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Old 02-01-2011, 09:02 AM
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Default Topic #8, All Players - Performance Enhancing Drugs

This thread is to be used by those in the Sports Debater's League. Any other posts in here will be flagged for spam and deleted. You have four days from the time this is posted to post (as in the time this is posted on Saturday, which is approximately when the new topic will go up. Note that I mean 96 hours after MY initial post, not the lead off debater.) your arguments, rebuttals and anything else you want. Best overall debater in that time period receives 10 points, second receives 9, third receives 8, all others receive 7.

Hitting Lead-Off in this debate is Big Sexy. He has 24 hours to reply and if he doesn't then it's open season.

Again: 4 days, best overall poster gets first place points.

Topic: What should the punishment be for an athlete caught using performance enhancing drugs? This will be slightly different in that I'm asking you to fill the shoes of a commissioner/leader of a particular sport. What would your policy be for this crime? How would you have the athlete be treated as far as their records, their eligibility on the field/court or anything else? In short, what would your policy on performance enhancing drugs be? Debaters will be graded on the strength of their policy as well as how well they critique the other proposals.

Scores will be posted as soon as the three judges give their scores.

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Old 02-01-2011, 05:33 PM
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The guidelines for punishment of the use of performance enhancing drugs can't be exactly the same for all sports because of the different season lengths and other minor differences but there are some basic guidelines that I would have all of the major professional sports follow.

Basic Guidelines


1. Differentiate Between the Illegal Performance Enhancers Used- Right now you have the same punishment for anabolic steroids as you do for some over the counter drug that is banned for some petty reason. You have to differentiate between the banned substances more and categorize them by severity. Someone caught using anabolic steroids should be punished much harder then someone taking a supplement that has one banned ingredient that really won't do much for them.

2. Stricter Punishments- These punishments would be for users caught using anabolic steroids or HGH (which I will get to in a minute). First time offenders will receive a hefty in-season suspension. I believe MLB is currently 50 games which I like. I'd put the NFL at 6 games, NBA and NHL at 25 games. The second offense would be a season long suspension. So 162 MLB games, 16 NFL games, and 82 NBA and NHL games. The third offense would be a lifetime ban.

3. Require HGH Testing- HGH is one thing that really isn't tested in any league but it is something that a lot of athletes use. Some estimate that 30% of NFL players use HGH and there are some who believe that percentage is even higher. This is something that many people are fighting against because it involves blood testing but until HGH is gone from sports there can be no guarantee of a level playing field. Right now it is being tested in minor league baseball but I would make it mandatory for all professional sports.

Users Records

Any records set by an athlete caught using anabolic steroids or HGH receive an automatic asterisk. With these new guidelines it is very clear that these substances are against the rules and their use will not be tolerated. If a player still decides to use these substances then their accomplishments will pay the price. With the lesser known banned substances more leeway will be given with numbers but if it becomes a pattern then they face the same punishment.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:07 PM
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The usage of peformance enhancing drugs is a disgraceful act. It spits in the face of not only the other competitors who have stayed clean, but on the rich history of the sport itself. It cheapens and taints accomplishments, and in the case of the Olympics, can take away "moments" from those who competed fairly. I understand that if caught after, said victory and medal is taken away from the competitor, but the moment for the competitor who finished behind him can never be recovered. How unjust. Therefore, I believe a Lifetime Ban should be imposed on those caught doping. They should be outcast from their league/school(in high school, banned from sport) with no chance of re-admitance. Their records would be permanently stained in the aspect of the college student, and the professional should be kicked out of their league. There's nothing worse then being permanently suspended from one's league to be on one's record. Am I being too harsh? I don't believe so.

Reasoning:


It's akin to theft:
In 1519, Leonardo Da Vinci completed the Mona Lisa after working on it for 16 years. 16 years for one painting. This is akin to what the athlete whose attempts to rise to the top are like. Their talent is noticed at an early age, and some move away from family and friends in order to train before they hit their teenage years. Countless hours are spent daily, trying to perfect their craft, in order to display their artistic ability.However, there are those who choose to take shortcuts through the usage of PED's. This enables them to grow bigger, stronger, and faster then their counterparts, giving them an advantage in scholarships and contracts.
If in a major event, such as the Olympics, and one of the eight competitors in a 500 k swimming event are on performance enhancing drugs, not only are they illegal, but they are cheating. If they win, it may be from the effect the drug(s) had on the person. How is this fair for the other athletes who got to this grand stage through hard work and ability alone? It isn't. It's stealing a moment from those competitors as well. For those who take shortcuts, it's akin to as if I had lived in Da Vinci's lifetime, stolen his painting, and claimed the Mona Lisa as my own. Those who use PED's are stealing opportunities for greater success away from those who remain clean. A lifetime ban would be the best way to discourage athletes from taking shortcuts and "stealing" from other athletes.

It's affecting our youth:According to a somewhat outdated study done by Blue Cross/Blue Shield in 2003, 1.1 million teenagers between ages 12-17 were estimated to have taken PED's that year. While outdated, that number is an increase of 200,000 since 2001, according to the study. One can only imagine how much greater the number is today. Many succumb to the pressure and temptation of an easy way to become "bigger and better". Young athletes are unable in many ways to make informed, rational decisions about taking PED's. The BC/BS article notes that 81 percent of teenagers haven't conversed with their parents about PED's, and 69 percent said the same about their coaches from their sports teams. Alarming figures indeed.

The article can be read here.
Click for Spoiler:
Blue Cross/Blue Shield Says 1.1 Million Teens Have Used Performance Enhancing Sports Supplements and Drugs
Chicago IL, 31 October 2003

Based on projections from a nationally representative survey released today by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), approximately 1.1 million young people between ages 12 and 17 have taken potentially dangerous performance-enhancing supplements and drugs this year. Just as alarming, 76 percent could not identify any negative side effects that might result from using steroids, ephedra and other similar substances. The 1.1 million is an increase from just 2 years ago, which a similar study coinducted reported 900,000 teenagers 12-17 had taken these supplements and drugs.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans are committed to the health of America's young people," said Allan Korn, MD, BCBSA chief medical officer. "Five years ago when we launched the Healthy Competition program, people thought performance-enhancing drugs were only a problem for elite athletes. But today, 74 percent of the people surveyed agree that these substances pose a significant public health problem."

The survey highlights just how seriously parents view the potential health threat, with 39 percent rating the use of performance-enhancing supplements and drugs as their number one concern in youth sports—far more than aggressive behavior (16 percent), competitiveness (15 percent) and injury (10 percent). Yet, 81 percent of young people said they had never had a conversation with their parents about performance-enhancing substances, and 69 percent said they had received no information from their sports teams.

"This survey should serve as a wakeup call to parents, teachers, coaches, and the public health community about the need to educate our young people regarding the dangers associated with performance-enhancing drugs and supplements," Dr. Korn added.

