Dirty Sports

Pro baseball has its steroid scandals, and pro football does too.  College football and basketball witness periodic allegations that teams have cheated in recruiting, in paying athletes, and in committing various violations of NCAA rules.  It seems like every sport struggles with some issues of cheating.

Is any sport more troubled in that regard than cycling?  From reading new reports you get the sense that cyclists are human pincushions who are willing to subject themselves to almost any kind of drug or other form of hare-brained treatment in hopes of gaining a slight advantage over competitors and then somehow avoiding detection by the sport’s regulators.

Cycling suffered another black eye today, when the winner of the Tour de France announced that he had tested positive for a small amount of a banned substance — a stimulant that increases breathing capacity and the flow of oxygen in the bloodstream. He says that he was the victim of food contamination, and the allegations will surely be carefully investigated by some supervisory panel.  Cycling enthusiasts, however, must be cringing once again at today’s headlines.

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