You hate not to give Tour de France champion Floyd Landis the benefit of the doubt, but with all the talk these days about steroids and preformance enhancing drugs, allegations that his urine came back with high levels of testosterone must result in a collective sigh of disappointment.
Landis became a media darling, competing in the grueling bike race with a hip that seemed to degenerate with each mile. His comeback from eight minutes behind to vault into and maintain the lead is the stuff of made-for-TV movies.
Austin Murphy writes about it in a Sports Illustrated on-line extra. “He knows how bad this looks,” Murphy writes, “and told me, ‘I wouldn’t hold it against somebody if they don’t believe me.’ I don’t know what to believe. “
William C. Rhoden makes it the topic of his column in today’s New York Times (“Just when fans allow themselves to feel warm and fuzzy about an apparent heroic sports performance, we get punched in our collective stomachs by yet another steroid scandal,” although technically this doesn’t seem to be the case.).
The “Sports Nut” column on Slate.com posits, “Wait, aren’t all pro cyclists cheaters?”
Undoubtedly many more articles will delve into this situation.
What’s next? Will some enterprising reporter discover that Tiger Woods is on something? How about the next poker champion? Perhaps he will show high levels of decaffinated products that make him extremely calm, resulting in a super poker face that will net him victory.
Jimmy Durante used to sing a song that included the line, “Did you ever have the feeling that you wanted to go, and still have the feeling that you wanted to stay?” As I get older, that’s pretty much the way I feel about following sports.