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Letter to the Editor: There Is Nothing New About Doping Among Athletes

There is nothing new about doping when it comes to athletes, especially the Russians and their Eastern bloc comrades.

Back in 1985 when our son, Dave Lettieri, owner of Fastrack Bicycles in Santa Barbara, competed in his first World Cycling Championships in Italy, the size, maturity and superior results of the state-sponsored East bloc teams proved daunting. That was the beginning of my awareness that all cyclists are not “created” equally.

In subsequent world competition, including the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, the results were the same, with U.S. cyclists always finishing off the podium.

As the years passed, allegations of former East German swimmers and cyclists disappearing and dying or producing birth defects in their children began to surface. East Germany boasted that its foreign policy was “superiority in athletics.”

No sport or even everyday activities are immune from the temptation to achieve higher levels of performance. Who’s buying all those Mexican drugs?

Did you see the surprised demeanor on the face of President Vladimir Putin when Fareed Zakaria of CNN asked about the latest restrictions imposed upon the Russian track and field team?

The truth is that each sport, life endeavor and personal accomplishment needs to benefit from ” something,” whether it’s baseball or Bill Cosby. No matter how great we are naturally, we want that edge!

If the idea of drug testing ever catches on for rock bands, it may spell the end of modern music!

Bob Lettieri
Santa Barbara

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