Good news — Bad news on this National Running Day 2015. The bad news comes from the BBC investigative show Panorama, which, in conjunction with Pro Publica raised disquieting questions about alleged drug use and unethical practices by Coach Alberto Salazar at the Nike Oregon Project. I won’t retrace the allegations. You can read the complete story at the Pro Publica link above. *
Suffice it to say that performance-enhancing drugs have been the bane of sports for over sixty years. How many of the current track records do people really believe were achieved on the up-and-up? Today, it is damned if you do run fast, jump high, or throw far (see Justin Gatlin), and damned if you don’t (everybody else).
I’m no apologist for drug use, but with the political conflagration at FIFA, soccer’s governing body, and the corruption everyone knows to be endemic in athletics, where does the concept of fair play even begin to come into consideration for the lowly athletes of this world? Kris Kristofferson wrote about such displacement with “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”. (more…)