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Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

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  • Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

    I think ANYONE caught doping should have ALL his times, EVER, removed from the record books. Lagat would never have run his 3:26, therefore.

    They should also be banned FOR LIFE IF they don't come clean AND tell the names of all involved who helped them dope (this would both discourage athletes as well as coach's, manager's and agents from doping.) If they do come clean, they still have all times removed but its only a 1-2 year ban. Next offense, lifetime ban.

    They should also be penalized for any winnings they have EVER won through running (the money would then go to the next clean guy retroactively).

    Before anyone be allowed to race in an IAAF sanctioned race, WC or OG, they would have to sign a legal agreement that they will comply with these rules.

    This will, without a doubt, curb dug abuse in the sport. Can you imagine if Lagat, Said Sief, Boulami, Longo, etc were basically legally OBLIGATED to confess about who helped them dope? And if they did not comply, they would lose EVERYTHING without any hope to gain it back? THEY WOULD BE BANNED FOR LIFE AND LOSE POTENTIALLY MILLIONS OF $$ AND YEARS OF EARNINGS? We would be living in a drug free world then if the IAAF just harshened the rules. What is stopping them?

    Michael

  • #2
    Re: Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

    History lesson: the IAAF used to have a 4-year penalty for steroid abuse. It had to back off when high courts in multiple countries (Germany and Russia come to mind, but I can't be 100% certain on that) ruled that it was in illegal restraint of trade.

    Think of it this way: as a professional sport, track is now a "trade." Imagine if you were a carpenter and were told you could never pound a nail again for something that the general public would consider a rather minor transgression. Courts tend to follow a program of having a punishment fit the crime, and cheating isn't usually viewed as an act worth having your professional life destroyed over.

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    • #3
      Re: Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

      GH,
      Since when is doping minor? Is it your view that it should only receive a slap on the wrist? What about the clean athletes? Why would you compare any of these athletes to a carpenter?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

        Sadly, CONTO, those who hold people accountable are now far outnumbered by those willing and eager to make excuses for others. Just look at the K. White board. Only hope is that meet promoters won't bring in the re-instated druggies, but even if there were such a purist meet promoter, he/she would likely be sued into oblivion. I like your thinking, though, and the sport would benefit from it.

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        • #5
          Re: Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

          Sorry, I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I was trying to give a response that was completely clear of any subjective judgments by me, one way or another. I was trying to make it clear why heavy penalties simply will never fly. While those of us inside the sport are disgusted at what goes on, viewed in the context of the rest of the world you're going to find the courts opposed to what they view as draconian penalties.

          Why would I compare an athlete to a carpenter? Because at the professional level (and these are the people we're talking about) it's a job, plain and simple, and athletes enjoy the same protections as do people in any profession. Suppose instead of the IAAF/WADA imposing any sanctions the cases were turned over to a court of law and prosecuted. My guess is that on first offense the worst steroid abuser (possessing a controlled substance illegally) would indeed get the "slap on the wrist" to which you refer. They'd spend less time on the sidelines than the IAAF hands out. And what of those who have a doctor who actually prescribes those substances, for whatever reason, so the law can't touch them?

          So, to reiterate what I said up above: the foregoing isn't a position statement by me. It's an attempt to explain--as I understand--the practical realities of the situation. You're never going to get the death sentences you want.

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          • #6
            Re: Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

            Second steroid offences give you a life ban, ask Randy Barnes and Tony Dees
            why don't people pronounce vowels anymore

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            • #7
              Re: Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

              Prize money aside, drug cheating is often looked at as a victimless offense, not crime. Track's transgressions, in the context of the NFL and MLB drug use, is chump change. Right now, it's almost as if we are congratulating those who successfully get away with it. We're stuck with the quagmire we find ourselves in.

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              • #8
                Re: Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

                >History lesson: the IAAF used to have a 4-year
                >penalty for steroid abuse. It had to back off
                >when high courts in multiple countries (Germany
                >and Russia come to mind, but I can't be 100%
                >certain on that) ruled that it was in illegal
                >restraint of trade.

                I've always wondered why the IAAF responded to these courts while ignoring the US court ruling on the Butch Reynolds affair. It certainly gives the cynic some firepower, doesn't it?

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                • #9
                  Re: Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

                  GH, 2nd offense, out for life. I don't remember any winning court case for Randy Barnes. If you can ban someone for life on the second offense, you can certainly ban someone for life on the first offense if they are unwilling to cooperate with drug enforcement officials. The ball is in the court of the athletes. They can either run clean or cheat. If they cheat, they can help authorities to save their own hide.

                  Also, I mentioned a complete re-construction of the current system. One that would recquire any "pro" to sign a contract in which he agrees to oblige by the rules. I did that when I joined the bank work at. They laid down ground rules, and if I don't adhere, I can not work here. If I really break the rules, I can be banned from ever working in any type of investment insitution regulated by the NASD. Just like an athlete should sign a contract agreeing that he can be banned for life for taking performance enhancers. Your carpenter example is weak if you read my whole first post.

                  M

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                  • #10
                    Re: Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

                    Chill a little on going after GH. I read, and rightly I might add, that GH's post was just trying to explain the situation not trying to defend it.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

                      I agree with Conto %100. GH your example is but another irresponsible comparison. These athletes are icons for the sport. Their actions affect the sport as a whole. When they act in a manner that is outside the guidelines the entire track world is impacted. The offense may seem minor, but the effect is devastating. No governinig body can police the every moment activity of any organization. The only way to control the situation is to make clear cut rules and enforce them (Declare it) across the board. You must understand the economics of the situation. The IAAF has a limited budget they support an entire organization with. An athlete, now capable of making a great deal of money has only themselves. This race to keep up with dishonest practices is actually in favor of those that can produce the most money for research. It's no different than any other occupation. GH your example of the carpenter is more in line with a 8 year old track club participant that runs out of his lane.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

                        Wow! A whole new legal concept! If you're an icon, then your penalty should be disproportinately higher. No equal protection under the law!

                        Must admit I'd like to see that applied to a few corporate CEOs, for whom the legal system appears to be just the opposite of that.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

                          More like...let the punishment fit the crime.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

                            I disagree. The problem is not that punishments aren't severe enough. Track is the athletes' full-time job - if you were prevented from earning your livelihood for 2 years, would you say you got off lightly?
                            The real problem is with athletes who test positive but get off on phony sex-and-beer excuses or due to coverups by their national federations. For those people, it doesn't matter what the punishment is - they're not going to bear it anyway. And, let's face it, the tougher the punishment, the more incentive there is to fight it.
                            I say we should reduce the punishments but ban EVERY athlete who tests positive. That will do much more for combating the drug problem than the current setup.
                            Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too light?

                              The variations are limitless... the concept is the same.

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