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The World Anti-Doping Agency can get bent

Mar 19, 2010, 8:58 AM EDT

WADA logo.jpgThe World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released a statement yesterday, once again taking baseball to task for its PED policies.  They do this every year, and as it always is, this year’s statement is stupid and self-serving and deceptive.  I don’t consider myself a PED apologist, but given my thoughts and writings on the subject I understand why I get called that all the time. I thus understand that a lot of you may not grant me much credibility if I were to sit here and rip WADA the way they deserve to be ripped.

But Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan is absolutely no PED apologist (he and I have had multiple friendly disagreements on the subject in the past) so you should take his words really, really seriously when he tears WADA a new one:

WADA blitzed the public with half-truths, knowing full well that if any
sport dare argue, it would look like it was trying to hide something.
An organization full of blowhards and self-important ninnies became the
standard bearer in drug testing by using that scare tactic, and now,
sadly, its hollow principles exist not for the good of sport but
itself. No wonder WADA is so tight with the Olympic movement. They get
off on the same self-serving values.

And Jeff offers much, much more along those lines. A point he makes that almost no one else ever seems to make: WADA is in the business of selling stuff. Specifically, their own, self-proclaimed ideal anti-doping program. It makes them millions a year. Baseball won’t bend over for WADA, however, and that makes the organization very, very angry. It makes them do things like be overly-critical of baseball despite the fact that it now has a pretty damn robust testing regime. No, not as robust as WADA would like, but if WADA had its way athletes’ diets would consist of WADA-approved non-PED-certified paste and they would have their blood drawn under threat of imprisonment.

Check out Jeff’s column today and remember it the next time someone who doesn’t have anything to do with baseball — especially someone with their own financial agenda and an almost non-existent grasp of the concept of civil liberties — starts pontificating about the game’s terrible, terrible PED problem.

  1. Phil - Mar 19, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    Craig, just substitute “cycling” for “baseball” in your last sentence. Cycling fans have known these things about WADA for a long time.

  2. Ron - Mar 19, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    WADA told baseball that they ‘had to submit to WADA testing’ in order for baseball to get back into the Olympics. Of course, the IOC never came straight out and said that, but they never told WADA to retract the statement either.
    That was one of the reason Bud told the IOC to go pound sand. WADA wasn’t happy, so they teamed up with the European countries that contol the IOC (sorry, I mean FIFA) and got baseball pushed out of the OLympics.
    I’m trying to find the link, so this isn’t stated as fact yet, but WADA made an announcement that for any sport to be reconginzed as a ‘global sport’ they had to submit to WADA testing. If they didn’t, then they couldn’t be a global sport and their international competitions (World Baseball Classic) weren’t recognized. They also stated the fact that any particualar league that wouldn’t submit to thier testing proved that sport was national only, and not international.
    Which I thought was funny, because I though the world governing body of each individual sport was in charge of that sport. Except for FIFA, which is run by WADA, which controls the IOC.

  3. Simon DelMonte - Mar 19, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    Bravo! I too have long abhorred the WADA, with its moralistic stands, its condescending attitudes about all athletes, and a fanaticism that strikes me as paradoxically anti-science. And I am bothered at how they their people are treated as the end all and be all of subject by lazy interview-hungry journalists. It’s good to know I am not alone in finding something about WADA wrong.

  4. Jonny5 - Mar 19, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    One thing I’d like to add to the MLB drug enforcement policy is this. I would like to see them come up with a list of MLB approved nutritional supplements. Why not move forward and prove they are concerned about the problems involved with doping in regards to nutritional supplements? If players like a certain supplement they could submit it for testing to prove it’s qualified. If a manufacturer of said supplement wants the MLB to give their stamp of approval, they can pay the testing fee (and a royalty I’m sure) to stamp the MLB approved logo. After what happened to J.C.Romero, how can this not be a good idea? MLB must be proactive in regards to doping, and garnishing certain supplements can help to fund their proactive program in regards to doping. If they wanted to, they could have the most advanced anti doping program ever, when I say advanced I mean fair, and factual. No more of this non scientific approach of following the leader who is somewhat blind to all the facts. Captcha: Had cowpox LMAO!

