Thanks for all the interesting info, Scott. Sounds like London will be a good show! Funny how what started out as a Baseball thread has morphed into an Olympic (swimming) thread!
That's a whole interesting topic in itself, Scott! Baseball's image became sorely tarnished when the revelations came that some of the game's biggest stars were taking steroids (Mark McGuire, Jose Canseco, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Clemens, etc.). And, unless proven innocent, I believe the evidence strongly supports the case that Lance Armstrong was doping. And I used to watch a lot of international sporting events in my days (especially hockey). I am convinced that athletes from behind the Iron Curtain were loaded up with the stuff.
Originally Posted by Adelphos
I have ambivalent feelings there.
I was 17 years old and Spitz was 20-21 years old when we swam on the same summer team for a couple of years. We were both sprinters, and we both swam comparable speeds to work out in the same grouping. There were probably around thirty of us in that grouping. So in other words, I knew first-hand what was going on.
Spitz was near his all-time peak, and the press congregated around him like flies. And yet, every time they printed a newspaper or magazine article about him, the articles bore absolutely no resemblance WHATSOEVER to the truth or the facts or the reality of the situation. I wondered if they were talking about another Spitz from another planet, that's how bizarre their stories were to the actual facts on the ground, to the actual reality of the situation.
It didn't take me five minutes after that to figure out why Spitz was so leery and defensive of everybody. It the press itself wasn't nearby, there was always some schlmo informant who wanted to get his name in the paper and would thus fabricate or exaggerate something out of all proportion just to get the story, and the newspapers and magazines would print it as fast as they could get it to press.
I've been close to several other situations over the years where the exact same thing as happened. What shows up in the press bears absolutely no resemblance to reality or truth whatsoever. Even if by some miracle they get a fact right, they twist it out of all proportion so that it ends up drawing the exact opposite conclusion of what it really was.
Whether Lance Armstrong is guilty of doping or not I don't know. I don't follow the sport. But I would bet all my material possessions and everything I can borrow that the media has not even REMOTELY reported accurately on the matter. Not even CLOSE.
It strikes me as very strange that the feds and other regulatory agencies can spends tens and tens and tens of millions of tax-payer dollars to investigate him and yet can't bring a single viable charge against him.
To the trained eye, it is child's play to determine if another person is using steroids or not. I mean up close and personal, where you can get a good look at the guy.
Thus, I have a real problem with the vendetta that the feds and other regulatory agencies prosecute against these athletes, spending tens and tens and tens of millions of tax payer dollars without ever being able to prove a single, solitary thing.
This is what happens when you consider a person guilty until he is able to prove himself innocent, the exact opposite of how it ought to be.
Athletes, Olympic athletes especially, are considered as guilty as sin unless they can prove themselves innocent, and that's just plain wrong.
The Gestapo-Press-Regulatory Combine may have the public swayed, but as long they consider an athlete GUILTY, and thus FORCE the athlete to prove himself INNOCENT, until cleared, is in my opinion nothing but Nazi Germany in technicolor.
Whether Armstrong has doped or not I don't know, but, like I said, I'll bet the farm that the presses' reporting on Armstrong and others is pure fantasy.
Last edited by Adelphos; 06-20-2012 at 11:24 AM.
Well, perhaps I should not have been so loose-lipped or quick-lipped. I can't dispute your assertion that the press often gets it wrong, Scott. I agree with you there. But I saw an episode of the CBS TV News Magazine '60 Minutes' about a year ago. They interviewed a fellow US team cyclist who rode and raced with Armstrong. This fellow cyclist said that he had personally witnessed and seen Armstrong doping. I guess, ultimately, you never know who to believe. But this was a pretty indicting and convincing testimony brought against Armstrong.
Vis-a-vis Roger Clemens, who, incidentally, was cleared of all charges yesterday, the chief argument of the defense counsel was that only one individual ever said they saw Clemens take steroids. The defense's strategy was to call the witness into question and to malign him, to cast his testimony as doubtful. But you know what? All it takes is one witness! So what if no one else personally observed Clemens taking steroids? If he was guilty of taking them, ... he was guilty of taking them. (Understand that I'm not saying that he took them. Moreover, a judge and jury has cleared him of all charges. So, in deference to the legal process, I should not call him guilty.)
I certainly don't want to align myself with those who would make this into a witch-hunt and/or who make it their own personal crusade to sniff out all of the doping athletes. But I just think it's sad when athletes who find their way into the public trust and the adoration of their fans later confess to having taken steroids (MacGuire and others have personally admitted to it). The beauty of athletics and sports is that it pits great athletes against other great athletes. It is simply not right and not fair when one of those aforementioned athletes is buoyed up unfairly by performance-enhancing drugs. That is not true competition on a level playing field.
I saw that, too, and it SEEMED pretty damning. But then, I've seen disgruntled former teammates come across incredibly believable only to further their own agenda, and I did get a whiff of that attitude as well in that interview. There is also the possibility that what he witnessed was not what was alleged, ad infinitum.
Originally Posted by ISalzman
Moreover, I would no more believe 60 Minute's rendition than I would Mickey Mouse. I had too much experience with the media and its wiles.
But even if he is correct, and even if Armstrong did dope (which I don't know enough about it to make a judgment, whereas had it been swimming I know enough to see through the holes, but not in bike racing), so even if Armstrong did dope, my main contention is not with catching abusers, but with the system itself.
The system for catching dopers is worse than the Gestapo, and on top of that, there are so many things that cause false positives, that even then the Gestapo won't reverse its decisions; they intrude on athletes in the middle of the night like the Gestapo; they show up disrespectfully at ridiculous times and places, and whole host of other unethical measures.
An athlete should be presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty, and there ought to be PROBABLE CAUSE before an investigation or the Gestapo is even allowed BEGIN an investigation.
Like I said, it is CHILD'S PLAY, in most cases, to determine if a person is using steroids. Once probable cause has been ascertained in that or some other fashion, THEN it might be okay to send in the Gestapo, but until then, I think it's disgraceful the way these athletes are treated.
Moreover, there's still the MAJOR problem of why they haven't been able to convict. There is obviously something wrong with the testimony of this ONE teammate against Armstrong or the case would have taken a major leap forward. Plus, the fact that REAMS of other teammates dispute this fellow's testimony. What do you do with their testimony? Are they any less reliable than the ONE? If so, how? You see, it gets a bit complicated.
Again, I don't know if Armstrong did or did not dope, and I really don't care, but the system is no less heavy-handed than the Nazi Gestapo, and that ain't no exaggeration.
IMO, THAT is the REAL problem.
Yes, complicated, it sure is!
Maybe this is why Deuteronomy 19:15 says that "one witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses". (c/f Deuteronomy 17:6, which speaks of capital offenses).
Originally Posted by ISalzman
It is far to easy to have a "he said - he said" argument, which is what the Clemens case boiled down to.
Regarding Armstrong - and I do not know all of the facts - but I feel that most of it is professional jealousy.
Well, I certainly don't want to get anybody in trouble, but you gotta admit, nobody can deny that BibleWorks is on steroids! Big time!