Other key survey results:

Use of ephedra appears to be on the rise, with 7 percent of youth responding that they knew someone using it compared to zero percent in 2001.

Among all youths surveyed (ages 10-17) who knew someone using performance-enhancing substances, the most common substance identified was creatine (38 percent). Steroids (34 percent) were the second-most cited.

Among the youth who knew someone using performance-enhancing supplements, 27 percent said these teens were taking the substances to "look better," an increase from 19 percent in 2001.

While 71 percent of youth thought football players were more likely to use performance-enhancing substances, the perception that baseball players used them increased substantially over the last two years (27 percent vs. 22 percent in 2001).

Seventy-one percent of youth strongly disapprove of athletes who use performance-enhancing substances, an increase from 66 percent of young people with this view in 2001.

The vast majority of adults believe there should be greater regulatory oversight of the industries responsible for developing and marketing performance-enhancing substances.

"Adults need to protect the bodies and minds of young people from the harmful effects of all drugs, including performance enhancing substances," said John Walters, director of National Drug Control Policy. "Athletes of all ages must contend with the pressures of competition and can sometimes be tempted to take dangerous shortcuts. Parents and coaches can help young athletes make healthy decisions by educating them on these harmful drugs."

In addition to illegal performance-enhancing substances, such as steroids and human growth hormones, many dietary supplement products available over- the-counter or on the Internet contain potentially dangerous ingredients, including androstenedione (andro) and ephedra. These products are not regulated nor tested by the Food and Drug Administration, and some have been reported to cause negative health consequences, including acne, kidney problems, reproductive difficulties and even death. People of all ages should consult with their doctors before taking any sports supplement.

"BCBSA urges young athletes to abstain from using performance-enhancing drugs and supplements and reminds athletes, coaches and parents that skill, dedication and hard work are the most important qualities for success in sports and in life," said Dr. Korn. For more information, visit www.healthycompetition.org.

The survey was conducted for BCBSA by C&R Research Services, Inc. via telephone among a nationally representative sample of adults, 21 to 64 years of age, and youths, 10 to 17 years of age. A total of 1,803 interviews were completed—1,000 among adults and 803 among youths—between April 4 and 23, 2003. The data provides a reliable and accurate representation of both the US adult and youth populations.

Results based on these samples are projectable to the national population and have a sampling error of 3.1 percentage points for the adult sample and 3.5 percentage points for the youth sample. Results based on the subgroups may have a larger sampling error.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is comprised of 41 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 88.7 million—nearly one in three—Americans.

In reading that the sample included children as young as the age of 12, I was shocked. That's a 7th/8th grader possibly using said drugs. It's an epidemic from a culture that encourages athletes to be bigger, stronger, and faster, and it's a sad one. Unless an intervention is put in place to stop this epidemic, it will continue, with more youth deaths. What better intervention then the thought of a permanent ban from their sport until the day they graduate, or seeing their sports idol banned permanently?

Saving athletes from themselves: The use of performance-enhancing drugs leads to serious health problems. Some of those lead to "Roid Rage", female athletes developing male characteristics, heart problems and heart attacks, and one's life expectancy being greatly reduced. Many of these are are also addictive. We all know of the Chris Benoit murders/suicide, but what some fail to know is that Benoit was found to have elevated levels of testosterone in his system. Why? Because he was being treated for a testosterone deficiency due to years of steroid use.This USA Today article is a harrowing tale of what life for wrestler's was like(and for many, still likely is)was like before WWE's testing policy went into effect.

Click for Spoiler:
High death rate lingers behind fun facade of pro wrestling Posted 3/12/2004

By Jon Swartz, USA TODAY
Mike "Road Warrior Hawk" Hegstrand died from an enlarged heart caused by high blood pressure at 46. Mike "Crash Holly" Lockwood died from what a medical examiner ruled a suicide at 32. A lethal combination of painkillers was found in his system.

Former pro wrestler Del Wilkes shed his mask after a career that lasted 12 years.
By Todd Bennett for USA TODAY

Mike Lozanski died from what his family says was a lung infection at 35. His relatives are awaiting an autopsy report.

All died in the last five months. All were professional wrestlers with bulging muscles on sculpted bodies. The deaths received little notice beyond obituaries in small newspapers and on wrestling Web sites, typical of the fringe status of the $500 million industry.

Yet their deaths underscore the troubling fact that despite some attempts to clean up an industry sold on size, stamina and theatrics, wrestlers die young at a staggering rate. Since 1997, about 1,000 wrestlers 45 and younger have worked on pro wrestling circuits worldwide, wrestling officials estimate.

USA TODAY's examination of medical documents, autopsies and police reports, along with interviews with family members and news accounts, shows that at least 65 wrestlers died in that time, 25 from heart attacks or other coronary problems — an extraordinarily high rate for people that young, medical officials say. Many had enlarged hearts.

Illegal steroid use in professional sports has gained plenty of attention: President Bush in his State of the Union address in January urged athletes and professional sports leagues to stop steroid use, and a federal grand jury has been investigating Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.

However, it is pro wrestling where the problem appears to be the most pervasive and deadly. In five of the 25 deaths, medical examiners concluded that steroids might have played a role. Excessive steroid use can lead to an enlarged heart. In 12 others, examiners in medical reports cited evidence of use of painkillers, cocaine and other drugs.

The widespread use of drugs and the deaths associated with it raise questions about a largely unregulated business that is watched on TV and in arenas by an estimated 20 million fans a week, including children. Those fans will tune in Sunday for the industry's biggest event, WrestleMania XX.

Fifteen current and former wrestlers interviewed by USA TODAY say they willingly bulked up on anabolic steroids, which they call "juice," to look the part and took pain pills so they could perform four to five nights a week despite injuries. Some admit to use of human-growth hormones, a muscle-building compound even more powerful and dangerous than steroids. And many say they used recreational drugs.

"I experienced what we in the profession call the silent scream" of pain, drugs and loneliness, says wrestling legend "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, 49, who has been in the business more than 30 years. "You're in your hotel room. You're banged up, numb and alone. You don't want to go downstairs to the bar or restaurant. The walls are breathing. You don't want to talk. Panic sets in and you start weeping. It's something all of us go through."

Scott "Raven" Levy, 39, says he used steroids and more than 200 pain pills daily before he kicked the habit a few years ago. "It's part of the job," Levy says. "If you want to be a wrestler, you have to be a big guy, and you have to perform in pain. If you choose to do neither, pick another profession."

The costs are high. Wrestlers have death rates about seven times higher than the general U.S. population, says Keith Pinckard, a medical examiner in Dallas who has followed wrestling fatalities. They are 12 times more likely to die from heart disease than other Americans 25 to 44, he adds. And USA TODAY research shows that wrestlers are about 20 times more likely to die before 45 than are pro football players, another profession that's exceptionally hard on the body.

Some wrestlers bet among themselves on who will die next, says Mike Lano, a former wrestling manager and promoter.

Steroids-ingrained culture

Unlike amateur wrestling, which is a competitive sport in high school and college, pro wrestling combines sports, stunts and storytelling. The results are scripted.

Pro wrestling does not test for performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids. Nor are they banned by wrestling organizations as they are in pro football, basketball and baseball.

That is one reason, wrestlers and industry watchers say, that use of steroids and other drugs in pro wrestling has gone largely unchecked. It also has been ingrained in the culture for decades. Several of wrestling's biggest names, including Hulk Hogan and former Minnesota governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura, years ago acknowledged using bodybuilding drugs.

"There was a joke: If you did not test positive for steroids, you were fired," former wrestler and broadcaster Bruno Sammartino told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1991.

"That's a cop-out," says Vince McMahon, head of wrestling's biggest organization, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). "These guys took steroids because they wanted to.



Del Wilkes, during his stint with the WWF wrestling as "The Patriot."


"Because we are the most visible organization, we get the black eye," adds McMahon, noting that only two of the 65 deceased wrestlers died while working for his company. "It is alarming whenever young people pass away from these insidious causes, but you can't help someone if they don't want to help themselves."

Piper says he lived on a steady diet of muscle builders and painkillers for more than two decades.

The amateur boxer and wrestler left home in Canada at 13. A promoter noticed his "mean streak" and paid him $25 to fight the legendary Larry "The Axe" Hennig in Winnipeg. Piper made a lasting impression with his entrance: Clad in a kilt, he ambled to the ring as his bagpipe band played. Hennig pinned the 15-year-old in 10 seconds, the shortest of Piper's 7,000 matches, but Piper quickly was assigned to shows in Kansas City, Montreal and Texas.

Soon Piper had become one of the industry's best-known villains. By the mid-1980s, he was the foil to Hogan, the WWF's golden boy. Wrestling had become a pop-culture phenomenon. Both moonlighted as movie and TV stars, had their own action figures and hobnobbed with celebrities.

Even so, Piper never forgot what he heard as a penniless teenager. "A promoter said to me, 'If you die, kid, die in the ring. It's good for business.' "

A 'rock god' lifestyle

Despite, or because of, its testosterone-fueled danger, wrestling attracts mostly young men to a circuslike life built on outsized personalities, "ripped" bodies and death-defying stunts. Newcomers dive headfirst into the rough-and-tumble profession. Current and former wrestlers interviewed say they live on the edge and see few career options. Only a handful of stars have more than a high school education. During a typical 15-minute match, combatants exchange choreographed body slams and punches. Some leap from top ropes onto cement surfaces outside the ring.

In more physical "hard-core" matches, wrestlers are smashed through tables, whacked in the head with steel chairs and punctured with barbed wire and tacks. Those antics are not fake. "Wrestling is sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll because we have a rock god kind of thing going," Levy says.

Top performers make more than $1 million annually. Millions of youngsters pine to become the next Mick Foley. He parlayed death-defying stunts — he plunged more than 20 feet from steel cages and was frequently bloodied — into a multimillion-dollar wrestling career. He has since written books on wrestling that made the USA TODAY best-seller list.

But for every star, scores of others toil in obscurity at run-down gyms. "Strongman" Johnny Perry, 30, who died of cocaine intoxication in North Carolina in 2002, moonlighted as a repo man. Curtis Parker, 28, accidentally killed in practice in St. Louis in 2002, also worked at a Jack in the Box.

Some, like Hegstrand, fade from being headliners at sold-out football stadiums — as he was in the early and mid-1990s — to performing at high school gyms and armories. For nearly two decades, Hegstrand — a hulking figure with wrecking-ball biceps who died in October — freely admitted he indulged in hard living. Though he didn't specify what he took, he made it clear that pro wrestling was fraught with steroids, pain pills and recreational drugs. Then came the sobering news: Years of excess had created a tear in his heart.

"I'd put just about everything (drugs) in me that was humanly possible during my wrestling career," Hegstrand told wrestling radio talk-show host Lano in April 2003.

Hegstrand spent his last few years barnstorming in wrestler-turned-evangelist Ted DiBiase's "Heart of David Ministry" promotion. When he died, traces of marijuana were found in his body, according to his autopsy report.

Others, like Lozanski, wrestle despite serious injuries. More than 18 months after he took a nasty fall that damaged his lungs during a match, Lozanski traversed North America, wrestling for small promotions. He died unexpectedly in his sleep in December.

"That's the nature of the business," says Chris Lozanski, 31, Mike's brother and a former wrestler. "Mike felt he had to keep working. I left the business because I want to see my 11-month-old son grow up," he says.

Since he could walk, Lockwood wanted to be a wrestler. What the 5-foot-8 Lockwood lacked in height, he made up for in determination and tireless training, his mother, Barbara, says. "Everyone laughed when this kid said he would make it, but he did."

Lockwood won more than 20 titles in the WWE and a cult following from 1998 to 2003.

With fame came sacrifices. Lockwood was in constant pain and began using prescription painkillers 18 months ago. He also gained noticeable bulk and was irritable — two signs of steroid use. But when Barbara asked, her son denied using them.

Lockwood was released from his WWE contract after five years on July 1 because it did not have "further plans for his character," the WWE said in a statement.

He was about to move back to California, where he planned to reunite with his high school sweetheart and their 7-year-old daughter. He planned to perform in Japan and train young wrestlers. "He was on his way home, but he didn't make it," Barbara says. Lockwood died in November in Florida. He was 32. A medical examiner ruled it a suicide from an overdose of painkillers. But Barbara thinks it was an accident. "Mike had too much to live for," she says.

Wrestling on trial

When anabolic steroids were cast as a controlled substance in 1991, federal law made purchases and possession of them illegal except for medical purposes. Two grand jury investigations shortly thereafter resulted in admissions of steroid abuse by a handful of big wrestling names and the 1991 conviction of a urologist, George Zahorian of Harrisburg, Pa.

He was convicted of 12 counts of selling steroids and painkillers to a body builder and several WWF performers, including Piper (whose real name is Roderick Toombs) and Hogan (Terry Bollea).

"The doctor had shopping bags with our names on them that were filled with steroids and prescription drugs," Piper says.

Shortly thereafter McMahon was indicted. But he was acquitted of charges of conspiring to distribute steroids to wrestlers.

The probes led to stringent drug testing in the WWF, but only for a few years. A few stars were suspended for flunking tests. By late 1996 the program was scrapped because of the expense — and other wrestling organizations didn't test or were lax in enforcement, the WWF said at the time.

