Forgive us, if you will, if we feel a little bit like Capt. Louis Renault, a character from the film “Casablanca” who was played so very well by Claude Rains.
Renault was in the process of closing down Rick’s Cafe Americain, a nightclub and gambling parlor in the 1942 film, when owner Rick Blaine, memorably portrayed by Humphrey Bogart, asks the Vichy officer what grounds he has to close the bar. Renault’s answer: “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.” He then thanks the croupier, who has handed him his winnings.
The mock surprise displayed by Renault is similar to our reaction to Monday’s news that Lance Armstrong, the world’s most famous bicyclist, had finally confessed that the long-standing rumors he had used performance enhancers were true….
It is somewhat fitting that Armstrong’s revelations come shortly after the Baseball Hall of Fame failed to elect a single member to its Class of 2013. Included among this year’s nominees were Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens, players whose monster accomplishments will forever be clouded by allegations they were linked to performance enhancers.
Their stories all point to the dangers of a win-at-all-costs culture and the steep price that must be paid by those who succumb to it.
— Distributed by The Associated Press