Friday, October 5, 2007

Five medals, zero ethics, many friends

In September 2000, before the Sydney Olympics, Graham began providing me with a substance he told me was flaxseed oil. I continued to use this substance until July 2001. By November 2003, I realised that what Graham had given to me was a performance-enhancing drug.

- Marion Jones, in a statement to the court in White Plains, NY

Uh, yeah. Flaxseed oil. Have we heard this before? Pardon my scepticism, but if she thought that, then Maradona thought he was snorting corn flour. At least she admitted it. Sort of. Not that our image of the Olympics was exactly squeaky clean beforehand.

Incidentally, her letter to family claimed the drug use went on for a longer period, but let's not be picky about details. Marion Jones cheated. C.J. Hunter cheated. Tim Montgomery cheated. Barry Bonds cheated. Jason Giambi cheated. Gary Sheffield cheated. And these are just the clients of one company.

Point shaving, match fixing, knife assaults on teammates, rampant drug cheating, strangling your players, strangling referees, exchanging IOC votes for prostitutes and guns... Some days, it's only schadenfreude that keeps me watching this circus we call major sport. Mind you, I remember playing against kids who cheated in under 13 table tennis. It's human nature.

Pick a sporting idol of yours. (S)he probably cheated at some point. Or committed a major crime. Or at least told a kid to fuck off when asked for an autograph. I'm beginning to think they all did.

But I'll keep watching. What else is there to do?

Disclaimer: I purchased a signed Pete Rose baseball at Caesar's Palace. I'm complicit.

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