Jerry McDevitt, the outside legal counsel for McMahon's wrestling organization, contends testing "just doesn't work" because wrestlers can fake urine tests or use designer steroids that are undetectable. "Anybody who wants to beat it can beat it. The only ones who are caught are stupid," he says.

Last year, the WWE — the WWF changed its name to World Wrestling Entertainment after a copyright dispute with the World Wildlife Fund in 2002 — let go star performer Jeff Hardy for refusing to undergo drug rehab treatment. Within weeks, several wrestling organizations lined up to hire him.

Major promoters say the industry has moved on from its "Wild, Wild West" days of the late 1980s.

Young wrestlers take better care of themselves. "The new guys play PlayStation in their hotel rooms," wrestler Sean Waltman, 31, says.

WWE, the largest wrestling organization in North America with 125 wrestlers, says it tests for recreational drugs if there is probable cause. If a wrestler refuses rehab, he is booted. It has cut weekly performances to three or four, down from about five in the mid-1990s. And it has improved training techniques to minimize injuries.

"Steroids and painkillers (aren't) a professional choice but a lifestyle," says WWE wrestler John Cena, 26, who at 6-1 and 240 pounds is the size he was when he played college football. "I've learned to play in pain. If it's a serious enough injury, I take time off."

McMahon says he requires only that his wrestlers are in shape, not that they're "the size of monsters," as many were in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. "We're not looking for bodybuilders," he says.

The No. 2 wrestling employer, NWA-TNA, is considering mandatory drug testing. In November it began offering medical coverage for injuries inside and outside the ring to its 35 contracted wrestlers — the first time a pro wrestling organization has done so. It is considering medical and dental coverage.

But such reforms help only those wrestling for the top two organizations, leaving hundreds of wrestlers largely working under the same conditions as years ago.

Not much has changed on the regulatory front, either. Attempts by wrestlers to unionize have flopped. They have no player associations, as do football, basketball and baseball players.

In most states, oversight of pro wrestling is left to local athletic commissions. They usually have lenient prematch requirements. In New York, for example, performers are subject to little more than a blood-pressure test.

"No one is standing up. Either they don't know what's going on or they're terrified of being blacklisted," says wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer, echoing the sentiment of others.

For now the only one standing up seems to be Piper. He says he forfeited hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential earnings because his outspokenness about rampant steroid and drug use got him fired from the WWE in June.

The WWE denies Piper's allegations. It says the two were unable to negotiate a contract.

Piper doesn't allow any of his four children to watch wrestling — or harbor dreams of being a wrestler. He is sober, living on a 12 1/2-acre spread near Portland, Ore. He is hardly down on his luck. He's been in 26 movies, such as They Live, and TV's The Love Boat and The Mullets since 1978. He has agreed to appear in the movie Fish in a Barrel with Burt Reynolds.

Yet he clings to hopes of another big payday in wrestling. He suggests he and McMahon take their feud over Piper's dismissal to the airwaves.

"It would be great reality TV: two strong personalities going at it over a topical issue," he says, wistfully. "Maybe we could save lives in the process."


Yet stories such as these still don't prevent usage. And while we can't save the Chris Benoit's, Eddie Guerrero's, Taylor Hooten's(a16 year old basketball player) Kyle Braid(a 16 year old football player),and Mike Scarcella's(a 39 year old former Mr. USA), amongst others, we sure as heck can save those in the future with a lifetime ban from their sport. The college student should be kicked off their team, losing their scholarship. In the case of middle and high school athletes, using the same across the board testing procedures in place in professional sport and Olympic competition as well as the threat of suspension from participating in their sport of choice until the day they graduate would serve as one heck of a deterrent, and from a young age as well.

Simple Guidelines:

There are those who will argue that "mistakes" happen", and I'm being too harsh. And mistakes do happen . But under current doping policies established in 2001 by WADA(The World Anti Doping Agency), an "A" sample and a "B" sample are provided during urine testing. These are sealed off seperately, and sent to different laboraties. Unlike courtrooms, where one piece of evidence can be used to convict, the athlete found with PED's in their system can request sample "B" to be tested. The World Anti-Doping Agency system is the only one in our world that allows for a confirmatory process. What this means is that it allows for the athlete to allow their other sample to be tested. They're already getting a "second chance", so to speak, something no other adjudcative process allows indescriminately. This policy would be one I'd use at every level. Random drug tests should be used, with seperate samples sent to different labs. Laboratory error cannot be claimed here. These testing procedures should be used in all sports, at all levels. All performance enhancment drugs should be tested for, including HGH. It's not commonly tested before, which is a huge error. Regardless of the level or the league, this should be mandatory. Its damn time.

Conclusion:


So what I propose is a lifetime ban. In the case of the Olympics, a lifetime ban. For professional sports, I would ban them from my league, permanently. In college sports, as chairman, I would have the NCAA governing body force the student off their team, and take away their scholarship. In middle/high schools, they would be banned from participating in sports until the day they graduate. Their high school transcripts would read as such. No three strikes policy in WWE, it's one and done. Any award or record should be stripped and banished from the record book. There's no room for an asterisk here. Harsh? Yes. But the integrity of the sport is more important then allowing those athletes to "steal" trophies, awards, and championships. Our kids being informed and educated of the consequences are important. Most importantly, a person's life carries far greater worth then the high possibility of continuing to use does. The cost may be extremely high, but it would set an amazing precedent, and in short time save many lives as well.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:06 PM
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The guidelines for punishment of the use of performance enhancing drugs can't be exactly the same for all sports because of the different season lengths and other minor differences but there are some basic guidelines that I would have all of the major professional sports follow..
I believe that it can. Under my system, a lifetime ban would be in place for a first time offense for using a Performance Enhancing Drug. Athletes should know if a substance is illegal and it's their fault if they "accidentally" take something that is. The idea of a lifetime ban from every sport serves as the ultimate deterrent. The idea of seeing one's "idol" banned forever would be the ultimate motivation for teammates, other players, and youth to play fair. It would also help prevent death and clean up sports, quickly.


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1. Differentiate Between the Illegal Performance Enhancers Used- Right now you have the same punishment for anabolic steroids as you do for some over the counter drug that is banned for some petty reason. You have to differentiate between the banned substances more and categorize them by severity. Someone caught using anabolic steroids should be punished much harder then someone taking a supplement that has one banned ingredient that really won't do much for them.
I don't give a damn if a supplement has one banned ingredient in it. These supplements are generally used to "enhance performance", so they should be aware of what is banned and what is not. They need to be responsible and know what these supplements have in them, or have it explained to them carefully. It's on them if they don't know, and the guidelines should be the same. It's a matter of personal responsibility in using supplements that, as I already said, are generally used to enhance performance anyway.

