Hands off our doping controls, sport bosses tell lawmakers

Discussion in 'Doping in Cycling' started by wilmar13, May 18, 2005.

  1. wilmar13

    wilmar13 New Member

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    Yeah right they can police themselves :rolleyes: ... Makes cycling look downright Pollyannaish in comparison.


    WASHINGTON, May 18 (AFP) - American sports league commissioners and union leaders unanimously told US lawmakers here Wednesday to keep their hands off doping control programs and trust them to ensure dope cheats are caught.
    Several bosses evoked concerns about giving up authority over US sportsmen to a global organization such as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), whose tougher rules would govern US sports under the proposed Drug-Free Sports Act.

    "A policy that is the product of an agreement between management and labor will always be superior to one that is imposed from the outside," said National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern.

    "The NBA can maintain a sound drug testing policy for steroids and performance-enhancing substances through collective bargaining."

    Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, Major League Soccer boss Don Garber and National Hockey League commissioner Gary Battman also spoke to the House Commerce trade and consumer protection subcommittee steroids inquiry.

    Cliff Stearns, the subcommittee chairman, said because the leagues have a vested financial interest in not catching steroid cheats, they cannot be trusted to properly police doping.

    "I'm not convinced an answer can be found in a system that allows the leaders of the sports to police themselves," Stearns said.

    Selig, whose sport has faced the harshest criticism for lack of testing prior to last season, told baseball union boss Don Fehr he wants bans of 50 games for doping offenders, 100 games for repeat offenders and lifetime bans for a "third strike".

    Selig stressed he also wants baseball to keep oversight on doping.

    "I believe there are important differences among the various professional sports and between professional sports and the Olympics that may make private regulation more effective and appropriate," Selig said.

    Representative Mike Ferguson told baseball union boss Fehr that "most of us hope you will do the right thing and pass this proposal."

    Fehr, a legal expert like most of the panel, did not indicate the union would adopt Selig's proposal but did say he wants no Congressional oversight.

    "Solutions devised by the parties in the workplace are more likely to be workable and enduring," Fehr said.

    "Collective bargaining is the appropriate forum. We believe the program we've implemented in Major League Baseball will work if given the opportunity."

    Fehr also played the patriotic card, saying WADA rules for US sports would give control over US athletes to non-Americans.

    Fehr also took issue with proposed two-year bans for first offenders and life bans for repeaters, saying the WADA rules applied to US sports stars would be overly harsh.

    "A two-year suspension for a first offense would end the player's career in the vast majority of circumstances," he said.

    Frank Shorter, the 1972 Olympic marathon champion and US Anti-Doping Agency chairman from 2000 to 2003, argued that US leagues must adopt the rules to have any hope of credibility on the steroid issue.

    "In today's society, where the rewards of success in sport are great, the penalty for doping must be strong enough to be an effective deterrent," Shorter said.

    "If a sports organization is truly committed to fighting doping in sports, the first step is to adopt testing and enforcement standards similar to that of the Olympic movement.

    "The second important action should be to place the responsibility for doping in the hands of an independent and transparent agency."

    Garber, an ex-NFL executive, did not agree.

    "A single government-mandated policy cannot adequately govern or address the unique and distinct qualities of the different leagues," he said.

    "Specialized programs agreed to by leagues and their players tailored to address the specific needs and concerns of each sport will be more effective in creating drug-free sports."

    Bettman and NHL union executive director Bob Goodenow, locked in a labor fight that wiped out the entire NHL season, agreed upon their desire to keep their power to govern doping if their league ever manages to return.

    "We do not see a need for the proposed legislation," Bettman said.

    "The NHL and NHLPA anticipate putting into place a new program that will feature frequent and random no-notice testing coupled with immediate and mandatory discipline for the proven use of performance-enhancing drugs."

    National Football League commissioner Paul Tagliabue will testify Thursday.

    js/ea05


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    COPYRIGHT 2005 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.
     
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  2. Flyer

    Flyer Banned

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    The business analysis was done a long ago.

    Consumers will not watch 'organic' adults play childrens games.

    Consumers will pay to watch drug addicts, stronger, faster, quicker compete as Gladiators.

    From Soccer, track & field, football, baseball, Olympic badmitten, race walking, and yes Cycling!

    As a result, doping and dopers MUST BE EXEMPTED from doping control. A few little fish may be suspended---but only for a short period.

    Brand name players MUST NEVER get exposed if commercial success and advertising revenues are to be MAXIMIZED.

    That's it in a nutshell.
     
  3. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Active Member

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    Governments have no place in sports, they should keep their big noses out of it. Independent sport bodies are more than capable of administrating sports. The majority of lawmakers are probably clueless about the various sports they like to interfere in, in any case.
     
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