Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saturday Roundup

The CyclingNews is full of doping stories and court actions today with everything ranging from the Kashechkin human right violation lawsuit to Patrik Sinkewitz testifying that stored blood had to be discarded due to clotting. posts a story about Howard Jacobs latest fight against doping allegations and an athlete with the all too familiar chain of custody issue central to his case.

SF Chronicle's snarky Scott Ostler, who lives near TBV, digs into Hingis, finishing:

By fighting - or having your attorneys fight - you might prevent the bottom line of your legacy from reading: "Busted and banned."

And since you discovered that the testing system is either corrupt or dangerously inept, by letting the evil testers off the hook you leave the door open for other players to be framed and wrongly defamed. Some of them won't have the money to fight back.

By the way, I can guess what comes next: Your withering scorn for the media and fans who don't buy your story.

FYI, Martina, many of us are sick of the Marion Jones/Floyd Landis/Rafael Palmeiro bluster-and-bombast defense. It's pathetic, it's weasel-ly, and it goes down like rancid castor oil.

We don't get it. First he bitches that Martina's a wuss who should fight, then he lays into Landis for doing what he seems to say Hingis ought to do instead of lay down like a dog.

Larry Brown Sports writes about Martina Hingis, and as in seemingly all high profile sports/doping stories now there is the requisite Floyd Landis reference.

Cebu Sports Blog presents a well written, beautifully illustrated post, worth a visit for that alone. It reveals yet another sports fan who is disillusioned and discouraged by perhaps having put too much faith in another human being, and who now has to decide whom to believe, listing the usual suspects and now Hingis.


bostonlondontokyo said...

In reference to vSF Chronicle's Scott Ostler piece, I think it is quite clear what he's saying, and there isn't a double standard here.

First, he is complaining that Ms. Hingis isn't defending herself against the charges of cocaine use.

In the second example, he refers specifically to "bluster-and-bombast defense" - you said "we don't get it" but it's fairly clear to me.

In the case of Landis, you have to think momentarily about how he was (perhaps still is) perceived. Perceptions are not science, so I'll not confuse the two, but it can be maddening, such as in the case of Marion Jones - to have been a supporter of hers during her tirades and vocally angry defence, only to find out that she'd been lying all along. In Landis' case, there are still many folks who are confused by his seemingly irrational actions, such as his list of reasons for having had a positive doping test. I think ardent Landis supporters have simply forgotten how it all was back in 2006, when his angry visage and list of possible positive testing reasons were frequently detailed on the internet. His best friend's 'joke' with Greg LeMond did not help to remove that perception. His response to the arbitration decision was telling, too - I wondered 'will he say that he's mad, or will he diligently disagree with the ruling and fight once again?' - well, he did have to tell us all that he was 'angry' and many of us cringed because blast, bombast and anger just don't help to establish a sense of trust. This has left people like myself in a quandry, wanting to understand the science of the case, having to do so in direct oppostion to personal 'gut' feelings or reactions to someone's behaviour, or lack of tact.

There is also a great, vast disconnect when one has heard the accused say that he may have unusually high testosterone levels (or ratio of testosterone to epitosterone), only to then find out that his defence was not based on this first assertion, but questioning the very science of the testing. What happened to his statement about naturally high levels? Are we supposed to forget that part? Didn't he lie to the public when he said that?

It's this kind of bombast that the writer was refering to - and unfortunately, perceptions are what we're left with at the end of the day. I say perceptions, because as science progresses, there is much more room between truth and lies. Tonia Hand had convinced millions of people around the world that she was a world trade center survivor, only to be unmasked years later. Her response? "I did nothing illegal" - and yes, it's true - she did nothing illegal. But how do we perceive her? Legally - fine - in the realm of opinion? Probably not so well.

The example of Ms. Head is nothing more than an example, and not meant to be a comparison to Mr. Landis.

Just to conclude, it's not inconceivable that one can hope for justice, but have a disdain for anger. If Floyd is innocent, then there is no question that he has anger, but since he brings his case to the public, asks them for money and help, he must admit that he's put a huge strain on the people who really want to know the truth... I don't know about you, but my mother and father never told me to say 'what the lawyer told me' - as I know it, truth is truth... it's that simple.