A better approach to dealing with dopers

Jul 30, 2012
79
0
0
The major problem I see with the current system of testing and punishment is that it provides absolutely no incentive for athletes to come clean and tell the anti-doping authorities what they know. Doping is systemic. Athletes receive instructions from team principals, doctors and trainers, each of whom has a network of suppliers. When an athlete is caught, these enablers are able to slink away mostly untouched. It is only after one of these enablers is connected to dozens of positive tests that anyone starts to take notice (e.g. Dr. Ferrari and Trevor Graham).

With two-year bans for first positive tests, athletes have every incentive to keep their mouth shut or come up with some silly "contaminated meat" excuse. If athletes keep their heads down, then they will be able to resume their careers as though nothing ever happened. If, however, they name names, athletes are ostracized from the sport and will likely never be able to return to the same level, especially in team endurance sports such as cycling.

To address this problem, doping authorities need to be able to ban athletes for life if, after testing positive for the first time, the athletes fail to cooperate with a further investigation into the circumstances of the positive test. Athletes who want to roll the dice can come up with some Landis-like or Contador-like excuse, but, in the event that they are unsuccessful at trial or on appeal, they would face a lifetime ban. Only through meaningful cooperation that results in a full picture of the circumstances of the positive test should an athlete be able to get anything less than a lifetime ban.
 
Jul 18, 2010
171
0
0
KayLow said:
To address this problem, doping authorities need to be able to ban athletes for life if, after testing positive for the first time, the athletes fail to cooperate with a further investigation into the circumstances of the positive test.
Giving up team mates and management is effectively the same thing as a life time ban. So that is no incentive.
 
Aug 13, 2010
3,317
0
0
KayLow said:
The major problem I see with the current system of testing and punishment is that it provides absolutely no incentive for athletes to come clean and tell the anti-doping authorities what they know. Doping is systemic. Athletes receive instructions from team principals, doctors and trainers, each of whom has a network of suppliers. When an athlete is caught, these enablers are able to slink away mostly untouched. It is only after one of these enablers is connected to dozens of positive tests that anyone starts to take notice (e.g. Dr. Ferrari and Trevor Graham).

With two-year bans for first positive tests, athletes have every incentive to keep their mouth shut or come up with some silly "contaminated meat" excuse. If athletes keep their heads down, then they will be able to resume their careers as though nothing ever happened. If, however, they name names, athletes are ostracized from the sport and will likely never be able to return to the same level, especially in team endurance sports such as cycling.

To address this problem, doping authorities need to be able to ban athletes for life if, after testing positive for the first time, the athletes fail to cooperate with a further investigation into the circumstances of the positive test. Athletes who want to roll the dice can come up with some Landis-like or Contador-like excuse, but, in the event that they are unsuccessful at trial or on appeal, they would face a lifetime ban. Only through meaningful cooperation that results in a full picture of the circumstances of the positive test should an athlete be able to get anything less than a lifetime ban.
But there is always going to be a case of someone 'accidentally' doping e.g. Eating contaminated food and really not meaning to. Is it really fair to ban them for life for an accident?
 
Jul 30, 2012
79
0
0
Don't be late Pedro said:
But there is always going to be a case of someone 'accidentally' doping e.g. Eating contaminated food and really not meaning to. Is it really fair to ban them for life for an accident?
If it can be established that the athlete did eat contaminated food, the punishment should be adjusted accordingly. Perhaps there would even be no punishment at all depending on the circumstances. For example, if Contador's excuse had actually checked out and had he not had plastic residues from blood bags in his system, I would think that he would have deserved no punishment at all. The fact that he completely lied about the circumstances of his positive test should have been taken into account when fixing the length of his ban.
 
Feb 15, 2011
1,306
0
0
Don't be late Pedro said:
But there is always going to be a case of someone 'accidentally' doping e.g. Eating contaminated food and really not meaning to. Is it really fair to ban them for life for an accident?
Medication can also be slightly contaminated: I do some work in organic synthesis and contamination can always be a problem. Not the most likely, but possible.
 
May 26, 2009
3,687
1
0
KayLow said:
If it can be established that the athlete did eat contaminated food, the punishment should be adjusted accordingly. Perhaps there would even be no punishment at all depending on the circumstances. For example, if Contador's excuse had actually checked out and had he not had plastic residues from blood bags in his system, I would think that he would have deserved no punishment at all. The fact that he completely lied about the circumstances of his positive test should have been taken into account when fixing the length of his ban.
Actually the conclusion was that the cause were probably contaminated supplements inadvertently taken. But because they are the responsibility of the athlete he got the ban.

In fact this makes it likely that even the contaminated meat defense would have gotten him a ban.

All in all it makes me feel that he simply got a belated OP punishment. It was a farce of justice. I certainly think he was guilty of OP and I certainly think he was guilty of blood transfusions, but the conclusion and the punishment quite simply were farcical.
 
May 26, 2009
3,687
1
0
KayLow said:
T
To address this problem, doping authorities need to be able to ban athletes for life if, after testing positive for the first time, the athletes fail to cooperate with a further investigation into the circumstances of the positive test.
Quite frankly it seems very unfair

1. Ratting your mates isn't a smart thing to do.
2. It punishes someone who dopes alone more than two guys doping together and ratting each other out.
3. A life sentence makes it impossible for someone to better his behavior/life.

I think a much better scheme would be:

1. A dope case means the whole team drops out of the race and gets a month ban.
2. A full investigation is started in the team management.
3. A doctor involved in doping is out for life (as his role as a pusher is markedly different of that of a user)
4. Management involved in fraud is banned for life.

This would make self regulation from the teams much more important and would make sure team discourage doping from young riders.

Right now the teams have nothing to loose. Some might say that some doctors even get a good career from it :rolleyes:



BTW. On your anger about the meat defense: Clenbuterol is indeed associated with bovine meat fraud and truly isn't a farfetched defense (there have been years with many cases in Belgium for example). Contador's problem was that he couldn't proof this theory.

I certainly think AC is a doper, but the clenbuterol could indeed be introduced by meat. The amount was incredibly small and clenbuterol is not the first choice for doping, not even in the off cycle. But it's my own conjecture at best ;)
 
Jul 30, 2012
79
0
0
I had thought that WADA had been able to conclusively show that the meat in question was not contaminated, but I was wrong. WADA did talk to the butcher from whom the meat was purchased, but the investigation apparently did not trace the meat back to the farm/feedlot. Still, it seems highly unlikely that the meat was contaminated, as no other riders who ate the meat tested positive and I am unaware of any athlete testing positive for clenbuterol from contaminated meat sourced from within the EU.
 
KayLow said:
Still, it seems highly unlikely that the meat was contaminated, as no other riders who ate the meat tested positive and I am unaware of any athlete testing positive for clenbuterol from contaminated meat sourced from within the EU.
The odds are astronomical. Another Clen positive worth examining is FuYu Li's. That contradiction should give you some insight into how arbitrary the UCI is.

One source of the doping problem is the IOC. They have a very permissive stance on doping. Re-read the Sports Illustrated article about Lance Armstrong. There's some great inside baseball about USOC's doping practices.

Hein and Pat take the IOC's permissiveness and super-charge it. It is a despotic regime.

Turn the UCI into a rider advocate and pass all testing/positive authority over to WADA and watch the positives stack up. If they did back-dated testing, it would be 10x worse. CAS would be clogged with cases for years.

There will still be issues at the rider level, but address the IOC and UCI and that will clear up the two largest sources of the problem.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY