As Mets Make Their Run, Bobby Valentine The Filmmaker Returns To The Spotlight

Bobby Valentine is nothing if not busy, especially as his former team, the Mets, inch ever so closely towards the postseason and—gasp—maybe even the World Series, a place where they have not been since he was at the helm in 2000. While he continues to watch the goings on in Queens, (“I’m all in and think they will continue to do great things,” he told the Daily News last week when he visited CitiField) his focus is probably elsewhere, from his day job as athletic director at Sacred Heart University to his three restaurants, an upcoming massive event he is helping organize in Connecticut for The American cancer Society and his budding film company, which this week announced plans for the airing of their latest project.

It is called “DOPED: The Dirty Side of Sports,” and it will premiere on the premium channel EPIX on September 30 at 8:00 p.m. While Valentine’s background is big on baseball, the film, directed by Andrew Muscato, spends more time looking at boxing and the Olympics and the issues clean athletes have to deal with as organizations like USADA and WADA try and battle to catch cheaters. The release announcing the film talks a little about baseball; there is a reference to quotes from former MLB investigator Ed Dominguez, but the focus is away from the diamond.

Instead, the project features the accounts of athletes who claim their professional careers have been unfairly impacted by ineffective drug testing or intrusive testing protocols. Interviewed are record-setting 2015 World Championship bronze medalist and 2016 United States Olympic sprint sensation Tori Bowie, track coach Philippe DeRosier, former boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi and shot put champion Adam Nelson, who claimed his rightfully-earned 2004 Olympics gold medal after a retroactive testing of his Ukrainian competitor confirmed the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

“The policies used in sports for the war on performance enhancing drugs overreach and underperform,” said Muscato, who has worked on several other projects with Valentine including the critically acclaimed film “SCHOOLED: The Price Of College Sports,” which also aired on EPIX two years ago. “Amazingly clean athletes are not only being harmed by these rules, but they have no say in how to improve what’s clearly a broken system. In order for a global gold standard to truly work, athletes should be a bigger part of the process and that is how we can get to a better and more amicable solution for all. This is a big issue we discuss in the film.”

It is a unique approach to a subject which has long focused on Alex Rodriguez and Lance Armstrong and the cheaters, while rarely talking about the sacrifices clean athletes have to make in order to stay competing at many sports that are away from the limelight. One of the featured athletes, Bowie, emerged with a Bronze Medal in the World Track and Field Championships last month and is a favorite for Rio, yet she has to maintain a lifestyle around PED-policing organizations that give her little privacy. It is that privacy issue which many sports leagues have taken exception to, especially the NFL and their players association, with head DeMaurice Smith speaking pretty candidly in the clip that was provided with Wednesday’s announcement.

The fact that the film and its controversial take should come as no surprise to area fans who know of Valentine, a guy who has always loved to mix it up and challenge his players, and the media, when he was on the diamond. During the debate around “Schooled,” Valentine was pretty open about looking for an equitable system for college athletes sharing in revenue, which brought the ire of several of his colleagues. While there is probably no talk about supporting cheating in this film, there will be some eyebrow raising proactive thoughts put forth, which should please the manager turned producer just fine.

Bobby Valentine around a headline grabbing event: something which we probably could use more of, even as The Amazins make their playoff run.

About the Author

Get connected with us on Social Media