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  • #31
    Originally posted by LuckySpikes View Post

    No, there has to be a definite line. Either you are where you said you'd be or you're not. If you are but you've nipped to the toilet, no problem. The testers don't just knock once, they spend time waiting, knocking again or, if it's a public venue, asking around etc. If you're not there but have a good excuse like your child being hospitalised suddenly, then it's OK. Just provide the paperwork proving that and the whereabouts failure is rescinded.

    However, making calls to athletes or coaches just opens up room for more shenanigans to occur and that definite line that's needed just becomes hazy.
    I disagree. The point is to see if the athlete is clean. To that end, you want to bias the system to meet up with the athlete. The point is not to create a system of gotcha. What is lost if the control happens at 17:00 rather than 7:30 on a given day? How stupid is it to miss an athlete who is at a national competition where all sorts of testers are available? Likewise, calling the coach is likely to assist in the goal of testing the athlete.

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    • #32
      I'm more inclined to agree with Dave. I think the number of folks getting pipped for whereabouts lately indicates that presumably athletes aren't aware of how to manage doping control, which a lot of folks are inclined to blame the athlete for - I tend to be philosophically aligned with blaming organizations rather than individuals, and we *know* that there's a reason doping control sucks. Look no further than WADA's initial recommendation to bury the Russian doping program because of Russia's place with the IOC. Anti-doping is something that has been introduced by sporting bodies to shore up the legitimacy of their competitions; it's not an immutable principle of sport. Although it is an obligation of track and field athletes by "the rules," it's not an absolute obligation at all. It's an invention. Either it has to be serious and rigorous (which it isn't), or it's a massive and punitive waste of time and money to try to bolster the farce that athletes are clean.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Steele View Post
        Well, I learned something new. I thought a whereabouts violation was that they went to test you at time/location at which you told them you would be, and you weren't there. I didn't realize they are simply sitting in a room, so to speak, and matching your phone's time/location against your time/location in your testing window. If they don't match, you get popped. Am I understanding that correctly?
        Yeah, this is recent change to the whereabouts rules and a profoundly strange one to me. But again, if we can't catch the big fish I guess we gotta justify the paychecks somehow.

        tldr WA will dock you a failure even on days you're not tested if they can prove you failed to update where you were going to be. So in Ponzio's case he was at Millrose and presumably his ADAMS said he'd be at home. No tester was coming to him, he just. Got a filing failure.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by mgallagh43 View Post
          I'm more inclined to agree with Dave. I think the number of folks getting pipped for whereabouts lately indicates that presumably athletes aren't aware of how to manage doping control
          I disagree. The number of athletes getting dinged for 3 whereabouts failures is minsicule. How many athletes are there in the international testing pools? I'm guessing over 1,000 (with 40+ events). And there'll be many, many more in national testing pools - probably totalling tens of thousands across the world? How many athletes are getting banned for whereabouts failures? About 10 a year?

          Therefore, the vast majority of athletes clearly do know how to manage the system and they manage it carefully enough not to get 3 failures in a year. The ones falling foul of the system are the ones not taking enough care with a system that clearly is easy enough to manage.

          These tiny numbers also demonstrate that WADA are not setting out to catch athletes in the wrong place rather than aiming to test them.
          Last edited by LuckySpikes; 05-09-2023, 09:49 PM.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by LuckySpikes View Post

            I disagree. The number of athletes getting dinged for whereabouts failures is minsicule. How many athletes are there in the international testing pools? I'm guessing over 1,000 (with 40+ events). And there'll be many, many more in national testing pools - probably totalling tens of thousands across the world? How many athletes are getting banned for whereabouts failures? About 10 a year?

            Therefore, the vast majority of athletes clearly do know how to manage the system and they manage it carefully enough not to get 3 failures in a year. The ones falling foul of the system are the ones not taking enough care with a system that clearly is easy enough to manage.

            These tiny numbers also demonstrate that WADA are not setting out to catch athletes in the wrong place rather than aiming to test them.
            The problem I have is the all or nothing thought. As in, if an athlete is dinged for whereabouts it MUST be their mistake and their negligence. When in reality, thats just not always the case.

            Also I wouldnt be surprised if theres probably more than we think in terms of whereabouts failures. Obviously the high profile names get headlines, but Im not sure many were checking for Roger Gurski or Marie Scheppan when they were banned last year.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by LuckySpikes View Post
              These tiny numbers also demonstrate that WADA are not setting out to catch athletes in the wrong place rather than aiming to test them.
              I don't know that you can really go by the small numbers over a total population of athletes vs looking at those who get banned as the sample. Within 2021 0.6% of all tested samples turned a positive test. It's small company. With the latest available WADA stats, for places like the US and the UK nonanalytical violations make up a larger proportion of doping bans, and the numbers for both positive tests and nonanalytical bans are teeny tiny when looked at in terms of the total athletes in the global pool.

              The total number of positive tests vastly outweighs nonanalytical ADRVs on a global scale, partly because some nations have ten or twenty times the positives of the US, but in the places with larger testing pools and bigger doping control organizations, rule violations that aren't directly related to a positive test are closer to even-or-majority of the bans. In WADA's 2019 dataset for example, 7 total bans happened in the US in athletics, 5 for nonanalytical stuff and 2 for doping tests turning up positive.
              Last edited by mgallagh43; 05-09-2023, 11:01 PM.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by ATK View Post

                The problem I have is the all or nothing thought. As in, if an athlete is dinged for whereabouts it MUST be their mistake and their negligence. When in reality, thats just not always the case.

