We're tired of drug denials

JODY VANCE -- 24 Hours Toronto

, Last Updated: 7:09 AM ET

As each positive drug test comes in, I get just a little more jaded and bitter.

Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with the debate over records set by those suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs needing an asterisk. My beef has everything to do with how, even faced with jail time, athletes refuse to come clean on playing dirty.

Premier athletes are becoming more adept at evading the truth -- pleading the fifith or downright, out-and-out lying.

Years of overwhelming evidence and eyewitness accounts and still Barry Bonds refuses to admit ever using steroids.

Floyd Landis wins the first post-Armstrong Tour only to test positive for high testosterone levels post-race. His response, "It's natural in my body."

American sprinter Justin Gatlin and Landis must be on the same pre-event diet. With word that the co-world record holder tested positive for high testosterone at an event in April, over the weekend Gatlin released a statement through a publicist, "I have never knowingly used any banned substance."

Sound familiar?

How naive do they think we are? We watch CSI and just like Grissom says, "the evidence never lies."

Oh, there was a time when we wanted to believe it was all a big mistake. But that was almost 20 years ago.

In old detective stories, guilty parties would tell the gumshoe "the butler did it." Today, trainers, masseurs, doctors -- they are all modern versions of the butler. Positive tests are their fault. Athletes, though, refuse to take the blame.

Today athletes deny, deny, deny -- even caught red-handed -- and think we buy it.

It would be so refreshing for someone, anyone, who has tested positive to say, "You got me" and explain by saying "I wanted to win at all cost. I did that and am ready to pay the price."

I know there is the money to think about, but there couldn't be much satisfaction in taking a tainted yellow jersey or home run record when you know it was an injection rather than hard work which secured it.

If it's wrong to assume that these headline grabbers are guilty until proven innocent, after their test results come back negative, I promise to apologize and say "you got me."

Jody Vance is a longtime television sportscaster and personality living in Toronto. Her columns appear Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.


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