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As the rage over ‘roids continues to be the rage

posted by Wendy Parker's Extracurriculars
Monday, December 31, 2012 at 8:05am EST

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Andy Hutchins asks the essential question about the AP’s examination of PED use in college football:

“So the point of this ‘BOO THERE ARE STEROIDS IN SPORTS’ report is what?”

That is the point, and Tim Keown is happy to pile on:

“High school kids are getting and using steroids with the complicit approval of their parents and coaches. This isn’t news. Middle-aged rec-league cyclists are taking PEDs to improve their times and beat their buddies in weekend races. To think that a significant number of college athletes in a billion-dollar business with hopes of professional riches aren’t willing to get an illegal edge is ludicrous. Of course they are, especially when there’s little to no fear of getting caught.

“But college linemen don’t have hallowed records to break or a bizarrely sanctified hall of fame run by a chosen priesthood of voters. They’re just faceless guys wearing helmets and abusing their bodies for the entertainment of many and the profit of some.”

This is what the next phase of the post-Armstrong War on Steroids meme will sound like, and it will be repeated over and over and over.

In the name of the children.

Millard Baker raises even better points about cycling anti-doping crusader David Millar’s tut-tutting of the support for Armstrong from Alberto Contador and Miguel Indurain:

“There are likely cultural differences in the perception of doping. Perhaps steroids and PEDs are not stigmatized to the same degree in Spain. Perhaps doping does not have the same moral significance in Spain. But Millar’s arrogant defense of the superiority of the ‘Anglo-Saxon [puritanical] mentality’ certainly can’t be the best approach to doping in sports.”

Byliner reports that its most-read sports story of 2012 is Andrew Tilin’s “I couldn’t be more positive,” published in Outside magazine in May and recounting the year he spent taking T for a book project. Not surprisingly, Tilin felt the wrath of competitive cyclists whose existences are routinely scrutinized by the PED police:

“I’m not saying that what I did is smart or cool, or that my kids should someday be proud of me. But I discovered a few things, like how accessible performance-enhancing drugs really are. They’re so easy to acquire and safely use that I still wonder how many other graybeards dope.

“While I offer sincere apologies and would never again betray my fellow racers, cycling’s organizers, or its governing bodies, I’ll be honest: If you threw out the rules and put a doctor in front of me holding syringes? The temptation would be hard to resist.”

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