Maloney's Musings


It does not require a giant leap of the imagination to believe Toronto mayoral candidate Rob Ford might not be the biggest proponent of physical fitness. Fair enough -- he is entitled to his opinions and his lifestyle. Yet for someone who already can be at least arguably accused of being bombastic and irrational at times, Mr. Ford did manage to astound us with the depth of his ignorance when he railed against holding the Toronto Marathon downtown and proposing to get it off city streets. Perhaps it was an overreaction to some nasty calls from constituents but it does go directly to his credibility as the potential chief decision-maker and face of the city. (National Post article and Toronto Life article)

The idea that an internationally recognized marathon that brings in tens of millions of dollars in tourism revenue to the city is somehow an unnecessary inconvenience for Sunday morning drivers and pedestrians by its presence downtown shows an alarming lack of judgment. Of course the fact that this is even something a supposedly serious candidate for major public office can muse about on radio goes once again to the belief by some in political power (which so far has not been controverted by the existence of any powerful athletics lobby) that they can piss on the athletic community without repercussion. Can you imagine anyone with a prayer of becoming mayor of the biggest city in Canada proposing to take the Santa Claus parade, Carabana, or the Gay Pride Weekend and stuffing it into Downsview or High Park? Of course not.


We want to believe Alberto Contador. We want to believe that his win was as valid and inspiring and honest as it appeared. We want to believe that the positive sample really was from tainted beef and really should not have been flagged as WADA claims it was far below the legal limit. It is no secret cycling has had a sordid recent history starting with the allegations around Lance Armstrong, Floyd Landis and several others. We have been lied to before and quite frankly the shame of it is Contador may in fact be more likely to be innocent and yet will be less believed than the cheaters that paved the way before him.


Best of luck to Rob Guy on his recent appointment as CEO of Athletics Canada. Fresh blood is never a bad thing especially with someone that has both the athletics and private sector experience Guy brings to the table from Manitoba.

Of course, there are challenges. The Cross Country national team criteria released yesterday appears very sensibly laid out but still maddeningly contains self-funding provisions within it that are nothing short of the laughingstock of industrial countries – Canada certainly can afford to do better. Apart from the financial stress for young athletes raising money, it is hard to take a sport seriously that cannot pay to send its best to the World Championships.Lets hope the new CEO can find a way to change that.