The belief is universal that synthetics like epo/nandrolone/etc. increase athletic performance. If ever an athlete is accused of doing them, they deny it fervently not just because it is against the rules, but because it brings with it the embarassament that you didn't really accomplish anything great, all credibility is lost.
People have been complaining quite a bit about the current catch-22 of being a top athlete; you are hailed as great by many, but instantly accusations arise. There can be no more exceptions in the present state; every single new WR holder will be accused, and by quite a large faction at that!
Take Radcliffe's spiral of ascension as example. Looking at Paula run a 30:01 10K in those conditions; moderate-heavy rain, constant lapping of athletes, alone, etc. one could reason that next summer, if on a hot streak, she very well will break the WR of 29:31. The amount of questioning that will come up, even if all tests are clean and always have been, will create alot of negativity being directed into her life. It could even be argued that the emotional stress brought on by the accusations will become an internal problem that could manifest as an injury or some other disease down the line. Why deal with it all? If Paula sets a WR by a substantial margin in the MAR 2:13 - 14, 10K 29:00 - 29:30, or something else that was just freakish, the accusations would get out of hand.
In my mind there would be only one way for her to prove the times were clean to EVERYONE. She'd have to go to the best doctor at the time, spend a fat chunk of cash for the highest tech drugs, and destroy her old clean times! Doesn't it stand to reason that if she could run 29:15 in the 10K (in a male race) that with the proper program of drugs she could go something more like 28:15 - 45? Could you imagine? You could all deny it, but deep down you must realize that if you saw a woman do that it could only be described as a "phenomenal performance!" because it was so unreal. Do you think that it's possible the sport would actually end up doing what it is trying so hard to do already, bring in a larger audience and more money. People pay for performances afterall; hell, nobody cares what the musicians did backstage, all you care is that they sound incredible, and put on a good show. People don't jump all over the physicians who wouldn't have made it through all the bookwork/studies without a little help every once again with some type of stimulant, be it insane amounts of caffiene or something even more effective. Why is it that we hold our athletes to a higher standard than ourselves?!
I'd love to read a well constructed counterpoint. This isn't by the way blatantly writing something I disagree with to get discussion, like that pathetic MSN piece "Lance Armstrong's no athlete!" that was so absurd.