In the wake of the USADA report on Lance Armstrong and the subsequent actions of the UCI, it is nice to see that my kindergartner is being educated on bullies. From the outside looking in, I consider Armstrong, the USADA, and Carl Lewis to be bullies. They exerted a huge amount of influence to achieve their own ends. Armstrong threw countless number of people under the bus. The USADA uncovered every rock imaginable at huge tax payer expense and effectively bribed people to testify with watered down sentences. Ben Johnson was attacked repeatedly and the issue of his drinks being spiked with anabolic steroids has never been effectively refuted. The actions of these individuals and organization are not that different from Jeff Gillooly.
The simple fact is that anywhere money and prestige exist, there will be an incentive to cheat. Even when no rules exist, sports governing bodies are always playing catch up. Consider what Graeme Obree went through in setting the one hour record. Further consideration could be given to events in which the scoring is based on a panel of judges such as gymnastics.
Other professions are no different. Omerta is well in place in medicine, where sub-par surgeons are allowed to continue practicing. Politics is very dependent on who you know and being part of the establishment. The business world can be extremely cut throat and that is why corporate law and patent law are such lucrative fields.
Leveling the playing field is impossible. However, steps can be taken to be aware of and deal with bullies. The Whistleblower Protection Act was not established until 1989. I believe it should be expanded beyond corporations and find a place in government, medicine, law, engineering, and professional sports. Cleaning up society starts with one person saying: “This is not right. I will not be a part of it and I will speak up in the defense of everybody.” Unfortunately the one to speak up has usually been on the inside and on both sides of the fence. That individual may be a baseball player or an inside trader.
While it is tempting to turn our back on tainted institutions, it can be far more rewarding to be part of the solution. It is my hope that fewer teens will be willing to cheat. The fear of being caught may be the motivation, but the satisfaction of succeeding simply due to talent and hard work should one day be that motivation.