SI Vault
Edited by Bruce Newman
September 28, 1992
Birth of a Nation
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September 28, 1992


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The Manila Standard said the scandal "has made our country hang its head in shame." Said Hector Navasero, president of the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association, "It's sad. It looks as if we're a land of cheaters."

But Armando Andaya, administrator of Little League baseball in the Philippines, was unrepentant. Before resigning he thundered emptily at Americans who had "scrounged around for some reason to overturn the victory" and grumbled that it was "only here in the Philippines people question us about these things."

It was true that the revelations came about not because of any protest from Long Beach but as the result of courageous work by Philippine journalists. A radio commentator called for the public hanging of one of them, The Philippine Inquirer's Armand Nocum. And according to the Inquirer, the father of one of the Zamboanga players threatened Nocum's life.

Inquirer columnist Al Mendoza was among the first to report that Zamboanga's victory may have been tainted. "I hate to be a killjoy," Mendoza wrote last week. "I could be guillotined for this, hanged by the public plaza. If a killjoy deserves either one of [those], so be it. If truth shall prevail, for truth had always been my beacon, then to hell with death."

Soccer, anyone?

Solid-Gold Blacklist

Ordinarily an Olympic medal is worth its weight in gold on the lucrative European track circuit. But this summer a number of European meet directors barred two top U.S. shot-putters, apparently to convey an antidrug message. One promoter said his ban of the Americans was prompted by their past suspensions for using banned substances, but inasmuch as the athletes had already served their time, such blacklisting amounts to vigilante justice.

Mike Stulce of the U.S., the gold medalist in the shot put in Barcelona, and another American, Randy Barnes, the world-record holder in the event, completed two-year suspensions earlier this year—Stulce for taking testosterone and Barnes for using anabolic steroids—and both expected to be permitted to compete in European meets. That's the way it has worked in the past. But when Wayne Souza, the lawyer who represents both Stulce and Barnes, contacted the directors of Grand Prix meets in Zurich, Berlin, Brussels and Turin, he discovered that no one wanted his athletes.

As a result Stulce hasn't competed in a single meet since winning the Olympic title, and Barnes has been idle since his suspension ended on Aug. 7. A case can be made that bans against track and field athletes caught using performance-enhancing drugs should be stricter, but meet promoters aren't the ones who should be making such decisions. Enforcing drug rules is the job of the sport's national federations, not a group of fast-talking philistines.

Hannibal the Animal
Although he has yet to race, a leggy, jet-black thoroughbred at Belmont Park has already attracted a great deal of attention because of his name—Hannibal Lecter. The colt's trainer, Bob Klesaris, was not thrilled when he learned in August that his new charge was named after the sociopath who liked to dine on his victims' flesh in The Silence of the Lambs. "I had mixed feelings," Klesaris admitted nervously. His ambivalence was obviously not shared by a clocker from The Daily Racing Form, who watched one of the horse's recent workouts and noted, " Hannibal Lecter was eating up the ground."

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