Athletes who test positive for performance enhancing, or illegal drugs have long had less-than-convincing excuses. Ben Johnson speculated that someone spiked the sarsaparilla-and-ginseng energy drink he took before his 1988 race in Seoul. Petr Korda the Czech tennis player who tested positive for steroids at Wimbledon in 1998, claimed he had eaten too much nandrolone-fattened veal. Last year, another tennis player, Frenchman Richard Gasquet, had a doping ban overturned when he convinced a panel that the cocaine found in his system came from a woman he kissed in a Miami nightclub. But now, we have a new champion apologist, ladies and gentleman: LaShawn Merritt, the 400m champion at the Beijing Olympics who recently tested positive steroid precursor. The US track star is blaming it all on a “male enhancement product” hawked on late-night infomercials. Memo to athletes: Stay away from ExtenZe.
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