Is anybody really surprised?

So the dude who won this year’s Tour de France tested positive for high testosterone levels…?

Big deal.

Okay, so it is a big deal that American Floyd Landis, the first person other than Lance Armstrong to win the Tour de France in the last eight years, appears to have cheated his way to a victory, but that doesn’t mean that I nor anyone else should be surprised by the news. I mean, come on, haven’t we been paying attention? No matter the sport, no matter the venue, no matter the stakes, no matter the potential backlash, athletes are doping, and they’ve been doing it for some time. Bill Romanowski, Marion Jones, German triathlete Nina Kraft, punter Todd Sauerbrun and, of course, everyone’s favorite cheater, Barry Bonds. And that’s just the short list, folks. The very short list.

So the fact that Landis may have used performance enhancers (they’re still awaiting the results of the “backup B sample” test) shouldn’t really shock anyone, especially anyone who’s paid any attention to competitive cycling. The ESPN article I linked to above includes a sidebar that details doping scandals involving Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso, Francisco Mancebo, Roberto Heras, David Millar, Richard Virenque and, in some cases, entire teams.

This is nothing new, nothing out of the ordinary, “Nothing to see here,” as South Park’s Sheriff Barbrady would say. Not anymore, it’s not. That’s unfortunate, for sure, but short of someone uncovering hard proof that Lance Armstrong used, we’re past the “shock value” stage. And, hell, even then, would anybody really be all the surprised to learn that Armstrong doped? ESPN’s Pat Forde says that, if Landis is indeed found guilty of cheating, we won’t be able to trust anyone else in sports again.

Sorry Pat, but that boat sailed long ago.

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