Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Doping In Our Sport: A Little Or A Lot?

*Thanks go to Founder Clark Haley for his posting of this topic on the Facebook site.

At our recent Reunion Alumni "Run", I had a chance to speak with Coach Gary Schwartz and others while the rabble wandered around campus.  The topic of doping came up and I stated my opinion on the matter.  "It is far more prevalent in our sport than any of us would like to admit."

While that will be my official opinion on the matter, I will say I fear the incidence is more than 80% across all disciplines of the sport.  Some were shocked by this and gently argued against it.  And Coach Schwartz correctly pointed out that since the dawn of what we consider sports, the original Greek Olympic events, athletes have always looked for an edge against their foes.  Whatever line is drawn, there will always be those who poke the line, cross it by a little bit, or trample it entirely.

The recent leak of the WADA report on Alberto Salazar and the Nike Oregon Project certainly points to a poking of the line, and probable crossing of it by people we root for.  I am not really sure how to feel about it, as I think that the people they are running against have crossed the line much further than anything the NOP has???  Alberto has certainly let his opinion be known.

I had the pleasure of 2 10-mile runs with Alberto at Frank Zarnowski's Mount Saint Mary's Running Camp in 1976.  The first was a real disaster as the camp directors convinced me to drink milk in order to achieve more in the sport.  Three stops in the woods later, Alberto had come back to find "the lost straggler".  Catching back up to the group, I somehow convinced him that I wasn't really a straggler and arranged another 10-miler with him the next early morning.  Since almost none of the other campers were interested in a run of that distance, it was me and Alberto and two other campers.  We had a real wonderful run through the mountains that Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton had hiked 150 years before.

A high school Alberto with Boston Billy.

I have rooted for Alberto ever since.  Even through his dabbles with DMSO and out-and-out performance enhancers during his later competitive years.

What do you think? In the comments below or on our Facebook site.

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