What a shame it is to read that Floyd Landis tested positive for synthetic testosterone and has been fired by his cycling team.  The Tour de France disavowed his recent championship, although he must be stripped of his title by the International Cycling Union.  What a shame.  Shame on Landis for–apparently–cheating.  After two positive tests and being fired by his team, it definitely does appear that Landis cheated in the Alps to take home the yellow jersey.  The final verdict will come when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the Court of Arbitration for Sport decide his fate.  For now, it’s not looking good for Mr. Landis.  I am disappointed to hear that he probably used artificial substances to win the Tour, not only because he is an American who will probably lose the Tour title, but also because his action has sullied the reputation of the Tour as well as the noble sport of cycling.
 
Sometimes cheaters do prosper, but occasionally their cheating gets the best of them, and they experience breathtaking falls from grace.  Landis’ situation reminds me of what happened to Dr. Hwang Woo-suk, formerly one of Korea’s top scientists, who was found last year to  have falsified the results of a cloning experiment used as the basis of an article published last year in Science Magazine.  Dr. Hwang was stripped of virtually every award he ever won and has retreated to the private sector.  Landis is hardly alone in the annals of athletes who have cheated to gain a performance edge.  From Tonya Harding (figure skating) and Jason Grimsley (baseball) to Ben Johnson (track and field) and Arnold Schwarzeneggar (bodybuilding), athletes in nearly every sport have used and abused substances to give them the advantage that will help them win.  Of course, cheating in sports is not limited to chemical substances–it can also include sabotaging your opponents, illicit gambling, or using technology to gain an unfair advantage.  Cheating isn’t limited to athletes–it can also include referees, managers, fans, owners, even members of sports governing organizations.  
 
Landis’ situation is especially disheartening because his performance affected the outcome of a major sporting event, the Tour de France.  Landis is hardly alone–two riders who were serious contenders to win the Tour this year, Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich, were disqualified from the Tour over alleged substance abuse.  Other riders have likely used performance-enhancing substances but have not been caught.  Landis had the fortune–and misfortune–of being in the spotlight.  He is not the first to cheat and win or lose a major sporting event and get caught–that distinction could go to the 1919 Chicago Black Sox (baseball).  He won’t be the last.  But for now, the spotlight is on him.
 

Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his wife Jing and son Alex. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at www.mgedwards.com or contact him by e-mail at me@mgedwards.com or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

© 2017 Brilliance Press. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted without the written consent of the author.

1 Comment

  1. Jerry's Gravatar Jerry
    December 27, 2007    

    Gambling is one of my favorite hobbies, and I especially like the game of blackjack.

Leave a Reply