Thursday, August 03, 2006

"The View" Eliminates Gatlin, Landis From Co-Host Consideration

With the recent departure of Star Jones-Reynolds, The View is searching for a new co-host. Fans of the female-oriented talk show are eager to know the next addition to the ensemble. View producers have made it clear that their set is not a place for testosterone. Therefore, sprinter Justin Gatlin and Tour de France winner Floyd Landis have been eliminated from consideration.

Testosterone has brought tremendous scrutiny to both athletes. Gatlin announced that he had tested positive for “testosterone or its precursors” following an April 22 race. Gatlin, the 100-meter Olympic gold medalist in 2004, claimed that he never knowingly used any banned substances, and he plans to vigorously challenge the results. He could face a lifetime ban and be stripped of his world record, shared with Asafa Powell with a time of 9.77 seconds. Coincidentally, The View has inspired millions of men to emulate Gatlin’s performance on the track. When women sit down to watch the show, their husbands sprint out of the room at record speed.

A drug test for Landis revealed an “A” sample with an illegally high ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone after Stage 17 of the Tour. The results of the “B” sample are expected on Saturday. Stage 17 was the defining leg of Landis’s victory, as he jumped from 11th place to third, just 30 seconds behind the leader. Like Gatlin, he professes his innocence and claims that his seemingly unbelievable Stage 17 performance had nothing to do with illegal substances. Landis insists that his dominance resulted because he raced on a motorcycle that day. Amazingly, no Tour officials noticed.

The scandals cast a further shadow on two sports in which doping issues have been far too common. Track and cycling are widely viewed as havens for cheaters. The governing bodies of both sports are eager to eliminate these types of controversies. Then they can concentrate on the actual competitions and go back to being ignored by Americans.

In the meantime, representatives for each man shrewdly opted to make their athletes available for The View. In doing so, they hoped to convince the public that they could not possibly have an overabundance of testosterone. To further support this PR strategy, Gatlin and Landis have refused all offers to appear in beer commercials, and each man has cancelled his subscription to Maxim. Additionally, both men have consistently remarked during interviews how much they adored The Devil Wears Prada.

However, producers from The View were fully aware of the results and refused to play along with their plan. A spokeswoman for the show remarked, “We absolutely forbid testosterone on The View, so Justin Gatlin and Floyd Landis are not welcome here.” An observer added, “You tell ‘em, girl!” The announcement came on the heels of Mel Gibson’s decision to take himself out of the co-host sweepstakes. Reportedly, Gibson had believed that the show was called The Jew.

Representatives for Gatlin and Landis were disappointed by the show’s decision. One associate even called the stance hypocritical. “If they’re so anti-testosterone,” he asked, “why did they hire Rosie O’Donnell?” He added that Barbara Walters should not be above suspicion, since talking with a lisp is a common side effect of testosterone use.

The View will proceed in its search without Gatlin and Landis. However, the two men still have an opportunity to show that they are not driven by testosterone. They can plead their cases as guests on Oprah. She welcomes all athletes, as long as their physical activities do not include couch-jumping.