your platform and your legacy then, no matter what color your medal, you win the game. That "game" is Life.
I do think drug-testing and clean sports are important. My point here is that being outraged does nothing but wastes your energy that is better spent focusing on inner peace and the next prize.
rather incongruous image...but it spoke to me.