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Ross Murray's Border Report
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Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 11.02.11
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

No real doping going on here

I like Lance Armstrong, I really do. I thought he was quite good in that movie Dodgeball. Plus, every time I see him, I can't help thinking that he's the handsomer little brother of fellow Texan Lyle Lovett, and that's just good fun. ("I dated Sheryl Crow." "Bro, I was married to Julia Roberts!")

So I feel a little bit bad for him losing all his Tour de France titles and being banned from cycling for life. After all, it's just cycling. It's not like it's a real sport, certainly not one most people care about (and by "most people" I mean North Americans, who are the only people who matter).

The sole place where cycling is important is France, and even then they're all "Oui, François, ils arrivent, les vélos d'ennui. Passe-moi l'absinthe."

I've cycled. Really, I have. Once I biked all the way to the Levi's factory outlet; called it the Tour de Pants. Cycling's not that hard. That's why they say something is "as easy as riding a bicycle." Or maybe it's "easy as falling off a bicycle." Then again, it might be "easy as stealing a bicycle."

Regardless, bicycles are simple and harmless -- unless you have to ride one any great distance. In that case, if you're not injecting steroids directly into your tushie on a daily basis, you're just plain crazy, or as they say in Texas, "barkin' like a coon dog at a Dixie Chicks home birth."

But doping in sport is considered unacceptable because it sends a message to the kids that it's okay to cheat. Nope. It's not okay to cheat. It's okay for a hockey player to make like bongos with his opponent's brains against the boards, but clandestine blood transfusions in hotel rooms are just not on.

The Lance Armstrong scandal is just the latest doping revelation to rock the sporting world, which does beg the question whether there are any athletes left who aren't using some sort of performance enhancement. And should we be limiting our scrutiny to the world of sport? Maybe we should all be coming clean about our dirty tricks.

I'll confess right here that I have been known in the past to occasionally indulge in chemical enhancement prior to writing this very column. There have been times when I have crafted these texts after a glass or two or seven of Cabernet Sauvignon. I have, it must be told, sometimes relied on the warmth of the grape to extract pithy conclusions from well-reasoned arguments, despite admonitions to never drink and derive.

I do not believe, however, that I was "doping" per se. Dopey? Yes. Loose with punctuation? Perhaps. A little too reliant on Spellcheck? Maybe. But I do not feel my performance was enhanced. Nor do I feel the occasional beer with byline affected the content of my column, with the possible exception of the one entitled, "I Love You Guysh No Sherioushly I Do!!!"

I would also like to reveal that I have sometimes artificially augmented my energy levels prior to writing this column by taking long, luxurious baths in a cocktail of three parts distilled water, one part Epsom salts and two parts mocha latte. Rumours that I simultaneously snorted chocolate sprinkles are completely unfounded.

Finally, on one occasion, I did boost my performance by taking a break from my writing and dancing feverishly Gangnam Style. Just now, in fact.

I understand that I may have let down some of my readers with these revelations and possibly ruined their appetites as they picture me in bathtubs and dancing in front of my cats. I want to apologize to them and stress to any young writers out there that I do not endorse the use of chemicals to write a column like this. I do, however, endorse them for reading it.

Ross Murray's collection, You're Not Going to Eat That, Are You?, is available in Quebec in area book stores and through www.townships.ca. He can be reached at ross_murray@sympatico.ca.

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