Hey, that Tour de France is going well isn't it!?
If you have HBO, don't miss the latest episode of Costas Now that had Barry Bonds foaming at the mouth. Because if you're on the fence about the need for a drug testing policy in golf, the mess in baseball or the Tour de France might be put into better perspective.
Golf World's Ron Sirak dealt with the issue that many outside of golf have tackled, namely the disarray in sports right now and the possible reprecussions for golf. The New York Times's George Vecsey also considered this crisis in sports but didn't mention golf. However, he did question when fans would have enough, and I'm starting to wonder how many golf fans are growing suspicious each time a famous player or announcer launches into one of those "golf is a game of honor therefore there is no cheating" speeches.
Vecsey also makes this point, which Tim Finchem might want to note next time he is going on the record that he thinks testing is unnecessary (my money is on NEVER AGAIN, but you just never know!):
The ashen looks on the faces of three of America’s sports commissioners indicate that they know they are in the same shaky state as the commissars who indulged doping in cycling over the past generations and are now paying the price in public shame.Meanwhile Gary Player went on a little tirade, defending himself at this week's Senior British Open from the many criticisms lobbed his way about how dare he accuse someone of cheating!! Of course, as Player points out, how is it cheating when there is no rule against it (the key point for me in Bonds's case as discussed in the Costas show.
Player, from The Scotsman's Mike Aitken:
After signing for 72, one shot more than his age in the Senior Open at Muirfield yesterday, Player was in no mood to back down about his drug cheat claims. "I was shocked by his [Alliss'] comments because he doesn't know anything about it [drugs in golf]," said the winner of nine majors. "He clearly doesn't know anything about it. But why was he saying I was a 71-year-old man as if I was in my grave? I could reply and say a 75-year-old man should be au fait with what was happening. He just has no idea.Uh, I'm not so sure about that last one. Does anyone have a link that clarifies what went on in France? I couldn't find anything.
"He also wanted to know why I hadn't named the players [on drugs]. Someone said to me 'what do you think about human growth hormone?' and then asked for my word not to ever mention what he's doing. He told me he was trying it. My advice to him was he shouldn't do it. Am I then going to go and mention names when someone has spoken to me in confidence? If I did that, they would crucify those guys. Perhaps justly so, because the average man doesn't know [golf doesn't have a drugs policy]."
Player also said he was taken aback when his remarks were reported so prominently. "I was very surprised by the reaction because this is what the golfing bodies have been saying and the game has been highly criticised by the Olympic committee as the last sport to have a policy on drugs. Tiger Woods and other top players have also been calling for testing, so why the big fuss when I say something ?
"The thing I'm saying is we've got to have a policy. I had dinner in Geneva with one of the Olympic committee and when I made my comments at Carnoustie, Dick Pound [head of the world anti-doping agency] was very complimentary.
"Lots of golfers have taken things like beta blockers and many have said so. Right now in golf there is no cheating because it doesn't ban anything. Others sports have a policy, we don't. It's like the baseball player Mark McGuire who took creotine until they said you can't. Once we start testing, the ones who are taking things are going to stop. That's the beautiful thing about having a policy.
"We shouldn't be the last sport to do it but we are. Mark McNulty told me something interesting. In France, they held a tournament several years ago which was government sponsored, so they tested for drugs. When that was announced, 20 withdrew ..."