Today in the New York Daily News, Kettmann examines the media's and the public's failure to pay heed to such voices. Kettmann has lived and worked in Germany for the past several years, so rather than rely solely on baseball, he has East German swimmers on his mind:
. . . I can recall being wowed by the guts U.S. swimmer Shirley Babashoff showed when she dared to speak out at the 1976 Summer Olympics about the mannish East German women who turned that competition into a mockery. I had no idea what was up with the East Germans, but I respected Babashoff's nerve. Many, however, wished she had kept her mouth shut. She was dubbed "Surly Shirley" in the press for making cracks about the deep voices of the East German women . . .
. . . One of the questions that needs to be asked, as people try to make sense of the Steroid Era in sports - which probably opened with those infamous '76 Olympics - is how so few sportswriters could avoid falling in to the same trap as the well-meaning sports reporters in Montreal who blamed Babashoff for demanding that they ask tough questions about the East Germans.
Media criticism aside, Kettmann's piece also provides an important reminder -- in the form of his reminiscences of the Manfred Ewald trial -- that while records and integrity of sporting events are worth discussing, the health risks and culture of PEDs -- especially to the extent those who otherwise wouldn't touch the stuff feel coerced into using -- are far more important in the grand scheme of things.