Watching Bill Burr‘s hysterical bit on the Conan O’Brien show four years ago when he dissected Oprah‘s big reveal interview with Lance Armstrong – during which the disgraced Tour de France cyclist finally copped to the drug use that everyone had suspected for years – it dawned on me, if Lance was always assumed to be guilty though he passed every drug test, why hasn’t the public made the same assumption about the biggest names in athletics? Or maybe they have.
I’m not suggesting anything, just wondering out loud how the public mind works. (Really, this is just an excuse to post Bill Burr’s take on Oprah and Lance, which is funny and insightful at the same time, no easy task.)
So let’s look at the situation with athletics, especially in light of German ARD TV‘s recent investigation alleging the IOC covered up positive Jamaican test results from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing where the sprint juggernaut won eleven medals.
First, both cycling and athletics have been awash in performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) for years, to the gills. And while people all around them get popped, the top guy who produces historic performances continues to sail along testing clean while whooping all the dirty boys.
That was the glory for Lance, right, how the one clean guy who had overcome cancer was able to beat all the drugged up guys. Isn’t that Usain Bolt, minus the cancer? Or is the difference in public outlook simply a matter of personality? (more…)