Re the doping: Some commentators are putting on the spin that Canada is one of the few countries that actually is serious about the anti-doping regulations, so more Canadians get caught because most other countries don't make a real effort to catch their cheaters. One person said, "If Ben Jonson had been American, he would never have been disqualified."
Re "Deadmonton", as a Calgarian I'm not really allowed to say nice things about Edmonton, but there's a bit of a folk music scene there, so it can't be all bad. Also, this writer doesn't really say what the comment is based on, but if he's talking about a lack of night clubs, who cares? That's a positive, in my book. However, in the original column, the "Deadmonton" word was a quote from an unnamed British athlete, and no reasons were given for it.
Re the "visually unappealing" comment, the writer has since confessed that he hasn't actually had time to see much of the city. Guess he was just trashing it on general principles, to make the folks back home feel smug.