doping

Keith Strudler: The Olympic Silver Lining

Jun 22, 2016

Some people believe there’s a silver lining to everything. If you’re one of those people, which for the record I’m not, you might think this about the Russian Olympic Track and Field Team. At least they won’t get mugged at gun point in Rio, the site of the upcoming Summer Olympics. The same can’t be said for members of the Australian Paralympic Squad, two of whom did endure just that welcome from local residents that held the Aussie sailors up with a pistol. All in broad daylight, at 7:30 a.m., as onlookers passed by, like it was a common occurrence. Which right now in Rio, I’m led to believe it is.

Keith Strudler: Finding Jobs For Lawyers

May 18, 2016

I keep hearing about how there’s a glut of lawyers, and how people entering the profession can’t find jobs. I’m sure that’s true. But you’d never know it if you paid attention to international sporting events, where legal action seems as endemic as drug scandals. The two have converged in recent days as the US Justice Department is considering filing conspiracy and fraud charges against Russians involved with an exploding performance enhancing drug revelation involving Russian athletes largely around the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, where the home nation had strong interest and opportunity for artificially boosting their team’s accomplishment and resulting medal count. All this is coming to light as various Russian coaches and officials reveal what seems a wide spread and highly systematic program of doping athletes and cheating drug tests by replacing tainted samples with clean ones. It’s the big reveal of something most everyone suspected but couldn’t prove – that Russian athletes set the bar for chemically enhanced performance. That perhaps explains how Russian sports programs continued to thrive as the rest of the nation seemed to collapse around them. For those longing for the good old days of the Soviet Union, this might be just what the doctor ordered.

Even if you’re a sports fan, it’s been hard to keep track of all the steroid scandals in sports in recent years. From Alex Rodriguez to countless Olympians, the headlines and teary apologies — and the subsequent morality play over the meaning of tainted records — can be overwhelming.

The Friday and Saturday night lights have started around the country…another football season is underway and students of all ages from Pee Wee to Division One are doing their best to be their best on the field. But for athletes of any age or experience level, that sometimes means taking performance enhancing drugs.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll feature two unique points of view on testing for PEDs. One who says the system is working…the other who says scrap it and let them eat steroids.

Keith Strudler: Baseball's PED Problem

Jul 24, 2013

Last night I sat through a full nine innings of Single-A minor league baseball. Once the sugar high of Cracker Jacks and funnel cake wears off, it can get pretty old, if you plan on actually watching the game. There’s missed balls, botched plays, and everything else that reminds you why they call it the minor league instead of, say, the majors. But on a positive note, three hours and four pretzels later, I can definitively say that not everyone in professional baseball takes drugs. That’s probably news after this week, when major league baseball suspended Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun for the rest of the year without pay for his involvement with the Miami clinic Biogenesis, who apparently gave him enough supply to fill a Duane Reade. And I’m talking about one of the big ones down in the city, where they sell groceries and lawn furniture.

Keith Strudler: Tyson Gay

Jul 17, 2013

If 40 is the new 30, then American sprinter Tyson Gay has a long decade ahead of him. Because at 30, he’s suddenly looking quite old, especially compared to the emergent track stars Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake of Jamaica, who at 26 and 23 make Gay look like at parent at a Taylor Swift show. Gay has certainly aged years in the past several days, when it was revealed that he tested positive for a banned performance enhancing substance. That has forced him to withdraw from next month’s world championships in Moscow, where he would have but faint hopes of topping a field that has since passed him by.

A few years ago, the athletic shoe company Adidas had this ad slogan that went, “Impossible is nothing.” It always seemed to be worn by people who I doubt adhered to that ethic, but certainly held their favorite athletes to that standard. More to the point, the slogan itself doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. For example, I have stared at a 10 foot basketball hoop since I was about five, all with the hope that I might someday grab it on the way down from a windmill dunk. That never happened. The closest I ever got was when we played on seven foot rims at the elementary school.

In the wake of Lance Armstrong’s mea culpa that he took performance enhancing drugs – and the recent Baseball Hall of Fame vote (where NOBODY got in) – we ask you: Does it matter to you if athletes use performance enhancing drugs?

Keith Strudler: Lance Armstrong's Mea Culpa

Jan 16, 2013

The interview won’t air until tomorrow, but the story that Lance will admit to Oprah of using performance enhancing drugs makes us all ask the same question.  Does Oprah still have a network?

That’s really the only revelation likely to come from the dialogue, since only the most ardent disbelievers still imagined Lance rode clean all these years.  He’ll tell the public limited facts about the process, although allegedly he won’t admit to being the so called “ring leader” of the sophisticated drug program.  He’ll simply admit to being just another guy in the peloton who doped to stay relevant, just like everyone else on the road.  He’s part of the gang, just no Al Capone.  Given Armstrong’s actions over the years, it’s hard to image this to be true.  But truth seekers will have to settle for this for the time being.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Major League Baseball has enacted new anti-doping policies that are being described as unprecedented in American professional sports. Yesterday, Major League Baseball and its Players Union said that starting next year they will be fighting the use of human growth hormone and testosterone - two allegedly popular banned substances.

NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman has been covering this story. Tom, good morning.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

Late last month, renowned cyclist and cancer activist Lance Armstrong was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from competitive sport. Mr. Armstrong has repeatedly denied the allegations, and has only tested positive once for a banned substance -- cortisone -- for which he provided a prescription. The prohibited steroid was in a doctor-provided cream used by many riders to treat saddle sores.