Thursday, August 03, 2006

Faith in medicine

There was news this morning that Brandon Ting, who had just quit the University of Southern California's football team, has tested positive for steroids.

What makes this story interesting is Ting's father, Dr. Arthur Ting, is an orthopedic surgeon who has operated on Barry Bonds, among other professional athletes.

It has also been reported Dr. Ting testified in the ongoing perjury investigation of Bonds.

While I don't want to jump to any conclusions about this coincidence, I do think the medical profession's involvement in all these recent performance enhancing scandals has been under-reported.

As the arms race between doper and regulatory body intensifies, it is inconceivable the athletes who have thrust themselves into the cross-hairs didn't get help and advice from those with medical backgrounds.

In competitive athletics there is a wink-wink attitude towards
cheating. Doctors are governed by the Hippocratic Oath, which demand they never "do harm."

Will calling out the medical profession clean up sports?

Of course not. And I don't mean to excuse the athletes' choice to cheat. But it needs to be pointed out that if the docs stuck to treating the injured and ill, the jocks wouldn't be popping anything more ambitious than

Calling them out could be a start.

When Brandon Ting quit the USC football last week he not surprisingly avoided any mention of his positive steroid test.

Instead he said he needed more time to prepare for medical school.

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