Yesterday, Kid Nate from Bloodyelbow.com pointed out that, for the most part, the MMA websites and blogs haven't covered or commented on the Shane Carwin steroid scandal outside of initial reports that Carwin was named on a list of people that have received illegal steroids from the accused pharmaceutical lab. Even when MMA writers have broached the subject, they have been careful not to directly accuse Carwin one way or another. For example, take Jamie Penick's comments from MMA Torch:
This is unfortunately the unseen underbelly of many sports, and despite the fact that Carwin will deny tooth and nail that any of this is true and point to the fact that he hasn't failed any tests, he's named as receiving steroid shipments from this pharmacy and isn't going to help his case. This seems to be a continued cycle in every sport, where it's being done, people know it's being done, but these athletes will continue to deny, deny, deny. But we're to the point now where the continued denials have lost all credence. Of course, Carwin shouldn't be totally crucified in the public light, because he's simply named here, hasn't been caught with anything technically and hasn't failed a test, but this certainly isn't good for him. People will look at him differently from here on out, however.
The question has to be raised, why aren't more MMA media sites covering, commenting or following up on a scandal about a fighter that just fought for the UFC Heavyweight title against the sport's biggest star in the sport's premiere promotion? Read why after the jump...
I feel that there are a few reasons why the MMA media isn't all over the story. The first being that outside of Carwin being named on the list of alleged recipients of illegal steroids, no more evidence has come out. I believe, for the most part, MMA journalists are either waiting for more news to break in connection with this story or they have done some follow ups and don't have enough information or strong enough sources to report anything new. The second reason I believe the Carwin steroid story isn't getting more traction is because Carwin has yet to publically address the issue. Some MMA journalists probably have information about Carwin and are waiting for him to make a statement so they can either call him out for being a liar or confirm his side of the story.
However, I believe the main reason MMA websites and blogs aren't covering this story is because no one really cares. Not the fans, not the press and probably not the UFC. We now live in an age where finding out an elite athlete is on steroids is like finding out that water is wet. There is no surprise or shock anymore when a story breaks that "[insert name] has tested positive for PEDS" or "[insert name] has been linked to a federal investigation looking into a doctor or pharmacist who illegally distributed steroids". People now only care now when you lie about taking them. Has anyone noticed that liars like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are still getting killed by the federal government and press alike but athletes that have come clean (to an extent) like Andy Pettite and Alex Rodriguez have generally been overlooked after the initial story broke?
In my opinion, most media members and fans believe that all athletes are on or have taken some form for performance enhancing drugs and we have all got to the point where we just don't care. We all love touchdowns, dunks, goals, dingers and knockouts and we don't care what athletes have to do or take to make them happen more frequently. It is no coincidence that Major League Baseball enjoyed a time of great prosperity in the late 90's and early 2000's when PED users like Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa where crushing balls out of the park at an alarming frequency. We were getting too much satisfaction to care that what we were witnessing may not have been accomplished without a little (illegal) help.
This brings me back to Carwin. We love knockouts and the man is the king of them. We love knockouts so much that no one cared to ask how Carwin was making them happen consistently. This is why no one cared to ask questions when Carwin knocked out three opponents in under two minutes during a three month span in 2006 (the same timeframe he allegedly received shipments of steroids). This is why no one cared to ask questions when he was putting his opponents to sleep on a regular basis when he broke into the UFC in May 2008. This is why no one cared to ask questions about how a 35 year old can hold down a full time engineering job, be a dad and husband while still finding the time and energy to train and fight the most elite fighters walking the earth for the biggest MMA promotion in the world.
No one cares.