What We Talk About When We Talk About Drugs

The difference between cheating and partying in sport… 

There’s no honesty here, not on this subject. It can’t be touched by truth because the word itself is draped in unambiguous evil. I’m talking about drugs, of course. The scourge of sport, the athlete’s deal with the devil, the definition of selling your soul…

And it is those things. There’s nothing lower than a cheat. But do all drugs equal cheating? Are you kidding? So, why are athletes still being tested for recreational drugs, substances that hinder not enhance one’s performance, like cocaine and marijuana?

Earlier this week I read about former Gator All-American Omar Pinzon. Seems the Colombian backstroke champion tested positive for cocaine at his country’s national championships this month. (Yes, a Colombian on coke, resist the easy punch line…) Pinzon is one of the greatest swimmers from his continent. He’s the South American record holder in the 200 back (1:56.40) and one of Colombia’s all-time greats in the pool. His positive test will likely lead to a two-year ban from competition.

For a substance that is the exact opposite of performance-enhancing.

Read the rest of this entry »