Last week the British Athletic Federation banned world sprint champion Michael Johnson of the U.S. from a 400-meter race in London on July 12. The BAF said it would be "demoralizing" for British runners to face Johnson in the event. To hear the full story, please welcome Lord Stilton Worplory, duke of Puttendown-upon-Marple and president of the Honourable Company of Gentlemanly Though Somewhat Pasty British Sportsmen.
Lord Worplory, thank you for coming.
An honor, to be sure.
We assume you banned Michael Johnson from competing against your runners to get them used to the feeling of winning. Then, when the Olympics come, their confidence will be soaring, right?
Egad, man! No! We're just fed up to our ascots with losing. We're positively knackered. So we've decided to show the white feather completely.
But there are fine international runners other than Johnson. And the British haven't had a decent quarter-miler since Eric Liddell, the 1920s runner whose career inspired the film Chariots of Fire. You can't duck everybody.
Poppycock! We forbid any halfway decent runner to compete.
Who is going to run against your sprinters in this event, then?
Well, in Lane 1 we have Eddie the Eagle. In Lane 2, Andrew Lloyd Webber. In Lane 4, the remains of Winston Churchill, and in Lane 6, in a yellow singlet and a tiara, the Queen Mother.
Lord, you can't be serious.