Just another day: Gatlin goofs, Tiger triumphs, Bush gets bucks

Little of this, little of that …

Let’s see: Floyd Landis struggles up the mountains in the grueling 16th stage of the Tour de France, loses his lead and falls to 11th place … eight minutes behind the leaders. He then climbs aboard for the 17th stage, and in the greatest comeback since Lazarus, wins by more than five minutes, vaulting himself back to third in the standings on his way to winning the Tour. He then tests positive for excessive levels of testosterone in his system, leaving us to wonder which of the following two scenarios is more likely: 1) Landis is the most powerful man on the planet and is able to summon superhuman volumes of natural testosterone on a moment’s notice, or 2) In the most heavily-tested sport in the world, Landis injected himself with banned substances in the middle of its most prestigious event, rendering himself guilty of anabolic stupidity.

» Following Landis up the mountain of shame is American sprinter Justin Gatlin, the Olympic champion and co-holder of the world record in the 100-meter dash. Gatlin tested positive for banned substances, including “steroid precursors,” while offering up a familiar explanation: “I cannot account for these results because I have never knowingly used any bannedsubstance.” Now, if Gatlin can only convince Greg Anderson to go to prison for him in order to keep his secrets, he’s in the clear. (And the cream, probably.)

» After Tiger Woods’ driverless two-shot victory over Chris DiMarco at the British Open, in which a leaderboard full of the best players in the world folded like houses of cards during Woods’ unflinching march to victory, PGA professionals are calling for stiffer drug testing on tour. In what they call a necessary effort to level the playing field with Woods, they’d like the list of banned substances expanded to include excessive levels of gray matter, steely determination, laser-like focus, and unimaginable talent.

» A British jockey who shocked the horseracing world when he viciously head-butted his mount in the parade ring apologized for his actions in a statement last week. While acknowledging that striking City Affair with his miniature skull was wrong and pledging to never act in such a way again, the jockey did allege that he was provoked by the animal, who reportedly whinnied him the illegitimate son of an IRA member.

» And in a stunning development, New Orleans residents proved to the rest of the nation that they actually can embrace a man named Bush. Saints’ first round draft pick Reggie Bush absorbed some harsh criticism while missing the first three days of training camp, before finally agreeing to a six-year contract over the weekend. Saints’ fans are reportedly excited about what Bush can do for them, but their enthusiasm was tempered when he tried to smooth things over with his new offensive line by telling right tackle Jammal Brown, “Brownie, you’re doin’ a heckuva job.”

Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at bfrantz@examiner.com.

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