Friday, December 14, 2007

Sporting Chances

So Marion Jones has to surrender all her Olympics medals after she admitted cheating, and the athletes she beat will get them instead. That seems fair (provided they, too, didn't use steroids or other banned substances).

Now some people want to strip the Olympic gold medals from eight other American sprinters who won them on 4X400 relay teams on which Jones ran. Even though no one has accused any of them of violating any substance policies.

That seems hard, even though I can understand the frustration of the runners on the teams that came in second, third, and fourth.

But I wonder when anyone will get around to awarding gold medals to Shirley Babashoff and other U.S. women swimmers (and other women swimmers) who lost to the muscular, mustachioed, baritone-voiced East German women's swimming teams of the 1970s. Their doping then was an open secret, and since the fall of communism it hasn't even got the veil of secrecy any more. But no one seems to be talking about that.