The Breakdown: Beef with athletes |

The Breakdown: Beef with athletes

summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Sports editor Bryce Evans

The beef did it. Before Thursday, I never thought a steak could hurt anyone – you know, apart from heart disease, high cholesterol and, of course, the slaughtering of cattle.

But ruining a professional athlete’s career? I didn’t think it was possible.

(Note: That’s with the exclusion of CC Sabathia’s eventual rise to 400-plus pounds. He looks about two 12-win seasons away from eating his way onto the cast of “The Biggest Loser.”)

In a press conference Thursday, cyclist Alberto Contador – the winner of three of the last four Tour de France races – blamed a positive doping test on contaminated meat. CONTAMINATED MEAT. A steak he ate on July 20 during the Tour, he says, was the cause of low amounts of the fat-burning, muscle-building drug, clenbuterol, being found in both his A and B urine samples, prompting a suspension.

Could’ve happened. I mean, the drug can be used to give beef a boost in cattle – although, it’s illegal. And who knows, maybe Contador is the first famous athlete caught with his hand in the cookie jar that isn’t lying when he says it was the baker’s fault.

Anything’s possible.

Then again, people wanted so badly to believe Floyd Landis in 2006. After all, he collected millions – I repeat, millions – of dollars from poor saps around the country to help him fight the good fight. Only this year did he admit it.

(Note: Isn’t it a little strange that once Landis admitted his guilt, the U.S. government decided to take his word in starting an investigation into other cyclists rather than simply prosecuting Landis for fraud. I mean, don’t you feel his fundraising falls nicely under the definition of the crime: intentional deception for personal gain? Sounds like it to me. But, hey, why put a criminal in jail when you can simply waste millions of taxpayer dollars conducting (yet another) witch hunt against athletes. Nice work.)

Anyway, the problem here isn’t whether or not Contador doped, because, really, apart from those who spend their free time decked out in spandex, who really cares?

My issue here is having to hear yet another poor excuse from an athlete caught behaving badly. Frankly, I’m tired of it.

Reggie Bush recently gave back his Heisman Trophy, but still won’t admit any wrongdoing during his highly paid tenure as a Trojan.

NASCAR’s Clint Bowyer was busted after his winning car a couple weeks ago failed inspection, and he still argued that he shouldn’t have been penalized.

Going back a bit more, even Tiger Woods’ “confession” was pretty weak. He cried addiction rather than admitting to simply being a jerk.

People make mistakes, I get it and for the most part, I don’t care too much when it happens. Most of the time, seeing a prominent athlete slip up a little makes them seem more human and, well, like the rest of us.

It’s how they respond to their mistakes that I’m tired of.

And I’m not saying that all athletes do this, because that’s not the case. In the past couple years, Michael Vick has completely reinvented himself – not on the field but as a person. He works with the Humane Society and seems to be setting a good example of how to own up to a mistake.

But, in all, it seems athletes caught red-handed try to rub the paint onto someone else’s back.

It was Carmelo Anthony’s buddy who put the weed in his backpack; it was two separate misunderstandings that led to Ben Roethlisberger being accused of sexual assault; and it was his dinner that got Contador in trouble.

Sorry, but the problem isn’t the beef. It’s all the bull.

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