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  #11  
Old 02-02-2011, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSN80 View Post
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.
Slow down there Dr. Phil. This isn't some big moral question about kids and the use of steroids. You're really getting away from the issue here. This is about a drug policy for professional sports. Teens know that steroids are illegal and unhealthy. Making harsher punishment for pro athletes won't do much for them.

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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.
So one small mistake made by a player deserves a lifetime ban? Do you realize how stupid that sounds? Just this past NFL season 16 players were suspended for violating the substance abuse policy and I believe only a couple were for actually taking steroids. Most were just minor slip ups on diet supplements or medications. You say players are being ignorant and irresponsible which may be true in some cases but that doesn't mean they should be banned for life. You want to know one of the banned substances the NFL has? Sudafed. A fucking over the counter allergy medicine that anyone with allergies has probably taken at some point in their life. You really think an NFL player should be banned for life because he didn't bother to check whether or not Sudafed was on the banned list? That is absolutely laughable.

Quote:
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.
In your opening post all I could find about which drugs should be tested was that you said all performance enhancing drugs should be tested for along with HGH. No where that I could see did you specify if the list was the same for all sports or if you were using each sports current banned list. And if you are using each sports current banned list then why should something that is tested for in one sport be a life time ban and then not be punished at all in another sport? With your policy there really should be a universal list. Those are the holes I'm talking about. Here's the guidlines in your opening post if you don't believe me:
Quote:
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.
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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.
People haven't been living under a rock the last 20 years. We all know steroids are bad. That's why in this question we are making a policy against them. I didn't feel the need to talk about steroids negative affects when everyone already knows all about that. I chose to just answer the question at hand which was about the policy.

Quote:
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.
I read your details just fine and asked questions about the ones that you failed to provide. Yes this question is about what you as commissioner would set but for it to actually stick some realism has to come into play.

Quote:
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.
You are trying to move forward in a way that is unrealistic and in some ways unfair to a lot of athletes. Nobody is perfect and small mistakes about what diet supplements a player is taking or what medication they are on shouldn't result in a lifetime ban from a sport that they love and make a living from. If you want to go the lifetime ban route for steroid or HGH users after the first test then that is one thing, but to make it like that across the board is outlandish. How fucked up would it be for an NFL player to have his career ended because he took Sudafed to get rid of his allergies?
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  #12  
Old 02-04-2011, 03:20 PM
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As I stated in my original post, it is essential to list all of the banned substances, a comprehensive list of all performance enhancing drugs (PED's), and to categorize them according to seriousness, a decision to be made by the appropriate health care community whose findings and recommendations would be made crystal clear to all parties involved. As I said before, ignorance of the rules would be no defense. "I didn't know what I was taking," or "I didn't understand that I wasn't allowed to take that" simply won't cut it. Jesus, these guys are multimillionaires, surely they can afford to surround themselves with the right people (doctors, trainers, advisers, etc.) to ensure they are playing by the rules. Simple rule of thumb? Don't take anything, absolutely anything until you have run it by an appropriate person and had it cleared by someone who knows the difference.

For the purpose of this discussion here, assume we are talking about anabolic steroids or HGH, the highest category of illegal PED in my opinion. With all due respect to Big Sexy, General Disarray, and Megatron, the whole three strikes and you are out has been unsuccessful as a deterrent. Guys are obviously not frightened enough of losing a half season to sot cheating. They appear to feel that the risk in cheating outweighs the penalty, and this is wrong. Three strikes and you're out would probably be OK for the substances in the lower or middle, as determined upfront, but not for anabolic steroids or HGH. Players have to know that if they do these substances and get caught, it's over, permanently. This will dissuade the cheaters from continuing to cheat.

I think that LSN's contention that failing any PED drug test is a lifetime ban is excessive. It should not apply to the less serious offences, but I do agree with a stiffer punishment for the more significant ones. Even still, i am reluctantly giving guys second chances for anabolic steroids or HGH, but I am suggesting a much stiffer first offense punishment, and a second chance only. No third chance for the big offenses, and more time lost during the first offense. This way, our eternal optimists like Megatron get to see their athletes get at least a second chance, as opposed to the immediate termination of their career, but guys like LSN and myself get to see the stiffer punishments we would like to see.

I somewhat agree with Big Sexy in that the protocols cannot be the same for all sports, as different sports are exactly that, different. But the premise should be exactly the same. A universally distributed protocol of what is permissible and what is not, and swift and decisive punishment as above for rule breakers.

