Just when you thought those shorts were enough to disgrace cycling, here comes Floyd Landis. He dropped a bombshell by admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs, but let’s face it, he would have more credibility these days if his last name were Lohan. He’s been lying to the sports world for years. But…..what if he’s right? What if the cycling world, including beloved champion Lance Armstrong, is embroiled in a culture of doping? Then the Tour de France should be just as ashamed as the Tour de Whitney Houston. To be fair, it takes balls to accuse Lance Armstrong. The man won SEVEN Tour de France races. Seven! That’s more times than the Olsen twins eat in a month.

I made three pop star references in one paragraph about steroids. It was only going to be one, but I juiced up this morning.

Honestly, let’s talk serious here. We unfortunately live in a culture of cheating. It’s everywhere. I wish it would stay in Illinois politics where it blossomed, but it’s grown and spread like ivy at Wrigley. The Astros used to play at a field named “Enron”, for crying out loud. Enron!! That can only be topped if the Mets played at Bernie Madoff Park. Sitting in last place, however, clears the Mets of anything close to cheating.

Certainly baseball is the sport that comes to most people’s minds when they think steroids. Baseball cards shouldn’t come with bubble gum anymore. They should come with chewable asterisks. The commissioner Bud Selig, however, assures fans that the league’s drug testing is rigorous. He even said last year that Major League Baseball has the toughest steroid testing in sports. When Barry Bonds heard that, I bet he laughed so hard that human growth hormone shot out his nose. If the Majors implemented anything close to rigorous, I’d be more shocked than a Philly fan running on the field. The punishments may be intense, but the testing itself is lighter than a $10 watered-down Bud.

Should Congress get involved, or should they mind their own business like they do with Elena Kagan’s sexuality? I believe they should elect a steroid czar. Everything else has a czar, right? The title alone is enough to sound bad-ass, just as long as you ignore that whole “pee in a cup” job description.

Of course, the problem extends beyond baseball, as Floyd the Barber and Cyclist says. Track and field, football, golf. Even the highly regulated, uber-respectable, above-board sport of boxing is in trouble. Filipino Manny Pacquiao refused to take a blood test before a possible bout with Floyd Mayweather because he doesn’t like needles. I’m needle-phobic too, but we’re talking about a controlled environment to help set up one of the greatest boxing matches of all time. Unless the pugilist world starts administering tests in Courtney Love’s bathroom, don’t give the needle excuse as the reason. It raises more suspicion than Tiger’s cell phone log.

Why even do steroids? Sure, they help athletes perform better, but is it worth it? There are a ton of troubling side effects, many of which I researched on the #1 source of steroid facts: josecanseco.com. The worst symptom is liver damage, putting Yankee star A-Rod on the right track to break at least one of Mickey Mantle’s records. Then there’s jaundice. Jaundice? Should we test the Simpsons? They’re more yellow than the U.N. Thankfully for Steelers linebacker Troy Polamalu, premature baldness is a side effect. Since he looks like Cher holding a toaster in a bathtub, he must be drug-free. Manhood shrinkage is another one. That alone, guys, should make you wince. Chicks dig the long ball, not the tiny shriveled ones. Finally, acne. Acne is a side effect. Why would you want to put anything in your body that makes you relive any part of high school? What’s next? A pill that makes you run fast but when you ask out a hot girl your voice cracks and you pop a boner? I’m just not sure any of that is worth it.

Don’t get me wrong as a sports fan. Athletes of yesteryear weren’t saints. No question. There’s a rumor that Joe DiMaggio would sometimes hit women. If true, that’s not cool. Even if he hit a woman 56 straight days. I’m not suggesting that sports used to be 100% clean. What I am saying is that this topic is disgusting, and Floyd Landis sounds like the name of a dancing bear in Vegas. Of course we should take what he says with a gallon of salt. Only then will the bitter taste in our mouths feel normal.

Categories: Columns