SPMBLNPF wrote:Many of you have convicted Makhloufi because you just KNOW that he is cheating. You just KNOW it. Of course it is largely due to the fact that you dislike him at some visceral level. Even if Makhloufi were competing in Moscow, you'd still say he is cheating, so why would this alter the equation one iota? No matter what he does, you'd still say he was using PEDs, so don't act like this news changes anything for you.
We know that doping is widespread, and that there's a decent chance that anyone at the top is a cheater. We can look at a number of red flags with regard to an individual, and say that the odds are even better that this particular person is a cheater. Do our emotions play into who we suspect and who we give the benefit of the doubt? Absolutely. For example, Tyson Gay didn't arouse nearly enough suspicion this year. But the fact remains that even if Makhloufi were as charismatic as Geb, he'd still be super freaking suspicious.
Innocent until proven guilty is great for the criminal justice system, but this isn't criminal justice, and the penalty that we are collectively meting out isn't nearly as serious as loss of life or liberty; the penalty is loss of respect. In the dirty world of professional sports, I have no qualms about looking at a few red flags and concluding that someone is dirty as sin. I think Makhloufi can live without my respect.
Is it unfortunate that clean athletes have to deal with the cloud of suspicion created by the actions of the cheaters? Yes, it is a shame. But competing in elite athletics is a privilege, not an inalienable right. These athletes can decide for themselves whether trying to be a clean athlete in a world of drugs is worth it.