Happy New Year
“There was a time when athletes accused of doping simply declared their innocence. These days their defenders are more likely to adopt a ‘Well, you can’t prove 100 per cent that he’s guilty,’ argument. This tortuous and legalistic approach means that those inclined to do so can maintain their illusions for longer. But it greatly fuels public cynicism about high level sport. Mention athletics and cycling to a lot of people these days and you’ll get a sneer and a shake of the head.”
“It’s an awful pity. Because I still believe that there are athletes and cyclists out there who don’t cheat, for the simple reason that in any field of endeavour there are honest people. Human nature is not entirely rotten. To argue that it is merely peddles cheap cynicism in the guise of realism. And to argue that ‘sure, they’re all doping. Let them at it,’ is to let the worst offenders off the hook and provide comfort to the dopers. ‘Everyone does it,’ is probably what they tell themselves on the odd occasion that conscience threatens to kick in.”
– Exceprt from an Eamonn Sweeney column on doping in The Independent.
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