Thursday, July 15, 2004

DRUGGED UP OR DUMB, WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

This story just gets worse and worse.

Alleged drug cheat and trafficker Sean Eadie is claiming that he had no knowledge of a package that contained banned substances addressed to him and seized by Customs. He's also saying that he didn't receive TWO notifications that the incident had occurred.

Now, excuse me for having a dig at the AOC, but I've been very wary of the whole bunch for a number of reasons for quite a while now.

Firstly, take a look at them. What is going on with Eadie's beard? Surely who'd have to be on something to think that growing something like that on your face is a good idea? It's not like he's the Brad Pitt of cycling to start with, but that beard. Oh, the beard.

Secondly, the whole Kathy Watts thing was a debacle from start to finish. Someone in Cycling Australia doesn't like her, and all of a sudden she's getting locked in Port-a-Loos at the start of races for qualifying and generally being subjected to the kind of treatment I received in High School until people learned that if they kept that shit up I'd lob a chair at their head.

And now our only female weightlifter, Caroline Pileggi gets done for refusing a drug test. And her excuse? Confusion.

Confusion? I'm sorry, I was under the impression that these people were professional athletes, not two year olds being tested on their times tables. How hard is it to pee in a jar? Where in that can confusion arise?

I don't think there is much room for excuses in drug-cheat cases. If you are making a living/livelihood out of being a professional athlete, make sure you know the rules, genius'. It's not that hard, surely. And if you're in any doubt, how hard would it be to ring up the hand-holders that are employed to look after you and say "Hey, I was thinking of shooting up some Horse Hormones, that's not against the rules is it?"

And another thing. If you plan on importing banned substances, couldn't you find a stealthier route that the postal system? And if you plan on shooting up in team-mates room, it's probably not the best idea to hide the used syringes in a bucket where the cleaner might be able to find it.

This "I didn't know" excuse holds no truck with me. Even I know that Equine Growth Hormones are not something an athlete can take. And if it has the word steroid in it, it's probably a good idea to give it a miss. Stop feeling hard done by when you get caught people, even if you're innocent, you're certainly not innocent of being culpably brainless. I remember a couple of years back when Hirdy panicked because he'd taken cough syrup without checking the label. The first thing he did was call the club doctor and check that nothing in the syrup was on the banned list. Surely a good rule of thumb for an Olympic athlete would be "If it's in a syringe, check I'm not going to get hauled over the coals as a drug cheat?"

Don't come looking for sympathy from the public when you've clearly done something that if it wasn't intentionally deceptive is mind-numbingly ignorant.

As far as I can see, both are crimes, and quite frankly, I'm not sure I want that kind of person representing Australia on a world stage.

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