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Archive for the ‘Doping’ Category

On the Doping Discourse in the United States: Think Outside the Box

In Cycling, Doping on September 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm

By Lindsay Sarah Krasnoff

As students head back to school and adults return to work, the sports world seems poised to have its own form of rentrée: a renewed discussion, about doping.

The release of Tyler Hamilton’s memoir about cycling’s doping culture, “The Secret Race,” provides an opportunity for us to have the larger discussion about doping in sports. This discussion was not fully executed when the news of Lance Armstrong relinquishing his fight against the United States Anti-Doping Agency, set as it was in the middle of many a summer vacation, splashed across international headlines. Nor was the conversation widely conducted earlier in August, amidst the glittering veneer of the London Olympic Games.

Richard Holt’s recent post, “Lance Armstrong, the Anti-Doping Campaign, and the Civil Rights of Athletes,” is a thoughtful examination of the implications of the Armstrong controversy, the fairness of the ever-changing rules inherent in anti-doping procedures, and longer-term questions such predicaments pose for athletes. But before we can talk about “fairness” in testing, we need to have an honest conversation about the place of a practice so prevalent in sports throughout the Western world that it is now found at the amateur and youth levels. Jonathan Vaughters’ article, “How to get Doping out of Sports,” is a starting point in how to address the culture that enables and facilitates doping.

The conversation in the United States falls into two categories: those who oppose doping and those who condone it. Those who are against doping contend that it is not fair, that dopers “cheat” and thus taint the game/race/competition. They note that the prevalent doping culture places pressure on athletes to dope or concede advantages in speed or strength to competitors who dope. The health risks associated with doping are not often loudly articulated today, perhaps because it has been a long time since the last high profile doping-related death. Read the rest of this entry »

Lance Armstrong, the Anti-Doping Campaign, and the Civil Rights of Athletes

In Cycling, Doping on September 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm

By Richard Holt

Regardless of how you feel about Lance Armstrong there are still a number of questions that have surfaced as a result of the recent finding from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).  I have read many of the articles concerning the USADA and Lance Armstrong but I am still searching for answers.  What is the intent of the USADA?  Is the USADA here for the athlete, corporate sponsors, or themselves? Is this a violation of the civil rights of an athlete?  How will this affect Lance Armstrong’s impact on the sport of cycling and the community at large?

Sally Jenkins, columnist for the Washington Post, wrote in her article “Lance Armstrong doping campaign exposes USADA’s hypocrisy”, that “I have so many problems with USADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) — which is supposed to be where athletes can appeal, only they never, ever win — that it’s hard to know where to begin. American athletes have lost 58 of 60 cases before the CAS. Would you want to go before that court?  What has happened to fairness, and due process?”

A Los Angeles Times article “Anti-doping authorities don’t play fair against athletes”, written by  columnist Michael Hiltzik, alludes to this by stating “It’s all well and good to say the goal of the anti-doping system is to ensure that sports stay clean, and it’s certainly true that clean athletes have every reason to resent having to compete against cheaters.  He goes on to say “But we’ve created a strange way to uphold these principles — a system that writes its own rule book, moves the goal posts at will, lies and fabricates to get the score it wants and fiercely resists playing before an objective umpire. Whatever you choose to think of Lance Armstrong, his case is just one more indication that the supposed guardians of honesty and integrity in sports are among the filthiest players of all.” Read the rest of this entry »

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