If Lance Armstrong were Italian, would his cheating ways have been uncovered and prosecuted sooner? For Italy’s La Stampa, columnist Marco Ansaldo writes that even if Italian sport is just as corrupt as it is anywhere else – if not more so – Italians would like to think so.
For La Stampa, Marco Ansaldo writes in part:
Commercialism has heavily penetrated sport – and with the money comes speculators. People all-too-often close their eyes so as not to see. In football, for example, the number of managers with criminal convictions is alarming, yet some even hold institutional roles. Other federations are no better. When Prime Minister Monti, saying he feared thievery, refused to endorse Rome’s bid to host the Olympic Games, he wasn’t wrong: it has been years since a major event hasn’t ended up in the cross-hairs of the judiciary.
It is a system that gets polluted and struggles to clean itself up: it is no coincidence that the great betting and match-fixing scandals have emerged only when magistrates made their move. Yet even in this sordid scenario there is the consolation that on some fronts, one observes that the urge to clean things up is stronger than elsewhere. In Italy, sports fraud has been raised to the level of serious crime, thereby allowing for in-depth investigations. Here the fight against doping makes no concessions and is just as heated as it is in France: if Armstrong had lived in Italy, he may have been caught faster that in the United States.
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