Bravo to Robert H. Boyle for his article on the Riva Ridge case (Who and When and Mostly Why, Sept. 4). Not only does he reveal all the facts of Riva Ridge's disappointing Monmouth race, he gives a desperate account of why pre-race testing should be instituted. Riva Ridge is the clear-cut champion of this year and it is unfortunate that this drugging scandal has taken place. Pre-race testing would put an end to this sort of thing in all races to come. Let's keep the Sport of Kings the King of Sports.
ROBERT A. CARABELLI
Naturally, when pre-race testing is proposed the question arises: Who is to pay? I have a solution. Use the money the states have been stealing from bettors for years.
After a race in which there is betting in numerous pools, win, place, show, etc., the state takes a percentage of each pool for expenses. Then the number of winning ticket dollars sold is divided into the remaining amount in each pool. This gives the dollar odds for return to the public. But for convenience the state also takes the breakage, rounding the dollar odds to the lowest dime. This means that if the actual dollar odds are $2.48, the state pays $2.40 and keeps the remaining eight cents.
By using only those remaining pennies on every winning ticket in every race every year, the state would have enough money to finance pre-race testing of every horse in every race. Not only would this ensure fair races, but the public would finally be getting its money's worth.
At the ripe old age of 21 and as a seasoned veteran of AAU swimming, I sit, SI in hand, in amazement at the miracles happening daily in the Olympic ranks of swimmers. Today, when my heroes of yesterday would find even qualifying in the finals a difficult task, I ask if there is any room at all for superstars like Mark Spitz, Shane Gould and Sandy Neilson to improve. But then, I asked that about Donna de Varona and Don Schollander.
Hail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED not only for your excellent coverage of swimming but for your consistent yet diversified insights into the wonderful world of sports. And from a "has-been," a salute to swimming—a sport that taxes the stamina, the mental and emotional endurance and the guts of so many and rewards so few.
Your Sept. 4 cover article on the opening of the XXth Olympic Games interested me, but in no way did it prepare me for what was to follow! Although the early events were slightly tainted by some very poor and unfair judging (at least up to the point of this writing), I believe that what I saw can only be considered the best and most sincere competition among athletes in the history of the Olympics, something that no judge or referee can take away. However, the dedication and accomplishments of one great athlete stand out in my mind. For sure, the Olympics never have and never will see another onslaught upon world records like the Spitzkrieg of '72!
Blue Bell, Pa.
No doubt about it. The Athlete of the Year is Mark Spitz. What a performance he turned in at the XXth Olympics!
LOUANN B. ASHWAY
Woodcliff Lake, N.J.
MR. KILROY'S REBUTTAL
I have examined Avery Brundage's letter (Aug. 21) concerning Los Angeles' bid for the 1976 Olympic Games and, aside from his customary self-serving statement in the first paragraph, I find no foundation for his subsequent statements.
Unless there is a total lack of secrecy among International Olympic Committee members in the vote for the Games, how can Mr. Brundage say that all votes were already committed and that no votes could be swayed by his remarks? My talks, and those of others of our committee, with a number of IOC members would not support this statement.