Lance is no better than Bonds

Fans' doping perspectives are hypocritical

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Lance Armstrong

JUST STICK IT IN MY BUM — QUICK! Doping has become a sad reality in all sorts of sports, yet fans only feel the need to come down on certain poster children.

In the past couple years, very little has captured more national attention in sports than the ongoing investigation into Barry Bonds’ alleged steroid use.

We all know Bonds has been juicing more than a California orange grove, and it’s unsurprising we want to catch him in the act. There’s something unique about Bonds’ case, though: we’re enjoying the hunt.

We like reading and writing about his latest gaffes. We enjoy dressing as needles at the ballpark and we relish the fact that nobody cared when Bonds passed Babe Ruth for second on the all-time home run list.

That’s why I think we’re all hypocrites.

Why do we love chasing down certain athletes while turning a blind eye to others?

Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Floyd Landis highlight the list of bad guys perpetually beaten up in the press. We say we don’t like them because they’re juice monkeys, but that begs the question: Why isn’t Lance Armstrong’s name on the list? Shouldn’t half the NFL be ripped in the headlines every day?

We’re all but sure these guys are doping too, but for some reason there’s a double standard.

There’s a good chance you’re questioning me right now, arguing Armstrong wasn’t doping " but that just proves my point. The man won seven consecutive Tours de France and has been linked to steroids, yet we deny he was using.

Bonds and McGwire have never even failed a drug test, yet we’re sure they’re doping while Armstrong remains America’s golden boy. Explain that.

Soon, the cycle will start again with Evander Holyfield. It was all well and good accusing an asshole like Bonds for doping " it’s not so fun when the hero who knocked out Mike Tyson is implicated, is it?

The fact of the matter is media critique doesn’t come down to fair play or proper evidence " it’s decided by our perceptions before the allegations.

Armstrong is the nice guy who conquered France despite having to overcome cancer " who wouldn’t want to see him win?

Meanwhile, Bonds is a trainer-berating, wife-beating, teammate-hating jerk. McGwire is a one-time hero who betrayed our trust.

Aside from perception and personality, though, there’s no difference between any of them. Actually, that’s not exactly true " there is one difference.

Armstrong, Holyfield and the O-line of your favourite football team all broke the rules, while McGwire didn’t; baseball didn’t ban steroids until June 2004, three years after McGwire retired.

I’m not saying McGwire’s doping was right. But it sure doesn’t sound any worse than Armstrong’s or Holyfield’s actions, and I think it’s time we acknowledged that.

Until we do, we’re all hypocrites.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette