Two retired athletes made interesting statements about doping in sport that are worth noting, writes Philip Gomes.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:37 PM

Both
Tennis great Yannick Noah and 2006 Tour de France champion Oscar
Pereiro went rogue on the issue of doping this weekend, with one calling out Spanish
sport in general and the other specifically pointing to a Frenchman's
malfeasance.

Thrust into cycling's consciousness after he appeared at the launch of the 2012 Tour de France route, Noah's comments are controversial, with the 1983 French Open champion
(and the last of his countrymen to win that tournament) calling for
France to be more lenient on the doping front.

The target of Noah's vengeance? Spain.

"How can a country (Spain) dominate sport from one day to the next?" he asked in Le Monde. "Had they discovered avant-garde training techniques and methods that no one else imagined?"

Noah went on to conclude that exceptional Spanish sporting performances could only be a result of one thing. Doping.

"If you don't have the magic potion, it's difficult to win," he said, channeling Asterix and Obelisk.

His solution? Not a crackdown but leniency.

"We're
not being treated in the same way as the majority of our adversaries
from other countries," he said. "The best attitude to adopt is to accept
doping. And then everyone will have the magic potion."

It's worth noting that in retirement Noah is now a reggae musician so 'legalising it' probably comes with the territory.

Also noteworthy is that since Noah claimed his sole Grand Slam championship,
Spanish players have won the French Open title no less than eleven
times.

But that result is more due to their fondness for the
clay court game and mixed French tennis fortunes that any doping issue -
or is he pointing a finger at the man who has won that title six times
in the last seven years? Spain's Rafael Nadal.

Also stepping
into the fray was Oscar Pereiro, whose target was football - the World
Game - not the quaint localised versions seen in countries like
Australia and America.

As reported in Cyclingnews Pereiro was more detailed, naming players he thought were doping, including, ironically, retired French headbutting champion Zinedine Zidane.

"Zidane
has admitted that he had a blood transfusion in Switzerland to
regenerate his body," said Pereiro on the television show Punto Pelota. "In cycling that is [a doping] positive."

Pereiro then rightly went on to say that Cycling was not perfect.

"In my sport we have made fifty thousand mistakes, we are fools," he said. "That cannot be hidden."

Incredibly,
it's the Spaniard
Pereiro who understands what Frenchman Noah does not.
Doping and the hypocrisy that goes with it is damaging all sport.

Sadly
it's clear that Noah would like to make 'fifty thousand mistakes' just
for the sake of a French sporting title or two. What he doesn't
understand is that along the way French sport will be destroyed by it -
just as the credibility of Spanish sport is being destroyed today.