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2. Stricter Punishments- These punishments would be for users caught using anabolic steroids or HGH (which I will get to in a minute). First time offenders will receive a hefty in-season suspension. I believe MLB is currently 50 games which I like. I'd put the NFL at 6 games, NBA and NHL at 25 games. The second offense would be a season long suspension. So 162 MLB games, 16 NFL games, and 82 NBA and NHL games. The third offense would be a lifetime ban.
Im all for stricter punishments. But a lifetime ban means no second chances. Many athletes who are caught just try harder the next time to avoid getting caught. Sprinter Ben Johnson is a perfect example of this. In 1988, he won he Gold Medal at the Olympic Games and broke the record for the fastest recorded 100 meters run. Canadiens rejoiced as their hero broke the record and beat Carl Lewis. Johnson was DQ'd 3 days later for testing positive for Stanazol, an anabolic steroid. It broke the hearts of Canadiens everywhere, as the Gold was given to Carl Lewis. Lewis may have gotten the medal, but he never got the moment of euphoria of winning in the moment. Johnson was banned for 3 years.

One would think that would have deterred Johnson. Upon his re-instatement, he began racing again in 1991. In 1993, he won the 50 meters record, but again tested positive, this time for excessive testosterone.(which was the same substance they found in Chris Benoit, btw) This time he earned a lifetime ban, and was considered a national disgrace. A lifetime ban initially could have avoided much of this. Johnson spent much of the next 15 years going from National Hero to a disgrace living in his mother's basement, plugging a Sports Drink(Cheetah Power Surge) that encouraged athletes to cheat. He obviously didnt get the message despite getting stripped of a gold and two silver medals and a 3 year supsension. A lifetime ban would have been far more effective, on the first offense.
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3. Require HGH Testing- HGH is one thing that really isn't tested in any league but it is something that a lot of athletes use. Some estimate that 30% of NFL players use HGH and there are some who believe that percentage is even higher. This is something that many people are fighting against because it involves blood testing but until HGH is gone from sports there can be no guarantee of a level playing field. Right now it is being tested in minor league baseball but I would make it mandatory for all professional sports.
Here we agree. HGH gives the advantage to those who use it, and the use of it sets a bad precedent to younger athletes, as well as a bad example. The removal of this from all sports would ensure a far more competitive playing field.

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Any records set by an athlete caught using anabolic steroids or HGH receive an automatic asterisk. With these new guidelines it is very clear that these substances are against the rules and their use will not be tolerated. If a player still decides to use these substances then their accomplishments will pay the price. With the lesser known banned substances more leeway will be given with numbers but if it becomes a pattern then they face the same punishment.
What quantifies as a "lesser substance" exactly? If it's illegal, then it's illegal, and should be treated as such. And sports should take their cue from the Olympics and strip the player caught cheating in any way of the record or award on the first offense, no matter the illegal substance. If I can convince you of anything here, it's that the precedent and influence the first time an athlete's name was removed from the record book would be enormous, and make a huge influence. A positive influence.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:13 PM
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While I don't think anyone will be showing their favor of PED use in sports, I am an optimist and believe that people should get second chances. Many people have failed steroid tests before, have gotten themselves clean, and have had successful careers. Some examples include Ryan Franklin (who was an All Star in 2009 after being suspended in 2005 for steroid use), Rodney Harrison (who was an important part of the 07 Patriots defense after coming back from a suspension for HGH), Shane Mosley (who was discovered to have taken steroids in 03; has since won WBA Inter-Continental Light Middleweight championship in 09), David Ortiz (who was revealed to have tested positive for PED's in 03; has become dangerous part of Red Sox offense), Shawne Merriman (who won DPOTY after being suspended 4 games in 06, was Pro Bowl year after as well before being hurt with injury problems), Antonio Silva (who tested positive for PED's in 08, has gone 4-1 since returning and was ranked #10 fighter pound for pound by Sherdog in May of 2010), Tim Sylvia (who failed a PED test in 03, has since won UFC Heavyweight Championship and retained it two other times), Jose Theodore (who admitted to failing a test prior to 06 Winter Olympics, had 3 great years with the Avalanche (in 07-08) and Capitals (08-09, 09-10)).

Look at that list. That is a very nice list of guys, considering the fact that PED testing hasn't been completely serious until the past decade or so. Giving guys a lifetime punishment on a first offense, as LSN suggests, seems completely unfair, as many of them have made mistakes and shown that they can turn it around and stop using PED's (as evidenced by my examples above). While that may seem like a redundant excuse, I have to believe some of these guys that they didn't mean to take PED's as a competitive advantage, considering most of them have the talent to compete at the highest level without them.

Punishment: For first offenders, I believe that half a season (so 81 for MLB, 8 for NFL, 41 for NBA and NHL) would suffice for team sports, and a year ban in individual sports (such as MMA, Tennis, Boxing, Olympic events). For second time offenders, its a year in team sports, with 2 in individual sports, with them also having to take a rehab course to try and clean themselves up. Only on a 3rd offense would I make it a lifetime ban, as I believe in a 3 strikes and your out method.

As for records, unless they're single event records (such as an Olympic event) I don't think they should be touched. While it might sound odd to hear that, I just find it impossible to erase history like McGwire's 70 HR season (which was probably effected by PED's). While some of these people have admitted to doing PEDs in the past (such as Alex Rodriguez, McGwire, Andy Pettitte, and Jason Giambi) if you don't have exact dates when they started and stopped doing them, you can't take away their stats. Does the MLB want to distance itself from the Steroid Era? You bet. But you can't just take away those years (mid 90s to early 00s) and act like they didn't happen at all.

Am I saying PED's are right? No. But I don't think we should jump to the nth degree of punishment after one mistake. People deserve second chances. They are only human.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megatron View Post
While I don't think anyone will be showing their favor of PED use in sports, I am an optimist and believe that people should get second chances. Many people have failed steroid tests before, have gotten themselves clean, and have had successful careers. Some examples include Ryan Franklin (who was an All Star in 2009 after being suspended in 2005 for steroid use), Rodney Harrison (who was an important part of the 07 Patriots defense after coming back from a suspension for HGH), Shane Mosley (who was discovered to have taken steroids in 03; has since won WBA Inter-Continental Light Middleweight championship in 09), David Ortiz (who was revealed to have tested positive for PED's in 03; has become dangerous part of Red Sox offense), Shawne Merriman (who won DPOTY after being suspended 4 games in 06, was Pro Bowl year after as well before being hurt with injury problems), Antonio Silva (who tested positive for PED's in 08, has gone 4-1 since returning and was ranked #10 fighter pound for pound by Sherdog in May of 2010), Tim Sylvia (who failed a PED test in 03, has since won UFC Heavyweight Championship and retained it two other times), Jose Theodore (who admitted to failing a test prior to 06 Winter Olympics, had 3 great years with the Avalanche (in 07-08) and Capitals (08-09, 09-10))..Look at that list. That is a very nice list of guys, considering the fact that PED testing hasn't been completely serious until the past decade or so.
Im an optimist as well, believe it or not. I believe that most of us as human beings are good people at heart, regardless of the mistakes we make in heat of the moment situations. The problem I have is, these people aren't making heat of the moment decisions. They're making conscious decisions to disgrace their sport. They're risking their lives, and they're sending the message to our youth that taking PED's are ok. I believe I presented a nice list, including two teenagers, who died as a result of PED's. That's a harsh reality, and it should be dealt with in a harsh way, if nothing more then to save lives.

