Winning clean: After doping shroud, those who win, honestly, more valued
The United States might not win as many medals as it has in the past, but it is going to take a couple of years before the stench that has surrounded doping and U.S. track and field goes away.
So maybe, this will be like paying our dues.
It is high time that someone took a leadership role and made it clear to athletes that winning at all costs is not a measure of greatness ... and to emphasize that a gold medal that is later taken away is nothing but shameful.
Whatever has been said in the past has not worked. It is time to try a new strategy.
Winning honestly has lost its luster -- and while some elite athletes are pledging to bring it back -- the recent scandals in many fields of play have made it tough to believe anyone when he or she says "I am clean."
So while we might not haul home as many golds, silvers and bronzes, at least we can say as a team, this time we aren't lying ... at all.
In the future, the doping methods are going to be even more sophisticated and it will be harder to track those who cheat. Maybe by then, integrity and honor will be all that it takes to make sure an athlete sticks to the rules.
No matter what it takes, the United States Olympic team -- as well as its professional sports associations -- should take the lead in making sure sports remain honest.
Published in Editorials on August 19, 2008 10:59 AM