Dirty athletes cheat twice

The only person to win the Tour de France seven times in a row admits to taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Baseball Hall of Fame voters – facing a ballot including one player who has admitted taking steroids plus three others whose qualifications are clouded by allegations of using banned substances – opt not to have a Class of 2013.

Four athletes performing at the Winter X Games which began last Thursday were hospitalized following mishaps during competition or practice. At least two remain in the hospital, one in critical condition.

There is a distinction between athletes who violate rules against use of banned substance and those who flirt with breaking the law of gravity. Yet all have one thing in common – they risk their health in order to compete.

But that distinction is important. Competitors in many sports face the possibility of injury. From motorsports to mountaineering, those risks are accepted by participants and minimized as much as possible.

Those who violate rules against performance-enhancing drugs and blood doping not only cheat their fellow competitors, they cheat their spectators, also.