Latest allegation of sports cheating hits close to home | NevadaAppeal.com

Latest allegation of sports cheating hits close to home

Almost any evening you can walk by a ballpark in Carson City, anywhere in America, really, and hear the shouts of children as they play baseball, football or soccer. At the same time they’re having fun, they’re learning valuable life lessons, including the importance of fair play and sportsmanship.

Yet it seems like hardly a week goes by without another professional athlete being accused of violating those same lessons. This week, it was close to home. Reno boxer Joey Gilbert, made famous from the TV show “The Contender,” tested positive for six banned substances following a TKO over an opponent.

Fair play and sportsmanship? We don’t think so, and it’s important that the Nevada State Athletic Commission sets a clear example if an investigation substantiates the initial findings. An asterisk isn’t enough.

Gilbert’s Web site and MySpace page paint him as a hero of epic proportions and are heavy with photos of his victories and celebrity encounters. There’s even a photo of the governor’s campaign bus with a line, “Someday, maybe Joey Gilbert for Governor?”

If the allegations about Gilbert are true, we sincerely hope that line is mere fantasy. Leaders, in sports and politics, should not cheat. A leader is one who “strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed …”

That’s an excerpt from a Theodore Roosevelt speech. It’s also on Gilbert’s MySpace page, but apparently he doesn’t go there often.