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Giving guys a lifetime punishment on a first offense, as LSN suggests, seems completely unfair, as many of them have made mistakes and shown that they can turn it around and stop using PED's (as evidenced by my examples above). While that may seem like a redundant excuse, I have to believe some of these guys that they didn't mean to take PED's as a competitive advantage, considering most of them have the talent to compete at the highest level without them.
This isn't making a mistake Megatron. Again, this is a conscious choice. A mistake is when you make a heat of the moment decision and punch out your opponent. This is making a conscious choice to try and cheat one's way to getting better at their sport. It spits on the legacy of the sport in doing so. Why do you think we have people such as Roger Clemens likely going to jail, and Barry Bonds on trial, both despite never confirmitively testing positive for a PED? Bonds couldn't get a job in baseball two years after setting the home run record, even as a DH. He hit .268 with 28 HR's and 61 RBI's in 451 at bats, which averages out to 35 HR's 75 RBI's in a 600 at bat season. Surely an American League team would love to have that bat in their lineup, right? But none took the bait, because of character issues. He was essentially run out of the league, as he should have been. Suspending a player for life for a first offense is critical in that it sends a message that it won't allow the legacy of a league to be spit on, it shows no tolerance for cheating, it sends a message to younger kids who are thinking about attempting to gain that competitive edge, and it saves lives.


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While that may seem like a redundant excuse, I have to believe some of these guys that they didn't mean to take PED's as a competitive advantage, considering most of them have the talent to compete at the highest level without them.
Not a redundant excuse, simply a bad one. They're called Performance Enhancing for a reason. I highly doubt that they took a potentially harmful substance "just because." It's silly to suggest they'ld take them for ANY other reason then to gain a competitive edge, but we're getting off topic here.
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As for records, unless they're single event records (such as an Olympic event) I don't think they should be touched. While it might sound odd to hear that, I just find it impossible to erase history like McGwire's 70 HR season (which was probably effected by PED's). While some of these people have admitted to doing PEDs in the past (such as Alex Rodriguez, McGwire, Andy Pettitte, and Jason Giambi) if you don't have exact dates when they started and stopped doing them, you can't take away their stats. Does the MLB want to distance itself from the Steroid Era? You bet. But you can't just take away those years (mid 90s to early 00s) and act like they didn't happen at all.
Well, other then McGwire and Giambi, noone has come clean. You can't erase a record that you dont have 100% proof for. I gave a very clear indication of how testing should be going forward. Its the failing of sending two urine samples, taken at the same time, to different laborities. Now if Sammy Sosa came out today and said he took PED's during his time as a player, his record should absolutely be stricken from the record. It should have happened to McGwire. Otherwise, it's saying that it's ok to cheat and keep your record as long as you come clean. Sosa is already drawing ire from people saying he'll just wait for his HOF induction when he becomes eligible in 2013. Why? Because people have no tolerance for cheaters whatsoever, or even the thought of them being one. And sporting institutions such as MLB should take the same approach.

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Am I saying PED's are right? No. But I don't think we should jump to the nth degree of punishment after one mistake. People deserve second chances. They are only human.
They're human beings who are making decisive choices that they want to cheat to get ahead. When caught, they give up that right to a second chance in my opinion. When someone makes the conscious choice to murder his wife, he isn't given a "second chance". Before people take this out of context, Im not comparing cold blooded murder to PED's. That would be ludicrous. But using PED's is considered the biggest "sin" in professional sports, as murder is in treal life. What penaly does murder garnish? A lifetime sentence. Those who consciously use PED's, knowing the risks, should face a similar punishment. A "lifetime sentence" away from their sport.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:06 AM
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In a discussion of performance enhancing drugs, and what I would do to combat and ultimately eliminate them, I think the thing which would be necessary to do would be to identify and categorize the drugs in question. We would need to produce a list of all banned substances, from the most serious ones, which would necessitate harshest punishments, to the more innocent ones, which would be dealt with less severely.

This list would have to be compiled in a very comprehensive manner, and said list would have to be circulated to every person within the particular sport or organization in question. Every athlete, every trainer, every coach or manager, every general manager, every owner, every team physician or health care professional. Literature would need to be circulated, and meetings or information sessions would need to be held to ensure everyone is clear, everyone is on the same page, that there is no confusion, no ambiguity, no gray area. Because once this has been spelled out, people will have to be told, and it will need to be understood, that ignorance of the rules, or confusion over any pharmaceutical issues, will not be viewed as a reasonable defense against any transgressions.

Once these ground rules have been established, a testing protocol needs to ne implemented. Testing has to be done by an independent third party. It must be random, it must be performed accurately and professionally, it must happen multiple times per year, and it must be a year long thing. I'm other words, you don't only test during the season, you test all year long. You cannot allow baseball players to juice up all winter, or basketballcor hockey players to do so all summer. Players would have to know they are subject to testing on a year-round basis. This is no violation of their rights, it is a stipulation of their contract which is binding once signed. If they are uncomfortable with it, no one is forcing them to sign the contract. But considering the fame, fortune, women, etc., that professional athletes enjoy, it seems to me to be a small price to pay. Professional sports is big business these days, and its integrity must be protected no matter what.

Now that the ground rules have been established and testing protocols are in place, everyone must be crystal clear on the fact that the sport has a zero tolerance policy regarding illicit drugs, specifically performance enhancing drugs. PED's cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. The sentiment must be out there that you will be tested, and if you cheat, you will be caught and you will be punished.

Upon your first positive drug test for PED's, you automatically receive a one calendar year suspension, without pay. This suspension obviously means no game activity, but also means no presence at the games, no traveling with the team, no training with the team or at the team's facilities. For all intents and purposes, you are no longer on the team for the duration of the year, although obviously you cannot go somewhere else either. You sacrifice a considerable amount of money. You lose out on valuable playing time and the ability to pad your stats and further your legacy. The suspension must be a matter of public record. It has to be published why you are suspended, what substance you took, and before returning to the team and the game a year later, you need to undergo therapy for substance abuse issues, and serve considerable amount of community service, educating the younger generation about the perils and dangers of drug use.

