Hey Timer, there is merit to some of what you say, but your conclusion does not necessarily follow from your premises.
“ 75-90% of elite sprinters are using something illegal.”
I happen to agree with that guess at the “elite” level, say at the lower end. That leaves 25% clean, meaning 2 of 8 finalists, 6 of 24 semi-finalists, and 12 of 48 in 6 heats. That’s a lot of athletes, and competitive ones, at that.
Yes people dope from 10.7 to 10.2, but that’s not the same doping as from 10.2 to 9.7–it is done by individuals, with no institutional/sponsor/medical/national federation support. To watch those athletes vs the top ones is a step in the right direction.
Also, it is my guess that the further you go down the ladder, the fewer athletes who are using. No way there is as great a proportion of second-tier guys using as the proportion of the usual finalists we see.
So getting rid of the doping trash is still worthwhile. If it is just the raw times you are interested in, normal competition should not interest you, because every athlete except for Dolt and BJ’88 has been held back somewhat by the regs.
Those who are interested in absolute speed could start a different system where anything goes, and see if it could support itself. With luck it might end up as popular as Strongman—which, BTW, I watch and follow, because it’s a pretty fair contest.
“Justin Gatlin is no more deserving of scorn than anyone he lines up against”. Disagree. He runs lots of races. You think that every one of those guys in the recent Florida race has used? I don’t. I know he’s lined up against CL (and gotten beaten). Although I do not disparage Gatlin (except for being Fatlin when he was tubby), there are competitors who are more deserving of attention and respect, IMO.
And you’re right about pro sports like football and baseball: I now watch neither, although I will randomly catch a football game. NCAA women’s volleyball, state HS basketball and hockey, alpine skiing, etc interest me more. Strongman is best because they either have no policy at all, or just ignore it—unlike track.
And I would have no problem with a parallel system—in fact, I would watch it with interest, like Strongman!
And yes you are right about hgh microdosing. Many do it, and will never get caught in the current system—BUT I believe that there are, and have been, totally clean 10.0x and even sub-10 athletes—and those guys deserve an honest shot, so that they aren’t effectively “forced” into doping.
Yes I know nobody is actually being forced to run in the west—but when you’re late teens etc, you are impressionable.