Rita Jeptoo of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 13, 2013, in Chicago, Illinois. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/MCT)
Rita Jeptoo of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 13, 2013, in Chicago, Illinois. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying, right? That is something I would always tell myself when I would face off against my older brothers in football or basketball. They were always much bigger and stronger than me, so I would take advantage of any cheap shot or extra step that I could manage. The funny thing is, I only started to beat them when I started to play by the rules.

Cheating is getting out of control, not only during game night with the family, but all over the sports world. It seems to me that more people are worried about finding a new way to enhance their performance, rather than working hard to achieve those goals. I am not accusing every athlete of cheating, I know the number of dopers and cheaters is very few, but it’s hard to trust people these days.

I, like most people, have a favorite professional NBA, NFL and soccer team. But there is another sport that I follow as closely if not more than the mainstream sports, and that is running. Not only track and field, but also the marathon. Anyone who has ran a marathon knows the pain that is associated with those 26.2 miles. That is why I get so intrigued by how the elite runners can hold a blistering pace for so long. It has always crossed my mind that if those runners are using substances then they have an unfair advantage over the person that goes out and trains every day.

Just days before the New York City Marathon, the New York Times reported one of the best female marathon runners tested positive for a banned substance. Rita Jeptoo was days away from receiving a check for $500,000 for winning the World Marathon Majors, a prize for the top male and female runners for performances at races in Tokyo, Boston, London, Chicago and New York in a two-year cycle.

Jeptoo is the second high-profile runner to be entangled in a doping scandal this year as Liliya Shobukhova of Russia also received a two-year ban.

Have you ever heard of Lee Chong Wei? I doubt that you have, unless you are an avid fan of badminton. Lee is badminton’s top-ranked player and recently failed a drug test, a senior Malaysian official told Northwest Asian Weekly. No it wasn’t a drug test for recreational drugs, but for performance-enhancing drugs.

Lee, who has taken home silver medals in the past two Olympics, might have been looking for that edge to finally bring home the gold.

Whatever advantage the cheaters or dopers are looking for, I hope that it blows up in their face. I hope those people who have worked their way to the top through hard work and dedication receive the fruits of their labors.

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