We have all heard the story of the famous footrace between the The Hare & The Tortoise, which is reprinted below:
A hare was one day making fun of a tortoise for being so slow upon his feet. "Wait a bit," said the tortoise. "I'll run a race with you, and I'll wager that I win." "Oh, well," replied the hare, who was much amused at the idea, "let's try and see." And it was soon agreed that the fox should set a course for them and be the judge. When the time came both started off together, but the hare was soon so far ahead that he thought he might as well have a rest. So down he lay and fell fast asleep. Meanwhile the tortoise kept plodding on, and in time reached the goal. At last the hare work up with a start and dashed on at his fastest, but only to find that the tortoise had already won the race.
Many people have long found the story unbelievable, asking "why on Earth would the Hare take a nap in the middle of the race?" Moreover, questions have been raised about the Hare sleeping out in the open, making itself easy prey.
In the last year, rumors began to circulate that there were shenanigans involved in the running of the race. Specifically, Alistair Barker, a Ph.D. student at the London School of Economics released a dissertation on the betting involved in the race. Mr. Barker analyzed reams of ancient data from Dogbrokes, a British gaming company based in London, that took bets on the footrace.
Employing statistical analysis, Mr. Barker found the betting patterns to be normal, up until the last five minutes before betting closed. At that point, Mr. Barker found millions of pounds of wagers were placed on the Tortoise and determined such bets to be an anomaly. Conducting further research into centuries old banking records, Mr. Barker was able to determine the source of those wagers emanated solely from Asia, again an anomaly.
As a result, Mr. Barker contacted investigative journalist, I. P. Clear, at the The Times, who traveled to Hong Kong and other cities in Asia. Mr. Clear learned the bets were placed by the Triads, who have been linked to fixing football and cricket matches, as well as races, throughout the ages. Mr. Clear was unable to convince any of his sources to speak on the record, so the story appeared as it was going to die.
However, the race was governed under the IAAF. As a result, both the Hare and the Tortoise were required to give urine samples at the completion of the race. Although, those samples were never tested, as the Tortoise won by such a wide margin, and drug controls in those days did not call for the mandatory testing of race winners.
At the urging of Messieurs Barker and Clear, the IAAF tested the urine samples of the runners. The Tortoise was found to have traces of coca leaves in his sample, which accounts for the personal best the Tortoise was never able to duplicate in subsequent competitions.
Whereas, the Hare was found to have traces of opium in his sample. Opium is an analgesic or painkiller and can be used as a sleep aide, which explains why the Hare inexplicably took a nap in the middle of the race. In the parlance of today's youth, he was simply "tripping balls".
Based on these positive drug tests, the betting and bank records, as well as the Triad connection, the IAAF believes the Hare was a victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy, to which the Tortoise was a willing participant. As a consequence, the IAAF stripped the Tortoise of his victory postreptously and awarded it the Hare.
While slow and steady wins the race, let's not be ridiculous.