Monday, August 5, 2013

I'm Baaaaaaaack ...

Well folks I am happy to be back and certainly will have a few interesting stories from a week in the mountains.

One was on the drive back today and listening to (sports) radio and catching up on some of the other goings on in the world.

As you can imagine, I was keenly fixated on A-Rod and others who later today (August 5th, 2013) should be receiving "punishment" from MLB for violating the PED rules.

Given my recent stance, and in large part my current stance, on Lance, which I will expand on, I am finding the whole incident farcical.

What was even funnier was FIFA's recent (August 3rd, 2013) reaction to the "doping scandals" that seem to be rocking every major sport right now, which was (it's only) cocaine and marijuana that the majority of players are getting caught for.


See the whole article here, from Yahoo! Sports, and the statement directly from FIFA stating (in their opinion) "... their is no systemic doping ... ."

I found three things interesting.

First, from the FIFA article was the clear link to cycling and doping and how FIFA seems to be taking some queues from it. It is odd that cycling is "leading the way" in cleaning up all sports from such activities ... at least non-US sports.

Second, was the statement from FIFA CMO Jiri Dvorak who stated that:
"For me as a scientist I believe in facts and figures, not in speculation: We have no evidence that there is systematic doping."

I don't know how hard they are looking honestly. If there are no biological passports in place, as their is with the UCI, and FIFA is relying on "random" drug tests, as an engineer looking to solve problems (not a scientist who seeks the truth through experimentation), is FIFA looking to monitor, or just turn a blind eye to what really might be going on?

Finally, the blasé statement that most of the (70 to 90 out of 30000 samples) come back with "recreational drugs" and that does not alarm FIFA. Listen, I'm no prude, and certainly not a fool, but a few things came to mind.

First, are these recreational drugs on the banned list? While I don't think marijuana is a PED, except maybe for a brownie eating contest, I am not so sure about cocaine. In fact a very quick check of the WADA site indicates ... these substances are banned at all times. So while there may be no rampant PED use ... there is certainly a significant about of abuse of WADA banned substances.

Second, as the FIFA CMO, where is the outrage that this stuff is bad for you? I mean come on ... my sports heroes as role model fantasy left the station years ago, but a MD and CMO should at least have thrown in a ... you know kids this is not good for you ... statement.

Third, how is this not a problem? .3% Are popped for a WADA drug violation ... where is the line?
In my head it is ZERO. Anything bigger is an issue. Now, is there a PED epidemic in football? I dunno, but unless FIFA starts looking they won't ever know ... and that may be the plan (a la MLB). BUT, what about all the other drug use? Why isn't that considered systemic? Should it be?

Again, I dunno, but for FIFA I think they need to at least acknowledge the non-PED drug use. 

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