23 July, 2008

too many doping stories

I would have preferred to post fewer doping stories.  But the stories are getting written because athletes are getting caught.  I have no idea if this means that the testing is better or that these riders aren't too swift.  I'd like to believe the former. 

Doping is with us.  With us because whenever there's competition, people want an edge.  This isn't just sport, but life.  Enron, Halliburton, Keating, the list of cheats goes on and on.

I agree with the contention of a number of cyclists that the reason for the positive tests is that people have decided that, at least when it comes to bike racing in France, something should be done to rid the sport of doping.   

Doping exists in other sports.  I did a cursory search and found two articles about steroid use in football.  One is from 1986 and the NY Times.  The second from 1990 and Sports Illustrated.  Both have Bill Fralic as a quoted expert.  When you read the two stories, you'd think they were written at the same time.  As a story, it had little traction.

Considering how many stories Sports Illustrated has run glorifying college football teams that bulk up, it's hard not to see them turning a blind eye in many situations.

But all of journalism might have helped advance doping as a means to success.  There are too many "win or else," "failure is not an option" titles and stories.  I guess getting busted for doping is the "or else," or is somehow not failing.

SI learns that CSC has nice guys on the team

The following Sports Illustrated report starts with a story of how the CSC team spoke at an event held in conjunction with the Tour of California.  Actually, the most interesting thing about this story is that even though it is a short, blog-style entry, they have "story highlights" at hte top for those who don't like to read.

SI.com - USA
Davis Phinney, the ex-Tour de France stage winner with whom I happened to
be watching today's stage, recalled being stiffed on the eve of the Tour of

NPR's Morning Edition gives their standard treatment to Embrun

This is the classic NPR "small story."  The intimate look at something that goes alongside the big story, but deserves investigation.  It is worthy because it's illustrative of the phenomenon as a whole.  Listen in, it's only three and a half minutes long.

Tour De France Shines Spotlight On Tiny Village
by Anita Elash Morning Edition, July 23, 2008 · For cycling fans, the Tour
de France is both a magnificent challenge and a chance to get to know some
new ...

Oneonta Daily Star gives praise to American Teams at Tour

The idea of "American exceptionalism" lives on in "The Newspaper for the Heartland of New York."  Here, it's not foreign policy but team policy.  Pity that team CSC had an anti-doping program first (but it's an American sponsor! yippee!). 

US teams doing their part to clean up Tour de France
Oneonta Daily Star - Oneonta,NY,USA
It is the month of the Tour de France, a three-week cycling event held for
almost a century. The Tour has become more popular over the years because
of ...