The more I hear about this story, the more disgusted I am. I remember that sanctimonious popinjay, “King” Carl Lewis, after the scandal that ruined Ben Johnson. To find out now that he was a cheat all along is just too much. Because the USOC was willing to cover for him, Lewis went on to stardom, fame, and riches. Johnson, on the other hand, went to disgrace and ignominy. Canadian sports lived with this embarrasment for a decade.
The USOC claims that Lewis “inadvertently” took the drugs, but IOC anti-doping czar Dick Pound had this to say:
“At the time this happened, Carl Lewis already had four gold medals from the Olympics,” Dick Pound said. “You know perfectly well you’ve got to be very careful what you take. The offense is the presence of the substance in your body.”
Furthermore, one of the drugs that Lewis “inadvertently” took, ephedrine, is at the center of all of the diet drug / performance enhancing drug controversy currently making its way through the US FDA. Herbal supplements containing Ma Huang (the chinese herb from which ephedra is derived) are known to be strong stimulants and are marketed to athletes as such. Give me a break! This isn’t a substance that one “inadvertently” injests.
I am through with the Olympics. I’m writing to Dick Pound to let him know that. I won’t watch another Olympic competition until the Olympics, and especially the USOC, clean their act up.
- AFP: Former USOC Official Exum repeating doping charges
- AP: Anti-doping chief accuses USOC
- AP: USOC Ignored anti-doping rules