In Danica Patrick’s World, Cheaters Can Definitely Prosper
UPDATE – June 2, 2009
Race car driver Danica Patrick’s spinning her wheels on her cheating comments.
Patrick is now claiming her comments about being willing to cheat to win in Sports Illustrated (see below) were “a bad joke.” Count U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart among those who are not amused.
“In one interview, she undercut what millions of parents try their best to teach their kids every day in this country, that winners never cheat and cheaters never win,” Tygart told Associated Press.
Bet it doesn’t cost Patrick any endorsements, though.
She makes that much clear in the current issue of Sports Illustrated in an interview with Dan Patrick, who asks her if she’d take a performance enhancing drug if she knew she would not get caught and it would allow her to win the Indy 500.
“Well, then it’s not cheating, is it? If nobody finds out?” replies Danica.
So you would do it? she’s asked.
“Yeah, it would be like finding a gray area,” she said. “In motorsports, we work in the gray areas a lot. You’re trying to find where the holes are in the rule book.”
The holes in the American race car driving hero’s morals are readily apparent. It remains to be seen if Patrick gets flak for being such a shabby role model in the U.S., where she’s been a marketer’s dream and has revved a lot of male engines by appearing in the SI Swimsuit issue.
But one person hoping she faces criticism for her remarks is John Leonard, executive director of the American Swim Coaches Association and a strong voice in the battle against doping in his sport. He sent the SI interview to a number of journalists expressing his disgust.
Leonard said his son, who was wearing a Danica Patrick baseball cap following her 3rd place finish in the Indy 500, wanted to burn it after he read her comments in SI.
What concerns Leonard is Patrick’s flippant attitude on the drug issue.
“Laughing at cheating is really devastating,” he said.