A team mate of mine, a former elite-level athlete who is married to a world class-level athlete, shared this on Facebook the other day:

I don't claim to have their level of perspective on competition, because no amount of doping in the world could lift me to that kind of performance. Michele Ferrari's best doping plan couldn't even put me at the front of a B-level crit. When you suck as bad as I do, there's only so much the drugs have to work with. Still, I felt the need to share my opinions with the world (as if they meant anything), because if I excel at anything, it's self-importance.

First. it's probably just me being hard-hearted, but I think Sally Jenkins should refrain from commenting on doping. She's written some good sports articles in the past, but she also helped put Lance Armstrong on the best-seller list twice, helping create the myth he hid behind for over a decade. She's been an apologist for him even after the USADA case, so her perspective might be skewed in favor of dopers.

Regarding Efimova's ban, it's not quite like Jenkins makes it out to be. Her prescription for Meldonium did not come from a US doctor- because it's not approved by the FDA. As the article points out, she lives/trains in LA. Instead of seeking diagnosis/treatment at a local (US) medical facility, she went out of her way to get a drug that is of questionable medical benefit for the alleged heart condition and was widely distributed/abused for potential performance-enhancing properties. For many PEDs, adaptations achieved while taking them can last far after their use is discontinued. If she didn't have a doctor's prescription and obtained the substance through illegal means, that has its own set of consequences.

Maybe she is this innocent caught up in a the fallout from the Russian scandal. Maybe King went a little too far (I think she did, but she's young yet). However, having athletes (and spectators) come out strongly for clean sport is something I support. Public opinion is a valuable tool, and King used her 15 minutes to highlight something I think is of utmost importance to what's left of Olympic sporting integrity.

I have a certain amount of sympathy for those caught up in a no-win situation in regards to doping. Floyd and Tyler are guys I'd love to ride with. A lot of those caught doping are probably perfectly nice people who see the options as being dope or leave the sport they've dedicated their lives to. It's not a choice I'd want to face. That said, I don't think they should compete in sports at the Olympic level after they're caught for drugs on the magnitude of EPO, HGH. or exogenous testosterone.

Sorry, you had your chance to make an ethical decision and you blew it. Felons can't apply for federal or state grants, live in public housing, or receive federal cash assistance, SSI or food stamps (among other benefits). Dopers shouldn't be able to compete for medals in an event where the "purity of sport" is an often-ironic phrase thrown around.

That's my opinion, and you're welcome to it.


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