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Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too heavy?

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  • Who thinks the penalty for drugs is too heavy?

    I do.

    Now the disclaimer.....

    For first offense that is. I'm all for the death penalty on second offense, but from a purely pragmatic point of view, the sport has done far-far-far-far more to hurt itself than help it w/ overly harsh penalties.

    There's a reason track is perceived as far and away the dirtiest sport on the planet, and it has nothing to do with the amount of abuse and everything to do with the publicity the penalties attract.

    (Having said that, the penalty itself means nothing in the setting of a WC or OG: Kelli White the prime example. 5 minutes or 5 years would be the same uproar.)

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

    Gary I am going to have to disagree with you here. In this day and age it is very hard to catch the dopers out. They get off with a 2-year ban and then come back to the sport and run the same gauntlet, with the knowledge that they were UNLUCKLY to be caught the first time.

    I like many people around the world marvel at the performances of people like Lagat. I get out there every day and train my ass off with the hope of match strides with these guys. Then I find out that he may be no better than me, in fact, I may even be better.

    While I’ll spend the next two years getting up at 5:50am, so I can train before work and then not get back home until 8:30pm after my second training session. Lagat will be sitting in the lap of luxury, training when it suits him and recovering between each session at home watching some big ass TV that he bought with all that dirty money he won whilst on drugs.

    Two year ban too lite, dam right. He should be gone for life along with the times he ran. Guys like Richie Boulet, Mike Power, Mike Stember, should be suing this guy for the titles they missed out on.

    My only advise to the clean athletes out there is that if you are ever in a race with a former drug cheat, knock them in to the infield where they belong. With any luck a stray jav will do what the IAAF fails to do. Take them out for good.

    Just like the NCAA false start rule, break once and your out.

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

      Another solution that hasn't been mentioned yet is attaching a rope around the cheaters waist, then they drag a tire around the track with them. Now they know how it feels to race clean. Keep training and following your dream, one day it might be a level playing field.

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

        Compared to other professional sports, I would have to agree with Garry. Based on my not-so-extensive research, the penalty for getting caught using drugs in

        NFL - 4 games 1st offense, 6 games 2nd, min 1 year third

        NBA - marijuana (fines and slap on wrist for 1st and 2nd, 5 games for 3rd); steroids (5 games for 1st, 10 games 2nd, 25 games 3rd)

        MLB - penalty for drug abuse is 6 figure book deal and 5 bookings on sports talk shows (MLB does not test...)

        I'm not saying that the penalties assessed by NFL, NBA, and MLB are appropriate, but track may be taking a bit too far with a 2 year ban

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

          >I do.

          >from a purely pragmatic point
          >of view, the sport has done far-far-far-far more
          >to hurt itself than help it w/ overly harsh
          >penalties.

          And this is why so many of us say people at the top of the sport want the drug issue to go away. GH is THE most influential person in US track who has no official beurocratic position -- and he wants the penalties to be lower, and doesn't want people to talk about drugs.

          Sure, pro sports in the US have ridiculous drug policies. And the US is seen as a drug haven throughout the world. Track is an inherently different sport due to its international and beurocratic/political governing system. History has already judged the Eastern Block programs of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. In 20 years, how will we be looked on today?

          Track is seen as a "dirty" sport for many reasons, and one of them is because it is. You don't think that you can have an entire stadium boo Kelli White or Olg Yegerova and have the press not notice, do you? Those fans, who were willing to pay big dollars in order to see a big meet, were upset that these people hadn't been punished. And if Jones & Montgomery hadn't dumped Charlie Francis (and actually ran this year) things would have become very, very ugly. Of course, track fans had to find sources other than T&FN to keep up with that story . . .

          At the 2002 Olympics Dick Pound told CBC's Brian Williams that it was a drug-free Olympics. Skier Becky Scott was waiting off-camera and you could literally hear her laughing. A few days later Scott moved up to silver after a Russian was DQd for EPO, and Williams re-interviewed her. Why isn't skiing the "dirty" sport? Skiing is just as dirty as track if not more, but track gets the press because it's the centerpiece of the largest regulary-scheduled meeting of mankind.

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

            My personal opinion here- I'd like to see the 2 year ban dropped to 1 year or 1 year plus the next major championship, whichever is longer. This would keep situations like the silliness of the IAAF extending qualifying deadlines for sanctioned athletes from happening.

            I don't think the length of penalty does much if anything to reduce doping and thus I think the fixation people have on penalties is misguided and more or less useless.

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

              I fully agree with GH and BH with one qualification. The death penalty after the second offense only for the "heavy ammunition" (steroids, perhaps EPO), not for the stimulants such as ephedrine and now a new member, modafinil.Of course, the illegal drugs are an entirely different discussion.
              "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
              by Thomas Henry Huxley

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

                I agree - 1 year is quite enough. All research suggests that the extent to which punishment serves as a deterrent depends less on its harshness and much more on how likely it is perceived to be. The conclusion: if you want to limit drug use, a) increase the risk of detection (more or better tests) and b) actually ban people who get caught (rather than let them get off on phony excuses). What's more, shorter bans are less likely to be disputed in court, since the potential benefit to the athlete will be smaller in relation to the cost of suing.
                Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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

                  I you do that you might as well allow drugs as the perception I have (trying not to believe it but it is becoming more and more obviuos) that basically everyone good is using will be even more widespread if the penalties are made lighter. What I would like to see happen is that if someone tests positive and is banned then the level of testing of that individual should increase significantly. (lots of out of competition tests, and mandatory tests at every meet they participate in) Of course the cost to do that will be prohibitive. Two years is short enough. Athletes must know that they face loss of earnings if caught. The easiest way to beat a dope test is not to take dope. Pity some athletes can't see that.
                  why don't people pronounce vowels anymore

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

                    >> What I would like to see happen is that
                    >if someone tests positive and is banned then the
                    >level of testing of that individual should
                    >increase significantly. (lots of out of
                    >competition tests, and mandatory tests at every
                    >meet they participate in) Of course the cost to
                    >do that will be prohibitive.>>

                    Let me play devil's advocate (hey, I coulda called myself that instead of "realist"!) and say that with our limited resources, putting in extra time on these guys is a waste of money. As mum used to say, "once burned, twice warned." I'd say that those who already have a positive are less likely to go back to abuse than those who haven't been caught already.

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

                      I'm not so sure, there are enough examples to show that they don't learn. Plus if you know your life will be miserable and intruded upon it may be a deterrent. Otherwise just free up the darn thing and let the f-ers kill themselves, of course I'll just start watching more football and cricket then
                      why don't people pronounce vowels anymore

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

                        "GH is THE most influential person in US track who has no official beurocratic position -- and he wants the penalties to be lower, and doesn't want people to talk about drugs."

                        Well not some people anyway.

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

                          If you mean "dr. steve" well... that's PAULIE and he's banned permanently banned. Anything he manages to get on the board I pull down.

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