Of course, you may question the validity of the drug test. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. As such, you can appeal the suspension, and request your sample to be re-tested. While the appeal is ongoing, you can return to action. However, all stats as of the day of the drug allegation have an asterisk attached. If the subsequent re-test exonerates the athlete, the asterisk is removed, all of the stats in question count, and life goes on. If the appeal is unsuccessful, all stats with an asterisk are deleted, as if they never occurred, and the punishment is prolonged, either in terms of length of suspension, a monetary fine, etc.,

After a full year, you are eligible to return. You have to be cleared by an independent physician to be drug free and that you are fit to resume play. Your counseling and community service issues as above have been dealt with. Ready to resume your career.

A second suspension would result in a lifetime ban. The potential appeal process, asterisk designation, etc., as above would be basically the same. If guilty a second time, your gone permanently. Second chances may be OK (arguably) but there can be no third chances allowed, regardless of the circumstances involved.

All statistics prior to the failed drug test count. You cannot penalize a guy's past accomplishments because of current errors. You cannot assume that a guy was using drugs previously just because he has been caught using them today, even if it appears to be pretty obvious that his past accomplishments may have been with some degree of illegal assistance. I've already dealt with how you treat the stats compiled during an appeal process. After you return, your stats again count, because you are tested even more rigorously as a past offender than you otherwise might be. It should be easy to prove that you are now clean.

Let's take MLB for an example. A player has a random drug test during the offseason and he fails it. The test occurs on February 15, and anabolic steroids are discovered in his system. Guy gets suspended without pay until February 15, 2012. He appeals, but loses and is re-proven to be a cheater. He departs from the team and all of it's associated perks go by the way side for a year. Cue the community service, counselling sessions, etc., . I'm willing to bet you that the guy will think twice before doing it again. And if he is stupid, irresponsible, or careless enough to fail another drug test, he receives a permanent ban, and that's that.

It is time for professional sports to crack down on cheating in their games to preserve the integrity of the game. This is how I would do it. Information, zero tolerance, and very swift and severe punishment.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by LSN80 View Post
I believe that it can. Under my system, a lifetime ban would be in place for a first time offense for using a Performance Enhancing Drug. Athletes should know if a substance is illegal and it's their fault if they "accidentally" take something that is. The idea of a lifetime ban from every sport serves as the ultimate deterrent. The idea of seeing one's "idol" banned forever would be the ultimate motivation for teammates, other players, and youth to play fair. It would also help prevent death and clean up sports, quickly.
A lifetime ban after one positive test for every single banned substance is outrageous. I could possibly see it after a positive steroid test but even then you aren't giving anyone a second chance. We live in a world of second chances and you are completely taking that away.

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I don't give a damn if a supplement has one banned ingredient in it. These supplements are generally used to "enhance performance", so they should be aware of what is banned and what is not. They need to be responsible and know what these supplements have in them, or have it explained to them carefully. It's on them if they don't know, and the guidelines should be the same. It's a matter of personal responsibility in using supplements that, as I already said, are generally used to enhance performance anyway.
Most of these substances with one ingredient banned do absolutely nothing to enhance performance. The only reason they are on the banned list is because of one ingredient that they contain. One ingredient isn't going to do shit for a player. Calvin Pace was suspended 4 games for taking an over the counter dietary supplement that contained one banned substance. Should he have read the ingredients closer? Sure, but to ban him for life because of one minuscule mistake with a diet supplement that would have done absolutely nothing to enhance his performance is ridiculous. Brandon Spikes is another guy that was taking a medication with one banned substance in it. It wasn't a performance enhancer and it wasn't illegal but it was banned so he got 4 games. Again, he should have gotten clarification on the medication but no fucking way should he be banned for life and you are loony to believe otherwise. Most players that get suspended, at least outside of baseball, are players that make a mistake and take the wrong medication or diet supplement with one banned substance in it. None of these are really performance enhancers and none of them are illegal, they just happen to contain a substance that is used in some things that are illegal. One ingredient isn't going to give players an edge on the competition especially when it shows up in their next drug test and they know they can't take it.

Your policy is also filled with holes in the fact that you gave no details on anything. All you said was one positive test and your done forever regardless of the sport. News Flash: different sports have a different list of banned substances. Are you going to make the banned substance list universal for all sports? Or is it ok to give a player a life time ban in one sport for a banned substance and get absolutely nothing in another sport because it isn't banned? Your opening post was filled with tons of irrelevant bull shit saying why steroids are bad. People already know steroids are bad, the question wants to know what exactly you are going to do about it and your vague, detail-less response didn't do it. A lifetime ban is something but without any details at all if you tried presenting it to a players union, they would laugh in your face.

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Im all for stricter punishments. But a lifetime ban means no second chances. Many athletes who are caught just try harder the next time to avoid getting caught. Sprinter Ben Johnson is a perfect example of this. In 1988, he won he Gold Medal at the Olympic Games and broke the record for the fastest recorded 100 meters run. Canadiens rejoiced as their hero broke the record and beat Carl Lewis. Johnson was DQ'd 3 days later for testing positive for Stanazol, an anabolic steroid. It broke the hearts of Canadiens everywhere, as the Gold was given to Carl Lewis. Lewis may have gotten the medal, but he never got the moment of euphoria of winning in the moment. Johnson was banned for 3 years.

One would think that would have deterred Johnson. Upon his re-instatement, he began racing again in 1991. In 1993, he won the 50 meters record, but again tested positive, this time for excessive testosterone.(which was the same substance they found in Chris Benoit, btw) This time he earned a lifetime ban, and was considered a national disgrace. A lifetime ban initially could have avoided much of this. Johnson spent much of the next 15 years going from National Hero to a disgrace living in his mother's basement, plugging a Sports Drink(Cheetah Power Surge) that encouraged athletes to cheat. He obviously didnt get the message despite getting stripped of a gold and two silver medals and a 3 year supsension. A lifetime ban would have been far more effective, on the first offense.
For every one guy you give me that was a repeat offender, I can give you 10 that got caught once and never tested positive again. There are tons of NFL players each year who test positive because of some diet supplement or medication like I mentioned above and those players rarely if ever get caught again. You look at big name baseball players like A Rod and after their one positive test you rarely see another one. Most players take advantage of their second chances, not fuck up again.

