Q. An NBC segment showed muscular American 100M silver medalist Carmelita Jeter working out under shadowy veteran coach John Smith on Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Is that a reassuring sign?
A. No. The Santa Monica-Venice area has been Muscle Beach since the 1930s and a hotbed of steroid use for a half-century or more. (In general, Southern California’s fabulous athletic history—such as O. J. Simpson’s 1968 Heisman Trophy and world record in a sprint relay—should come with a big asterisk.)