Monday, November 03, 2014

FINA defends their decision to award its highest honor to Vladimir Putin and their reasons are sound!

Awards are obviously acknowledgements for good work, appreciated support, or as a mark of recognition. Russia has gone out of it's way to support swimming by hosting FINA grand prix meets as well as masters swimming and other aquatics related events. They have done so as a nation and not a governing body.

John Leonard, leader of the American Swim Coaches Association, has once again reared his "ugly American" head by voicing in a stern letter to FINA that Russia should not receive any sort of award from the organization due to the numerous doping cases Russia has seen in recent years. On face value that argument is silly for every country has doping issues and the buck starts and stops with the athletes, the governing bodies, and finally the international agencies. It does not stop at the President or dictator's desk.

Leonard is  guy that has been known to utter the words "communist doping" anytime a communist country sets a world record or handily beats an American. One example is his attack on Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen in the 400 IM in London. Though declared a clean swimmer by the FINA and the IOC Leonard summarily suggested to an international audience that she doped:
“... The one thing I will say is that history in our sport will tell you that every time we see something, and I will put quotation marks around this, 'unbelievable’, history shows us that it turns out later on there was doping involved. That last 100m was reminiscent of some old East German swimmers, for people who have been around a while. It was reminiscent of 400m individual medley by a young Irish woman in Atlanta. ..."

He forgets that the "Michael Jordan of doping", was an American named Lance Armstrong who bamboozled several doping agencies for nearly a decade protected by those all around him and subsequently acquired tremendous wealth.

From the review of the Book Cycling of Lies, The Fall of Lance Armstrong, by Juliet Macur as reviewed by John Pantalone.
"...Macur’s reporting indicts the athletes but also their managers, doctors, investors and others with a huge financial stake in looking the other way or helping the athletes to cheat. She also indicts American sports journalists because they cried foul when French journalists insisted that no one could win the Tour de France in the manner that Armstrong kept winning it. The American reporters had a financial stake in crowning a “regular” guy who overcame cancer and inspired millions with his success. From Nike to Sports Illustrated, corporate outfits knew a good moneymaker when they saw Lance Armstrong in the same way that Major League Baseball lauded fraudulent home run hitters for restoring the game’s popularity in the 1990s. Pretend not to see the cheating. Collect the money. Deal with the mess later. ..." 
Saint Augustine once said: Pirates and Emperors are really the same thing

There are cheaters in every sport, in every game, ranging from politics to war. Of course there are those that cheat in marriage and those that lie on their resumé and those that lie to their boss. Whether Leonard likes it or not, emperors, presidents and dictators are generally the worst people among us.

They order executions, bombings, beheadings, drone strikes, and invasions. Living in a dysfunctional world with dysfunctional rulers means you protest the bad and validate the good. Putin swimming fly in some Siberian lake, holding FINA Grand Prix meets and subsidizing swimmers is something to be validated not denied.

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