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What quantifies as a "lesser substance" exactly? If it's illegal, then it's illegal, and should be treated as such. And sports should take their cue from the Olympics and strip the player caught cheating in any way of the record or award on the first offense, no matter the illegal substance. If I can convince you of anything here, it's that the precedent and influence the first time an athlete's name was removed from the record book would be enormous, and make a huge influence. A positive influence.
A lesser substance is exactly what it sounds like, one that really doesn't do shit. Again, some banned substance that happens to be in a diet supplement or medication that is completely legal and not a performance enhancer should not be placed on the same level as anabolic steroids or HGH. Steroids and HGH can significantly enhance your performance, some diet pill cannot.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:18 PM
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A lifetime ban after one positive test for every single banned substance is outrageous. I could possibly see it after a positive steroid test but even then you aren't giving anyone a second chance. We live in a world of second chances and you are completely taking that away..
What Im taking away is the number of parents who are called at work to hear their 16 year old dropped dead on the football field. The number of families who are devestated by the loss of their 33 year old husband, father, and son. We live in a nation of second chances, for a lot of things. This shouldn't be one of them. When it comes to human life, you aren't given second chances. The number of kids who are taking PED's is increasing. They're also quite uneducated about it, self-admittedly. What better way to serve as a deterrent and an education at the same time? I don't see one.

Quote:
Most of these substances with one ingredient banned do absolutely nothing to enhance performance. The only reason they are on the banned list is because of one ingredient that they contain. One ingredient isn't going to do shit for a player. Calvin Pace was suspended 4 games for taking an over the counter dietary supplement that contained one banned substance. Should he have read the ingredients closer? Sure, but to ban him for life because of one minuscule mistake with a diet supplement that would have done absolutely nothing to enhance his performance is ridiculous. Brandon Spikes is another guy that was taking a medication with one banned substance in it. It wasn't a performance enhancer and it wasn't illegal but it was banned so he got 4 games. Again, he should have gotten clarification on the medication but no fucking way should he be banned for life and you are loony to believe otherwise. Most players that get suspended, at least outside of baseball, are players that make a mistake and take the wrong medication or diet supplement with one banned substance in it. None of these are really performance enhancers and none of them are illegal, they just happen to contain a substance that is used in some things that are illegal. One ingredient isn't going to give players an edge on the competition especially when it shows up in their next drug test and they know they can't take it
.

Ill make the argument once again. Each league has a LIST of banned substances that they use. It's called personal responsibility when you fail to read the list and the medication that you're taking. Good people are charged with DUI's because they failed to read the ingredient's for their headache medication, while others are charged because their BAL was twice tthe legal limit. It may sound as if I contradicting myself here, but Im not. Is the person who drove drunk worse? Sure. But the person who failed to read the ingredients in their headache medication can be just as dangerous due to the narcotic in it, no matter how little. Ive argued this before and Ill argue it again, it's a matter of personal responsibility and that alone. If the player is irresponsible about the ingredients in his GNC product, that's HIS fault. Both those who break the rules knowingly to those who claim blind ignorance should be punished the same. Ignorance is not an excuse, and it's killed people before.

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Your policy is also filled with holes in the fact that you gave no details on anything. All you said was one positive test and your done forever regardless of the sport. News Flash: different sports have a different list of banned substances. Are you going to make the banned substance list universal for all sports? Or is it ok to give a player a life time ban in one sport for a banned substance and get absolutely nothing in another sport because it isn't banned? Your opening post was filled with tons of irrelevant bull shit saying why steroids are bad. People already know steroids are bad, the question wants to know what exactly you are going to do about it and your vague, detail-less response didn't do it.
I think I outlined my policy quite well. Each league continues with their policy in terms of which substances are banned. From there, they are tested, randomly, as they do now. Failing "Test A" allows the second chance for "Test B" to be used. If Test B also comes back positive, than the athlete is banned, for life. Just because it's a simple policy doesn't mean it's full of holes. I talked about using WADA's testing method at every level. I argued that HGH should be tested for at every level. I argued that testing positive at any level of any sport equals a lifetime ban from that league/level. How is that not specific? If you choose not to read certain parts of a post, that's on you, not for me to have to confirm my argument over and over.

Further, I provided no education myself other then the articles I provided. If you want to attack those, feel free. But you're quite good at confusing me pointing out the WHY(the reasons I want the punishment to be so harsh) from the WHAT(because steroids are bad!). You're right, we know steroids are bad. I was providing the reasoning anf the backdrop for my policy, something you failed entirely to do.

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A lifetime ban is something but without any details at all if you tried presenting it to a players union, they would laugh in your face.
Details were provided, you just failed to read them properly. You're stuck in what you think is an unrealistic idea and not looking at anything else. This isn't about dealing with a player's union, it's about the standard you would set as a commisioner, or leader of your league. Getting into argument's over how the player's union would react is opening Pandora's box to an entirely different debate. This is about what policy you as commisioner of your league would set.

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For every one guy you give me that was a repeat offender, I can give you 10 that got caught once and never tested positive again. There are tons of NFL players each year who test positive because of some diet supplement or medication like I mentioned above and those players rarely if ever get caught again. You look at big name baseball players like A Rod and after their one positive test you rarely see another one. Most players take advantage of their second chances, not fuck up again.
Again, that doesn't make up for the lives that are lost, especially among the young. It doesn't help save those who don't take advantage of their second chances for themselves. Look, you and I agree here on the nature of the idea, that there should be stricter policies for those who use PED's. Do I read the Josh Hamilton redemption stories and smile? Absolutely. But my goal is to eliminate the need for such stories altogether. This isn't about looking back, it's about moving forward. I want to move forward in a way that makes HGH testing mandatory at all levels. I noted that in my opening post. But I also want to move forward in a way that purges the sports we love so dearly of cheaters. I want to move forward in a way that each person is more responsible in their actions, with every choice of what they put in their bodies. Im the first to acknowledge Im being harsh. I said that in my opening post. But I want to move forward in a way that not only brings back the purity of sports, but saves lives in the process. Because I shouldn't be able to name one name who failed their second chance for the ten who took advantage of it. They shouldn't be afforded one.
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Here's the thing with drug testing. You can't just say "you failed a test, so you're done forever." That's just too harsh, especially with the possibility of errors in the testing process. Regardless of how advanced we are, technology isn't always reliable.

What I would do first is get a list of everything that you want banned. I'm not going to try and be an expert and list all the things off, but obviously anabolic steroids, HGH (assuming there is a reliable test for it, if not, leave it out), testerone supplements, LSD, PCP, and whatever the hell else you want can be on there. All of the players get the list and they understand if they get caught, they're in trouble.

The three strikes policy works well for me. For whatever league it is, if you test positive the first time, that's half a season suspension. Second time, a full season. The third time you're done, no questions asked. This would be accompanied by frequent, random drug testing and obviously more intensive training for those who have already been caught.

As for the record books, unless you get the lifetime ban hammer, you are still eligible. No asteriks, no nothing. As the leader of this sports league, I'm not going to intervene, but will have no issues if any players with a positive test gets blackballed by the voting committee.

And for players in the past who have been known to or suspected to have used drugs, I'd strongly support their inclusion. Before my policy, anarchy may have been the name of the game, so you can't blame those who cheated in a broken system. Just don't cheat in my system, sucka.
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