Talking Points: East Germany medals should be stripped
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:
Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus has been stripped of her gold medal in the women's shot put after failing drug tests — both before the London Games and immediately after her competition.
The gold now goes to Valerie Adams of New Zealand, while Evgeniia Kolodko of Russia wins silver and Gong Lijiao of China takes bronze. And while the International Olympic Committee deserves praise for working to eliminate cheating from the Games, the IOC's self-aggrandizement in this matter smacks of hypocrisy.
In the 1970s and 1980s, East Germany engaged in the systematic state-sponsored doping of athletes and racked up piles of Olympic medals. The doping was suspected at the time; it became irrefutable after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when documentation about the program became available.
This wasn't a matter of a rogue coach giving their athletes steroids. This was a government program, and it is well-documented. Until the IOC addresses this issue and formally recognizes the extensive steroid use that took place in East Germany, it cannot pretend to be taking the moral high ground on the issue of cheating.
His team might be ranked third in the nation, but USC coach Lane Kiffin is No. 1 when it comes to putting his foot in his mouth.
Kiffin on Monday relinquished his vote in the USA Today coaches poll. This comes after he said he wouldn't rank the Trojans No. 1 — and USA Today revealed that he did exactly that.
Kiffin has a knack for putting himself in embarrassing situations. On the other hand, this is another example of football's silly season. It will all be forgotten once the games begin.
Vancouver native and Skyview High School graduate Kara Patterson competed in the women's javelin at the London Games despite having a torn ACL. She writes about it at http://www.karapatterson.blogspot.com and promises to provide updates as she undergoes surgery and rehabilitation.
Best of luck to Kara on her recovery.
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