Marty Hall can be taken at his word, even if it's going in one ear and out the other.
That's what it seems to boil down to when someone like Hall stirs up suspicions (possibly spot-on) of blood doping in cross-country skiing, saying in part, "I still think the old Russian ways are their ways. They're doing a better job, but I think they still haven't shut the system down."
Russia has had no fewer than "eight of its Nordic athletes ... caught doping since the end of the 2009 season," including Alena Sidko (pictured). The International Ski Federation plans to take decisive action only after the season is over, after the Olympics.
Time was, that would have been a scandal. If the Russian skiers start winning in Vancouver, you can expect the noise to get louder, especially if it keeps a few home-country athletes off the podium. That's just the way it works: Reaction beats reflection every time.
Be that as it may, for some people all that greets Hall's arguments is serious eye-glaze. Singling out the Russians as cheaters (theirs isn't only nation whose cross-country skiers have been pinched) sounds like a card that is played out.
There's more to it than cynicism. People have gone from decrying doping to wondering if there's effective change, since athletes are going to take something to improve their performance. Bill James has contended that "your grandchildren will take steroids," and it's hard to believe he might be wrong.
Major League Baseball will eventually come to terms with its cheaters (well, all of them except Barry Bonds). The National Football League has had it both ways for quite some time. No sport can plausibly deny it has athletes who are juicing.
For the general public, there seems to be outrage fatigue. There's no reason to question Marty Hall's sincerity, but do people care?