Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fallout from Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick's comments to Dan Patrick regarding PED's have drawn some heat.

Now Danica says she was "joking" when she said that using PED's would only be cheating if caught. She also said she would take an undetectable PED if it would allow her to win the Indy 500.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) wasn't buying it calling her comments "totally irresponsible." USADA CEO Travis Tygart said, "In one interview, she undercut what millions of parents try their best to teach their kids everyday in this country, that winners never cheat and cheaters never win."

Danica Patrick said in an interview with USA Today, "It was a bad joke. There is a lot of sensitivity in our culture about (performance-enhancing drugs). With all the baseball stuff, I've followed it and this is a real problem. It's a shame kids think they have to do this to get ahead. It's very dangerous."

The USADA reaction is a typical knee jerk one. However, we can't have it both ways; we're disappointed when the athletes let us in like Danica did and then we're disappointed when players don't own it like Mark McGwire. If anything, the USADA should use this as a learning opportunity and address the issue at hand: she admitted she would cheat if she knew she wouldn't be caught. Therefore, improve testing and impose stricter penalties such as a one and done policy. If the penalties are so great, the chances of people taking the risks to cheat will diminish substantially.

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