Pretty fun stuff, and now I get to see my Google ads go from biking, back to growth hormones, steroids and 1GF-1 and maybe interferon and interleukin too? Who knows. Previous doping entries by me at the end of the column.
Anyhow, all around spectacular writer Malcom Gladwell weighs in on the Barry Bonds steroid hoopla on his blog. Currently relevant posts are first here and followup here. Ok, I am a bit suprised, he is more "traditional" than I would have expected, saying something must be done to "save" the record book. Bah, I say, the record books are borderline bunk anyhow. Without integration in the first half of the 1900's and the fact that athletes probably have been doping in one way or another since WW2 at least, there is no way to go back to a clean baseline... Anyhow, he does espouse using forensic economists to look at the probability of records being clean. Which is an interesting approach.
Go read his blog for a cleaner description than mine, but the bottom line is that records must be inline with previous human performance and specifically that athlete's performance. Things like FloJo's unbelievable sprint times or Bond's magical performance improvement in his late thirties are so improbable statistically that they are completely suspect to the point that they do not count.
Good thinking, but I really think this needs to be used as a marker for increased scrutiny and testing and maybe investigation by detectives. Remember, the smart dopers who are caught are often caught by the police or by someone ratting them out. Maybe we actually need doping detectives with WADA to go deep undercover to find out what the heck they are on and get tests developed in conjuction with action against crooked doctors/researchers who are getting the crap in the pipeline. A bit too police state for my tastes, but if it was well organized with smart people like, say, Don Caitlin (read the outside article on his biomarker idea for catching the dopers here) instead of credibilityless reactionaries like Dick Pound, then maybe it would be good thing?
On to Tyler, since my last post there was a bit of a to-do with the UCI sending a nastygram to USA cycling asking why suspended racers were racing with UCI pro racers, see this for the news, and this for a summary of the hoo-ha.
Finally is a nice post on a fast x-c skiier's blog on why being a nice guy does not mean that you are not doping on the sly. Click over toNathan Schultz's take on it. Anyhow an ineresting prespective on it followed by 115 comments of the religious war about whether tyler is guilty or not. Celebrity commenters include Haven Hamilton (tylers wife) and journalists Joe Lindsay and Stuart Stevens buried there amidst the flame war. Funny stuff, really, it is complete removed from the facts though.
Anyhow, like I have said before, I think he was guilty, got caught and served his time and I hope he finds a ride somewhere before 2006 is out so we can see him in the late fall classics.
Previous posts on doping:
Back to the regularly scheduled bicycle moronothon tommorrow with much less psuedojournalism.
Anyone still reading?