LSN is correct in that the conduct of the professional athletes affects the youth. Let's face it, the younger athletes look up to the professional athletes, and dream of following in their footsteps into the professional organizations. If you her athletes see their professional idols getting a slap on the wrist for PED transgressions, they will be far more likely to follow suit. If a teenage basketball player saw LeBron James get suspended from the NBA for taking anabolic steroids (not to suggest for a moment he does so, hypothetically speaking only), or a football player saw Tom Brady get a lifetime ban from the NFL for two drug failures (hypothetical again), they would definitely think twice from gong down that road in the first place.

The use of performance enhancing drugs in professional sports has to be stopped, especially for anabolic steroids or HGH. The integrity of the sports, and the health of their participants, present and future, demands it. It will take an approach less stringent than LSN's suggestion, but harsher than Big Sexy's, GD's, or Megatron's, to make it happen.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:54 PM
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Closing Argument

My steroid policy is without a doubt the best, most realistic policy that could be created. I will go over my main points once again.

1. Categorize the list of banned substances for every sport. Not every substance provides the same advantage and some provide virtually no advantage. They need to be categorized and the length of suspensions needs to be based off of it.

2. Stricter punishments. A hefty in season suspension for those who made a mistake with their first steroid offense. That will be followed by a season long ban and finally a life time banned. Use of steroids and HGH will not be tolerated and although we live in a world of second chances you will have to pay the price to get those chances.

3. HGH needs to be tested for. This is easily the most widely used performance enhancer because there currently is no testing for it in any league. This before anything else needs to implemented.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:31 PM
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Closing Statement

Im the first to acknowledge that my policy is harsh. The idea of a lifetime ban for a first time offense is hard to wrap ones mind around, at first thought. But I think Ive emphasized the how, what, and why better than any other.


1. Emphasizing personal responsibility:
I looked at this as the commmissioner of any league, on any level. And to me, nothing is more important than personal responsibility. From high school to the professional level, I would clearly outline what substances are banned, no questions asked. It is than the player's responsibility to KNOW what is banned, and strictly adhere to it. No excuses, no "I failed to read the labels" would work here. No second chances. Why? 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.

2. Seperate Samples, Seperate Labs: This eliminates the argument of "mistakes are made". When one test comes back dirty, the player still has the right to appeal for their second sample to be tested. The idea that two samples taken at the same time sent to different labs could both come back false positives would be impossible. The players "second chance" comes in the form of the that seperate sample. If it comes back clean, the player gets another chance. If it comes back dirty, the player is banned. This is the current system used by the World Anti Doping Agency and implemented at the Olympics, with great results.

3. HGH Testing: If there's a way for testing to be done, this is mandatory. Its not currently being tested for in any league, so its usage is most widespread. By testing for this, at all levels, it would do wonders at cleaning up sports.

Again, is my policy harsh? Yes. But if I can convince you of anything, it's that it would be the most foolproof way of cleaning up sports. I love the success stories of a Josh Hamilton, who came back from a permanent ban to lead his team to the World Series this past year. But the other side of the coin is that he could have just as easily died. I want to eliminate the phone calls to parents that their 15 year old son dropped dead on the football field. I want to eliminate controversy over records and statistics. And I want to ensure that there is a level playing field, where all players are getting by on their physical talent, not because they've gotten a second chance and found a masking agent to hide their PED's. They wouldn't, and shouldn't have the chance.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:04 PM
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Summary

Performance enhancing drugs are a significant blemish upon the world of professional sports. To maintain the integrity of the games, and the health of their participants, as well as those who aspire to follow in their footsteps, their continued use and abuse must be eradicated. Here's how.

1. The various drugs in question must be listed and categorized, from the less severe all the way up to the most severe, those being anabolic steroids and HGH. This information must be distributed to everyone in the game, so that everyone knows the rules. There can be no excuses, no ambiguity. The athletes and the teams have to be responsible and accountable for their actions.

2. Testing must be done on a year round basis by competent and independent parties. Failure of a drug test can be appealed, with additional punishment upon failure of the appeal. Participation continues through the appeal process if desired.

3. Zero tolerance. If you fail a test, you will be punished to the full extent of the process. Punishment must be swift, decisive, and severe.

4. Regarding HGH and anabolic steroids, first offense involves a suspension from the team entirely (games, practices, facilities, etc.,) for a full calendar year. Return only happens after community service, medical clearance, and upon return, the player is subjected to additional scrutiny. A second failure involves a lifetime ban, no questions asked.

I see these steps as being a manageable means to combat the prevalence of PED's in the sporting world. A no nonsense, firm set of policies which still allow for human error and second chances, but which show the world that the abuse of such drugs will no longer be tolerated. Without them, the health of the athletes will continue to be compromised, not to mention the younger athletes who aspire to follow in their footsteps. The last thing we need to see is professional sports be perceived like the Tour De France.
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