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« Link to the Mitchell Report | Main | Roger Clemens explodes on the Mitchell Report »

12/14/2007

Comments

CheatingIsTheIssue

Expanding on my remarks yesterday: one should draw an analogy between PED abuse by these athletes and theft, not, say, recreational drug abuse. These men have stolen victories, championships, careers, records and perhaps even history itself. When society catches a thief, the first remedy involves the return, to the degree possible, of the stolen property. No one should deem this step, in itself, draconian, or
even punitive, per se. But restitution will hurt these perps more than fines and suspensions.

No doubt we will learn to see some of the perps as victims too, players who went down the wrong path to stay competitive because they knew about the illegal actions of others. It would seem some sort of omerta put loyalty to fellow players, even opponents, above loyalty to the public or the game. Call this omerta a false scruple. It creates the delusion of ethical dilemma where none exists. The de facto honor code should have compelled all players to rat out cheaters, not protect them, and certainly not follow in their footsteps. An amnesty based on the ubiquity of the corruption makes sense, sometimes for the underprivileged, but seems completely unjustifiable for a class of elite professionals. A professional athletes chief contribution to society takes the form of emblematically affirming
honesty and hard work as the road to success, or at least noble failure.

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