Recently, OJ Mayo joined the long list of professional athletes who were caught using an illicit performance-enhancing substance and subsequently caught using a bad excuse to explain usage of said substance. Based on the now predictable response of those who have been found guilty, the doping playbook uses a three-step process to react to a positive test. Number one: look surprised. Step two: deny all accountability. Three: if all else fails blame it on an over-the-counter supplement/energy drink or some other poor faceless schlub.
Heart, chemistry, teamwork. These were once the hallmarks of sportsmanship. Now, the only time you hear about heart is when there is an enlarged one from supplementation. The chemistry is supplied by ne’er-do-wells Vince Galea and Victor Conte. And, teamwork only exists when one player is helping another with steroid, er, Vitamin B-12 injections. Baseball has been racked with so many allegations, one would half expect the 2013 Hall of Fame induction class to include cream, clear, and Report, Mitchell to be enshrined. Heck, if you total up the number of home runs hit as a result of the trio, it makes Ruth and Aaron’s power look like that of Rowan and Martin.
What happened to the days where athletes got by on grit, toughness, and, perhaps, a horse tranquilizer or four? Eh, you probably misremembered those days, too. I presume there’s no blood test for gumption, or a urine test for elbow grease. Nowadays, it’s out with the old in with the “-ol.” Heck, even the producers of the chicken at the market go out of their way to say “steroid-free.” (Presumably, these chickens were killed because they could not keep up with the birds that were drugged.)