A rather outspoken classmate in my media writing class is a huge sports fan, and generally doesn't care about any other news besides sports. Somehow we were talking in class about Marion Jones, the disgraced track star who had tested positive for steroid use. This classmate proclaimed that track athletes are to blame most of all for such scrutiny in sports because in their sport in particular, there is rampant performance enhancing substance abuse. Then another not so sports savvy classmate brought up Barry Bonds, and the original outspoken classmate said yes, he did steroids too, but he receives most of the publicity because he is so despised by fellow players and fans because of his arrogance. Then I brought up Floyd, and classmate said "I don't believe him, and Lance Armstrong probably did too." At first I was appalled, but it seemed like something that should be considered: I don't know if Lance or Floyd cheated in any way, but is it that they are so likeable (and, I sort of hate to bring this up, but they are white unlike Bonds and most track stars) that they have so much support behind them to exonerate them?I hate to think that he cheated, because he seems so cool, and down to Earth. Plus, his (and Lance's) triumphs were so inspirational to some. But I simply can not say I think he's innocent based upon that alone.
This whole situation is far from pleasant for me. And, I am neither consistent nor fair when thinking, talking or blogging about it. After talking to you about this, Rob, I realize that I have spouted off about Barry Bonds and baseball in general in an unfair and uniformed way. Because I do not know baseball beyond the very top surface of what I here in the news I have jumped to conclusions about Bonds that I have criticized from others about Armstrong and Landis. I have no way of knowing if all the defense that Landis has produced does not also apply to Bonds and others who have been accused and then unfairly denounced without due process. For being in that camp of accusing and denouncing, I publicly apologize and then remove myself from them. Please remind me of this when you observe otherwise. I want to believe Floyd. Therefore I believe him. From my point of view, I don’t really know anything else. He is likable. He seems sincere. So, he is easier to believe. I have read that there have been some issues that cast a shadow of doubt on the whole testing process. (1) The US part of the testing is funded by the US government, yet has little or no regulation to ensure its fairness. (2) The lab tech who tested Landis’ samples knew that she was testing Landis’ samples and what the stakes were in the outcome of the test—this is an issue that the scientists in the industry acknowledge as a major flaw in the reliability of the result. (3) The result of the test is, unlike what one usually hears, is not definitive, does not show a high level of testosterone (it actually shows an unusually low level of testosterone and an unusual ratio of testosterone to epi-testosterone that is an indicator that there may be a problem and further testing is in order). (4) From people who do use performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), the results that were seen as problematic—fast recovery on the day after an unusually poor performance—would not be produced by introduction of synthetic testosterone. Testosterone is used to add bulk, size, and strength—think pro-wresting. If someone wanted to recover more quickly and was inclined to use PEDs the might choose EPO (I think its full name is Erythropoietin) which may add the bloods capacity to absorb and use oxygen. This drug was developed for people who have anemia because of chemotherapy to fight cancer. All this said, I don’t know anything. I want Floyd to be innocent. If it turns out that he is not, I will likely be disappointed, not devastated.
I believe Floyd Landis. He would be a complete idiot to lie about this situation. We may never know.
Cindi said: "idiot."