- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 2, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Noble: Brian Ascher, for his amazing hunt to return a lost camera. On New Year’s Eve, Mr. Ascher’s fiance found a Canon digital camera in a taxi. His first attempts to find the owner via the Taxi and Limousine Commission and posting ads were futile. So Mr. Ascher and his family began the search on their own.

They pored over the 350 photos and two videos stored on the camera. Most were of New York City tourist destinations and included a group of children and adults. One showed the kids had nametags (Alan, Eileen, Noel, Noelle and Ciarnan) and the videos revealed Irish accents. Next, they noticed a doorman with a Radisson Hotel nametag.

Mr. Ascher’s mom persuaded a Radisson employee to search the guest records and found a Noel from Ireland who had stayed in the hotel during the right time. An e-mail to Noel, however, revealed that the guest hadn’t misplaced a camera.

The search was still on, and, after stringing together the clues and scouring the city, the Aschers found the camera owner — one Alan Murphy of Australia. When Mr. Murphy was contacted about his missing camera (on Jan. 10, his 34th birthday) Mr. Murphy said: “It’s good to know there are some honest people left in the world.” Happy Birthday to him.

For the amazing hunt, which went above and beyond in a quest to return a lost camera, Brian Ascher is the Noble of the Week.

Knave: Jim Gahan, for giving his teenage son steroids.

Corey Gahan showed incredible potential even as a young kid for being a champion speedskater. At 10 years old, he and his father moved to Florida to train full time. As Corey’s career blossomed and he continued to win, the desire to be the best won out over common sense.

In 2002, Jim Gahan began injecting his 13-year-old son with performance-enhancing drugs. The boy’s body bulked up and his times improved dramatically. But even when Corey became sick and blood tests revealed he had more than 20 times the normal amount of testosterone in his body, Gahan insisted they keep up the routine (after a brief break to recover from the drug-induced illness).

Finally, in 2006, Corey was suspended from his sport and had to forfeit many of his titles after failing a drug test. Earlier this month, a Tampa judge sentenced Gahan to six years in prison.

Not only is Corey’s speedskating career over at age 18, but the long-term effects of that drug regimen on Corey is still not known.

For putting the health of his own son in jeopardy just to win, Jim Gahan is the Knave of the Week.

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