The triumph of American anti-doping zealotry

Isn’t anyone in the establishment sports media the least bit uncomfortable that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that has brought Lance Armstrong to his knees gets a good bit of its funding through a grant from the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy?
Taxpayer money this is, yours and mine.
The agency that brought us the futile, deadly, incompetent “War on Drugs” is dispensing money to an organization that is doing the same on the sports front, and it finally bagged its biggest target.
And I have many more questions, looking for answers.
Is this how we want to root out sports “cheats?” With the same zero tolerance approach, the same self-serving, self-righteous pontificating and little to no transparency about its methods?
I have no strong feelings about Lance Armstrong. Nor did I for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, baseball stars whom the federal government also tried to prosecute for steroids.
It’s easy to convict them in the court of public opinion for being arrogant, unlikeable assholes. It’s another thing to have absolute proof of their actions. But as the Armstrong case showed, even that isn’t necessary.
If the USADA can get an athlete with the power, profile and public support of Armstrong to yield, and not have to concretely prove a thing, imagine what it can do to anyone else it investigates.
Have we become so zealous in our crusade against “cheaters” that we have allowed in the USADA an organization to prosecute, adjudicate and then strip athletes of championships, the purview of individual sports governing bodies be damned?
Can we not even have a discussion about we whether we as a society should be elevating steroid use to that of a crime? In the wake of the Penn State tragedy, is this this anything close to an important issue in sports?
Where is the sports media indignation that comes out with all barrels blazing for the NCAA and BCS?
Besides this columnist? And this one? And this one, to some degree?
Paging Joe Nocera.
Instead, we get this, from the Schoolmarm-in-Chief, embodying the endless, cloying moralizing about steroid use.
If we’re going to have an organization monitoring sports doping, especially one that spends taxpayer money, doesn’t it deserve the same scrutiny as old men in bad blazers?
Who’s going to monitor the monitors? Right now there appears to be no one.

Isn’t anyone except a true believer uncomfortable that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that has brought Lance Armstrong to his knees gets a good bit of its funding through a grant from the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy?

Taxpayer money this is, yours and mine.

The agency that brought us the futile, deadly, incompetent “War on Drugs” is dispensing money to an organization that is doing the same on the sports front, and it finally bagged its biggest target.

I have many more questions, looking for answers.

Is this how we want to root out sports “cheats?” With the same zero tolerance approach, the same self-righteous pontificating and little to no transparency about its methods?

I have no strong feelings about Lance Armstrong. Nor did I for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, baseball stars whom the federal government also tried to prosecute for steroids.

It was easy to convict them in the court of public opinion for being arrogant, unlikeable assholes. It’s another thing to have absolute proof of their actions. But as the Armstrong case showed, even that isn’t necessary.

If the USADA can get an athlete with the power, profile and public support of Armstrong to yield, and not have to concretely prove a thing, imagine what it can do to anyone else it investigates.

We have become so blindly driven in our crusade against “cheaters” that we have charged the USADA to prosecute, adjudicate and then strip athletes of championships all at once, the purview of individual sports governing bodies be damned.

Even allegations against Armstrong dating back to 1998, two years before the USADA was created, and long after the normal eight-year statute of limitations have run out, are fair game.

Can we not even have a discussion about we whether we as a society should be elevating steroid use by athletes essentially to that of a crime? Because that’s what our zeal demands.

Is this really anything close to an important issue in sports?

Where is the sports media indignation about the USADA that comes out with all barrels blazing for the NCAA and BCS?

Besides this columnist? And this one? And this one, to some degree?

Paging Joe Nocera.

Instead, we get this, from the Schoolmarm-in-Chief, embodying the endless, cloying moralizing about steroid use.

If we’re going to have an organization monitoring sports doping, especially one that spends taxpayer money, doesn’t it deserve the same scrutiny as old men in bad blazers?

Who’s going to monitor the monitors? Right now there appears to be no one.

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 29, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I kind of have a problem with my tax dollars investigating anything to do with sports. If they want to make an issue out of it fine but do it with their own money no on our dime. I’m not exactly a sports fan to begin with, and don’t really give a hoot one way or another if these guys did or didn’t, our government is already wasting enough money on it’s incredible failed war on drugs. Put this money to better use like education, infrastructure, etc.