  5. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Mar 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    Probably the only way that could happen, is MLB contracting a company to produce a product that specifically adheres to MLB’s drug guidelines. With the supplement market unregulated by the FDA, manufacturers don’t have to list every ingredient in the product which is why MLB is probably hesitant to endorse anything.
    However, imagine if they actually found something they could endorse? Would every player take this product? [Dear god think of the children!!!] Imagine the money MLB could make? You should pitch this to someone in MLB. I want 5% though :)

  6. Charles Gates - Mar 19, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    I get chastised every time I poke fun about thinking of children, however coming from a Church, you should be safe from such criticisms. I just hope you tithe the appropriate portion of your 5% royalty to the kids…
    recaptcha: force mysore

  7. Jonny5 - Mar 19, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    “With the supplement market unregulated by the FDA, manufacturers don’t have to list every ingredient in the product which is why MLB is probably hesitant to endorse anything.”
    I look at it this way. If they want to be endorsed by the MLB they will list all ingredients as well as pay for testing to prove it, as well as royalties for the MLB stamp of approval. I don’t see how it would be difficult or un-profitable for the MLB to undertake such a venture. Instead they worry about sticking it to baseball card manufacturers. :>X

  8. Luis - Mar 19, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    I’d just like to chime in and say that I’m pretty sure this sort of process already exists. I work for a nutritional supplement company, and last year we were in talks with a prominent MLB player to endorse one of our products. We looked into what it would take to get approval from MLB for one of their players to endorse our product, and as I recall all we needed to do was pay an ungodly sum of money to have our product tested and, presumably, certified. The money involved was prohibitive (for us anyway), so the whole deal died on the table.
    .
    I wasn’t directly involved in any of this (not my department), so I’m not 100% sure on the facts, as I know we went though a similar investigative process with the NFL and it’s possible I’m confusing the two situations. But I know an offer was made and tentatively accepted, and it all fell apart due to problems with certification. Too bad too; it was a pretty awesome player and I would certainly have enjoyed meeting him.

  9. Omega in Colorado - Mar 19, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    How can you take any organization seriously whose leader is named Dick Pound? No, that isn’t the ‘captcha’ phrase to get this posted, it is the dude’s actual and horribly unfortunate name.
    .
    My actual captcha phrase is ‘is stippled’ which is pretty darned funny in and of itself.

  10. Jonny5 - Mar 19, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    If what you say is true? MLB is a barrier itself when it comes to qualifying products for it’s own athletes to use. It’s quite sad when you think about it. When will they decide to do what’s right instead of drooling over how much money they can extort from private companies to make a safe and approved product? Kinda makes me want to puke.

  11. Luis - Mar 19, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    I agree. The details of the certification process that were passed along to me definitely struck me as a racket. The NFL behaves the same way.

  12. Rays fan - Mar 22, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    I know I’m way late to this party, but have discovered Craig reads every response as it comes to him in email format, so here goes:
    What pisses me off about WADA is the constant leaks of who had a failed “A” sample test. The “A” sample gets nothing but a screening test. Its only purpose in any legit drug testing program is to cut down how many samples get the confirmatory test–gas chromatography/mass spectometry (done to the “B” sample only if the “A” is positive. A positive “A” means nothing in itself. Lots of things can cause false positives for the “A” sample (examples I’ve seen: Robitussing turning an “A” positive for PCP, and Motrin turning an “A” positive for marijuana). A positive “B” is a true positive. Leaking a positive “A” is just a self-serving smear campaign against the athlete thus exposed. Even if the “B” turns up negative, the athlete’s name and drug use are still linked in the minds of the public. It’s not fair. In the USA it could also be construed as a HIPAA violation. I’d love to see a regulator jump WADA over that.
    RECAPTCHA: “vegetarian punch”…woouldn’t it have been easier to just use “V8?”

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