Another Doping Scandal. - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 10-26-2013
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Another Doping Scandal.

From the NY Times.

They no doubt would plead ignorance. Or blame their coaches. Or say they were victims of jealous rivals who spiked their water bottles with banned substances, or claim that the liquid they had been squirting under their tongues was only flaxseed oil, not performance-enhancing drugs meant to turn them into rockets.

They would blame anyone but themselves.

But that’s only if they could talk — which they can’t. That is because the latest doping scandal in sports does not involve Tour de France-winning cyclists or All-Star third basemen or Olympic sprinters. This one is about birds.

The world of pigeon racing was rocked to its core this week — no joke — when six Belgian birds failed tests for banned performance-enhancing drugs.

According to multiple news reports, five birds tested positive for a human painkiller that combats inflammation, and another tested positive for cocaine. Top officials at an association of pigeon fanciers in the country said they were shocked at the news.

Others in the sport said that they were not surprised that pigeons had been caught doping because pigeon racing has gained in popularity in recent years, becoming a big-money, even a glamorous, endeavor. Last May, a pigeon named Usain Bolt — for the Olympic sprinting champion from Jamaica — was sold to a Chinese businessman for about $430,000.

We can only pretend to know what evils exist within the downy underbelly of pigeon racing, but it could be fun to guess. So let’s make something up:

The identities of the birds who tested positive are not known. Two people briefed on the situation, however, said that pigeons named Ben Johnson, Marion Jones and Lance Armstrong were under suspicion. The two people did not want their names published because they did not want to be seen as violating pigeon racing’s well-known code of silence, which for decades has kept the sport’s culture of doping out of the public’s eye.

The pigeons, being pigeons, were unavailable for comment. If they could talk, they would almost certainly say that the drug testing — conducted by an overseas lab, after the Belgian drug testers found nothing — was flawed, or that the whole system was flawed. They would claim that the testers were on a witch hunt, or had mishandled their samples. Or that cocaine in your system really doesn’t give you an advantage anyway………

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