Olympics

Most rampant Olympic drug? TV

Giving a urine specimen is more awkward than you think. Past and present Olympians share their drug testing stories.
Giving a urine specimen is more awkward than you think. Past and present Olympians share their...
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Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock writes about the sports world from every angle, including those other writers can't imagine or muster courage to address. His columns are humorous, thought-provoking, agenda-free, honest and unpredictable. E-mail him, follow his Twitter or become a fan of Jason Whitlock on Facebook.

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LONDON

The World Anti-Doping Association won’t be testing for the right drug at “the most rigorously tested” Olympics, the London Games of 2012.

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WADA director general David Howman is quite proud of his advanced test for human growth hormone, the record number of athletes to be tested during these Olympics, the sophisticated and secure chain-of-custody blood procedure and the eight-year window for holding and retesting the blood samples.

WADA believes it’s winning the drug war. I disagree.

TV is the Olympic drug of choice. Television is the root of all Olympic evil, the gateway drug to HGH, anabolic steroids, testosterone and Viagra. Television, its allure of fame and fortune, is what has corroded the Olympic ideals of integrity, ethics, sportsmanship and modesty.

Sadly, there is no test for TV.

In fact, most TV addicts — commonly referred to as “crackedheads” — are not only left untreated but undiagnosed. They don’t even know they have the disease.

USA women’s Olympic goalie Hope Solo is arguably America’s most well-known “crackedhead.”

In the hours leading up to Team USA’s Wednesday Olympic debut against France, Solo released excerpts from her soon-to-be-released autobiography, “Solo: A Memoir of Hope,” revealing that she was conceived during a conjugal jailhouse visit between her imprisoned father and her mother.

I’m not kidding.

The book, which will be released a couple of days after the conclusion of the Olympics (Aug. 14), goes into significant detail about her personal life. She even discusses the fact that her con man father maintained two separate families, and both of the mothers at the head of his two families were named Judy Lynn.

I get it. We live in this therapeutic era in which we view a lack of personal modesty as cathartic. A lack of shame equals a lack of insecurity.

Well, we now also live in the too-much-information era in which TMI at the right time can lead to fame and fortune. Hope Solo hasn’t released her Kim Kardashian-inspired sex tape yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the goalkeeper has considered it.

In terms of helping Team USA win the Olympic gold, the release of her book is oddly timed. She’s in the tabloid capital of the world and she’s feeding the monster.

The 30-year-old goalie started slowly in USA’s opener on Wednesday, surrendering two goals in the first 14 minutes, putting her team in a 2-nil deficit. Her coach blamed the sun getting in her eyes. Team USA recovered, beating France 4-2.

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So far this summer, Solo has tested positive for banned substance (a diuretic commonly used to mask performance-enhancing drug use), written a tell-all book and given up two quick goals in her 2012 Olympic debut.

Yep. Sounds like a reality TV show.

Solo somehow convinced the IOC and the WADA that the diuretic found in her blood stream was taken to relieve her menstrual cycle. She avoided an Olympic ban. She did not avoid attention and controversy. These are not her first Olympics. She’s been on the big stage for a long time. It’s not that difficult for an experienced international athlete to avoid banned substances. A cynic might argue that Solo intentionally straddled the fine line. She got her name into the news and avoided harsh punishment.

There is no bad publicity when you’re hooked on the TV drug.

Our athletes are hooked. Our country is hooked.

The Olympic Games, as much as I love them, remind me of what television and money have done to our country. I’m not naive. The Games were never pure. But there was a time when they weren’t an all-out grab for cash. There was a time when representing your country was more important than creating an image that would make you worthy of representing a commercial brand.

Those times are long gone. That’s why WADA is never going to catch up with the cheaters. There’s too much money and fame at stake. I don’t even blame the cheaters for cheating. The people running the IOC live lavishly and make hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. The TV networks cash in. Advertisers. Media outlets. Sportswriters and broadcasters.

Why shouldn’t the athletes get whatever they can however they can?

Hope Solo came from nothing. Her dad was a thief and a con man, a hustler. She’s getting her hustle on no different from Jacques Rogge, the head of the International Olympic Committee.

Tagged: Hope Solo

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