Fifty years ago, you might have explained the Lance Armstrong scandal by saying: “Well, he’s an American” and your listeners would have taken you seriously. Americans were rapacious and unscrupulous. They came from an aggressive capitalist culture that wanted success by any means necessary. There may be a few rotten apples among British sportsmen, you might have conceded, but most would “play up! play up! and play the game!” – to use another phrase that’s vanished.
Today, no one would be surprised to learn that British athletes were bent.