Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What Kind of Dope Am I?

The IOC has labored and Dicky Pound and the 'Royal Canucks' have taken a stand. The IOC 'hearts' Russian athletes, they abhor the Russian medal-producing system that fills them full of performance enhancing drugs and then hides the 'facts' from honest people. Russia is officially banned from the 2018 Olympics in Korea, but individual Russian athletes - who have shown themselves to be 'dope free' - may participate as 'independents',  under the Olympic banner. I hope the only Russians who would do that are the ones who can't make the US team. For this all started in America.

After the Sochi Olympics,  a pair of Russian athletes defected to the USA. On arrival they  told the story of how Russian competitors - maybe even them - were doped to provide their very best performances at the Olympics. Shortly thereafter, the man who headed the Russian anti-doping program defected, too, and with him came 'chapter and verse' on who was doped and how they did it and even more particularly, how they avoided getting caught. That involved holes drilled in walls and urine samples slipped into the testing labs in the dead of night by NKVD secret agents.  I'm thinking that if any of that doping moved a fifth place loser into silver or gold contention it was an effort well spent. For along with the dope there was also the small matter of beating the best in the world.

I'm pretty sure that, among the best in the world,  taking something to ameliorate a problem, or even to ensure an untroubled or pain free effort - 'using' is  not something they pass-up lightly. I think many of them dope, it's just that anti-doping is so fool-receptive that few of them get caught.

Canada 's singular doper, Big Ben Jonson,  probably wasn't smart enough to appreciate that the 'vitamins' the team doctor as infecting him with, weren't. But he won the gold and PO’ed the US champ - who started  the rumours,  later borne out in substance,  that Benny had been custom-doped to 'excel' on his big day. His doctor confessed, Ben was banned,  lost his gold and lucrative series of commercial contracts. After that Canada learned a lesson;  no Canucks have been caught doping since. (One (Gold Medal-winning) snowboarder was accused of being under the influence of 'pot' - no particular performance-enhancer  - but he said he might have inhaled it 'accidentally' while visiting 'toking' friends. Although the rumours are out there about the good stuff.  Let’s face it Olympic athletics are a career for those into it - training is what they do and perfecting ‘the instrument’ might require some medication. If it’s the kind of stuff that would get them banned, they're careful about it or, better still, they get a medical dispensation to 'test dirty'. Let's face it,  no 'national hope' is going to be tested when they’re dirty - unless they're Russian, or citizens of Lower Slobbovia.

Let the games begin. We'll see.

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