Columnist Dave Krieger discusses an issue which underlies almost all stories on PEDs and steroids: the deterioration of ethics and morals in a culture that turns the other way when someone cheats.
We have been over this territory repeatedly with regard to baseball's steroids era, and you've heard the list of rationalizations from baseball's apologists. But what appears to be a growing compulsion to game the system, to cheat, is far from limited to baseball.
There have always been people willing to seek an advantage outside the rules, but the revelations were occasional and notorious. These days, what used to be years' worth of allegations come compressed into a single 24-hour news cycle.
Look at these examples:
Kelvin Sampson, coach of the No. 15 men's college basketball team in the country, negotiated a midseason exit from the storied program at Indiana University on Friday amid charges he broke the same rules he broke earlier at Oklahoma.
A photograph taken by an 11-year-old boy may prove that Roger Clemens, No. 8 on baseball's list of career wins, "misremembered" under oath before Congress whether he attended a party at Jose Canseco's house, as his former personal trainer claimed.
Barry Bonds, No. 1 on baseball's list of career home runs, cannot get an offer to play for any team, perhaps in part because he is under federal indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice.
Ted Johnson, former CU and Patriots linebacker, told ESPN that while with the Patriots, he sometimes received lists of opponents' audible calls at the line of scrimmage during the week before a game.
Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania wondered whether the NFL really wants to talk to Matt Walsh, the former Patriots video assistant, about the team's program of videotaping opponents' defensive signals, also known as Spygate.
Either the stakes are too high or the ethical standards are too low. Maybe both. A number of sports now offer rookie orientation seminars on the dangers of drugs, unprotected sex and duplicitous financial advisers. Maybe ethics need to be added to the curricula.