Go after the enablers

While it was a good summary for the uninitiated, the heavily promoted 4 Corners expose of Lance Armstrong contained nothing much of significance that was new.

For those that are interested in the broader lessons for sport, I’d suggest that Armstrong – a amoral monomaniac even by the standards of elite sportspeople – nevertheless wasn’t the key figure. Armstrong wasn’t the one who figured out the drug regimens that allowed him to evade testers. The individuals who did that were mostly doctors. The combination of scientific talent and expertise to figure out doping regimens that improved performance while avoiding sanction, and a preparedness to risk legal sanction, may not be quite as common. The same names keep coming up again and again – Ferrari, Fuentes, del Moral.

Preventing them from providing that advice and expertise in the future will do far more to keep performance-enhancing drugs out of sport than bans to individual athletes, even the likes of Armstrong.

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