Saturday, August 5, 2006

Second drug positive test for Landis

So it's official. Floyd Landis didn't just test positive for drugs, he was juiced up. The "B" sample came back this morning and it showed an extremely high level of testosterone -- 11:1, well above the legal limit of 4:1 observed by most sports federations.

Landis continues to insist the spike occured naturally. How? Let me count the possible excuses:
  • He abstained from sex all that time? That's an old one, something soccer teams use all the time to try to make sure their teams stay focused and win -- it's an urban legend, with little or no scientific proof.
  • Someone spiked one of his drinks. That's the excuse Ben Johnson used at first, then retracted when forced to testify under oath.
  • One of his nutrition supplements must have had it? Sports governing bodies test the supplements regularly to make sure they're compliant with current standards, so that won't wash either.
  • Oh, let's see ... he had a cold, went to the over the counter section, and picked the wrong colour package? That's something rower Silken Laumann accidentally did once -- she was cleared of wrongdoing as she made an honest mistake, but that is no longer an excuse under current rules.
  • That leaves a drug cocktail that was legal and cleared for use resulted in a "false positive." That could help Landis; except for the fact that one can only take a restricted substance with clearance from a governing body and only under tightly controlled circumstances -- in other words, the amounts approved for use ensure a "false positive" won't result. If there is a way taking such rehab drugs could spike up testosterone to the stratosphere, I'd like to know about it.

The days when the Americans could claim the high moral road on this one are long gone, as more and more who wear the Team USA logo get caught in malfeasance. If George W. Bush has any sense of what's right or wrong on this one, he'll end pro sports' anti-trust exemption on this issue (and I mean all team and individual sports, including pro golf and NASCAR) and state from here on in, the World Anti-Doping code applies to all Americans and all athletes competing in America. That includes those competing for the Mr. and Ms Olympia bodybuilding titles. Just once, I'd like to see one of them win WITHOUT using steroids.

Far as I'm concerned, Harper should do the same here in Canada and say all NHL players, not just those eligible for the Olympics or World Championships, must also submit to random drugs tests both in and off season. If it's good enough for the amateurs, it's good enough for the pros.

As for Landis, he got himself into this mess -- he has to get himself out. I don't feel sorry for him, one bit.

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