Reading Between the Lines
There has been a lot of talk about a governing body taking endurance racing under it’s ever-caring wings. If there is ever a sure way to kill a sport, it would be to instigate, from afar, a set of rules that make little or sense.
Many of you have no doubt been following the case of Jason Sager. His situation is not unique. WADA and USADA are as “good ole’ boy’d” up as it gets. The rules and regulations are tilted against the athlete. Recently an LA Times article detailed some of the problems that WADA and USADA like to scoff in the face of.
After reading the article, and some of the highlights below, is it any wonder why endurance racers balk at any mention of a governing body?
Some things in the article that stood out to me:
Athletes are presumed guilty and denied routine access to lab data potentially relevant to their defense.
Arbitrators, theoretically neutral judges, are bound by rules drafted and enforced by the World Anti-Doping Agency and its affiliates, including the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. They have almost no discretion to adjust penalties to fit individual circumstances.
Many arbitrators have current or prior professional relationships with USADA, WADA or other sports organizations that frequently serve as the prosecution in anti-doping cases.
Of the 45 members of the North American branch, at least 24 have such affiliations.
And possibly the most disturbing of all was the closing quote of the article, from Dick Pound himself…
“The system, as a system, is a pretty good one,” he said. “It can be tweaked here or there, but we’re not sitting down with a blank sheet of paper and redesigning the entire world anti-doping system.”
blargoDecember 14, 2006
I am really conflicted on this. I want no doping in our great sport. I want to know when I give it my all and get beat that it was done fairly. There are problems with the current doping procedures, I agree. But how do we keep the cheaters out? I honestly cannot tell who is doping and who is not on the road circuit. I think, and that is a big think, that the mountain bike circuit is clean, only because the stakes are lower. But I bet there are the pros trying to keep there sponsors that dope also. How do we know there is not?
What are our options? How do we ensure our sport is clean? Does it matter?
Utah Mnt bikerDecember 15, 2006
I don’t understand why when an “A” sample comes back positive why they don’t have a separate lab process the “B” sample. That would take any questions about that specific lab out of play.
If things keep going the way they are with doping test problems, I think pro cyclists should and will look at forming a union similar to professional sports here in America. Really how can you have a fair system when you have arbitrators that are anything but impartial.
StupidBikeDecember 15, 2006
The UCI has killed Artistic Cycling and Cycle Ball already.
UtRiderDecember 15, 2006
StupidBike nailed it. B samples need to be analyzed by a different lab and the riders need to form a union. Right now they are getting screwed by pretty much everybody in and out of the sport.