                Also I wouldnt be surprised if theres probably more than we think in terms of whereabouts failures. Obviously the high profile names get headlines, but Im not sure many were checking for Roger Gurski or Marie Scheppan when they were banned last year.
                There is the right of appeal so that athletes with valid excuses can show they had a good reason for the failure. However, the first assumption has to be that it is the athlete's negligence or fault. It's then up to the athlete to prove that wrong - e.g., my earlier example of having a child suddenty hospitalised. You provide the hospital paperwork proving that and WADA / AIU will rescind the whereabouts failure. That has to be how it works.

                No, I really don't think there are many bans for whereabouts failures. Even given a Roger Gurski or a Marie Scheppan the percentage of the total number of tested athletes is still extremely small. Go through the lists provided at the links under the "Disciplinary Process" link at https://www.athleticsintegrity.org/ and there's really not very many bans for whereabouts failures.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Dave View Post

                  What is lost if the control happens at 17:00 rather than 7:30 on a given day?
                  I think it makes a difference in today's world. If an athlete is, say, micro-dosing, they can't possibly keep the levels of a PED in their system at exactly the same level all the time. So they have to make sure that the levels are at their lowest during the testing window. Being tested 12 hours out of phase could be the difference between passing or failing.

                  Also, I don't know about everyone else here, but I always assume that, whatever we know to the be latest and greatest means of taking or applying a PED, the reality is more sophisticated, more nuanced, more refined, and with substances that aren't yet on the radar. In other words, some athletes are always a step or two ahead of the cops and have to keep moving because the cops are always trying to catch up.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by LuckySpikes
                    I disagree. The number of athletes getting dinged for 3 whereabouts failures is minsicule. How many athletes are there in the international testing pools? I'm guessing over 1,000 (with 40+ events). And there'll be many, many more in national testing pools - probably totalling tens of thousands across the world? How many athletes are getting banned for whereabouts failures? About 10 a year?
                    They don't publish instances of 1 or 2 failures, so there are many more who got dinged once or twice whom we don't know about. And of those who do reach 3 violations and get banned, the circumstances often point to their (WADA/USADA/AIU's) emphasis on dinging athletes for failures to jump through bureaucratic hoops than on actually finding and testing them.

                    Also, the strict whereabouts rule is a recent thing, where they can ding you based on knowledge that you didn't update your whereabouts to match your new location, even if no one was looking for you that day. Ponzio is only the first of maybe many to get tripped up by it.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Steele View Post
                      In other words, some athletes are always a step or two ahead of the cops and have to keep moving because the cops are always trying to catch up.
                      I think the other aspect you have to consider is the cops don't necessarily want to catch up that much. WADA and IAAF knew for six or seven years that the Russians were running a state-sponsored program - they buried this knowledge until the media sorted it out for them; Lamine Diack made plenty of money off it. It took tons of deaths in the lower ranks before UCI blinked on doing anything about blood doping and EPO. Balco blew the lid off the possibility of designer drugs, sure, but common methods are common. We have a hard time detecting a lot of different PEDs: EPO, insulin, HGH and other growth factors all come to mind. The bio passport isn't even particularly good at picking up changes in Hgb and hematocrit after a full cycle of EPO, and you can always hemodilute to bury a big above-baseline value.

                      I think it's important to remember that as much as we think of doping as an industry, anti-doping is also an industry that has its own interests in mind. I think things like the bio passport remain oversold because some sports see it as a source of legitimacy, and it helps prop up the other side of the industry. People seem to have a lot of faith that anti-doping organizations are on the side of the integrity of the sport and not just out for their own skin.
                      ​​​
                      Last edited by mgallagh43; 05-10-2023, 04:13 AM.

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                      • #41
                        ...and I thought I was cynical.

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                        • #42
                          I think LuckySpikes is pretty much spot on with his/her posts here. And Steele also makes a valid point regarding testing windows.

                          I can accept that in some circumstances an athlete is just careless, or forgetful. I really can. And in some ways, maybe more so as a clean athlete. You have an unscheduled change, for whatever reason, and maybe the last thing on your mind is updating your whereabouts. You're thinking about something else, and you're not trying to hide anything, so constantly thinking about evading testers isn't on your mind. But I cannot forgive that 3 times in 1 year, unless something extreme has happened.

                          We've talked about it before, but all athletes should do the obvious thing & set their testing window during the hour they first get out of bed, when they know they are at home. Or maybe the hour before that. They know when they are competing, or doing training camps, way in advance, so there should be no excuses to pre plan. (I don't get why an athlete would have a testing window during the day, or evening, personally, surely there is more risk of not being where you should?). I suppose if someone has no fixed abode, and is sleeping on friends couches, it would be tough, but I'm sure most athletes aren't doing that.

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                          • #43
                            1 year ban

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                            • #44
                              Another reason why I just want PEDs to be legalized. This religious endeavor to 'purify' the sport is ridiculous and costly.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by proofs in the pudd'in View Post
                                Another reason why I just want PEDs to be legalized. This religious endeavor to 'purify' the sport is ridiculous and costly.
                                Not all of us have the appetite for freak shows that you have.

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