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« Signature Pharmacy, Orlando, home of HGH | Main | Follow-up on Orlando bust »

02/27/2007

Comments

Ferren

It's interesting you bring this up the week Jan Ullrich retired. It's very possible that an important reason for his retirement was the sporting fraud investigation German prosecutors are pursuing against him. His involvement with the doping ring in Spain was, and may still be, in jeopardy of being exposed because German prosecutors have the power to gain evidence from the Spanish prosecutors to further the German investigation.

In these type of cases, where a source is unearthed by a criminal investigation, the end user is not the target of the prosecutors. In countries without sporting fraud laws the athletes are not criminally liable, so they are not addressed by the authorities. The authorities have no reason to make the identities of the implicated athletes public, they are more likely bound to keep the names secret. As we have seen in Balco, it took USADA undertaking exceptional measures to publicly bring charges against the athletes. That is something I don't see the NFL or MLB doing, MLB didn't do it in the Balco matter. If the athlete is criminally liable we will see prosecutors working both ends of the spectrum.

I do think that it's important to cripple these networks, no matter how available these drugs may still be. High school coaches and college athletes have been, at this early stage, linked to this investigation. Anything that cuts down doping and especially systematic doping at those levels is very worthwhile.

The Nation:
I agree, Ferren that anything to stop the use of anabolics is beneficial. However, this approach of targeting the dealers and distributors seems to have failed on almost every level. There is always someone willing to take on distribution of drugs, because the monetary awards are huge.

One of my friends who is an attorney laughs at the suggestion of fraud. However, why is this not fraud? If a car company were giving out power ratings based on nitro in the fuel tank, would that not be fraud? Sports are clearly business now. Any perversion of business should be considered fraud. As I pointed out with Bonds, it is not only fraud, but interstate fraud which should give the Feds jurisdicition over the investigations.

The drug-cheats, like rats jumping off a burning ship, will find some other source of the drugs. If you read accounts of these drug cheats they admit that they become 'dependent' on the drugs. Charles Yesalis has published papers on that concept.

One can almost predict what wil happend here. The pharmacists will cop a plea. One or two will spend token amount of time in jail. As with the Carolina Panthers no athlete will so much as have his hair gel impounded. The athletes will use drugs right up until the Superbowl or the World Series.

There is a great collective apathy out there about drug cheating. Perhaps the 'ethics' of the 21st century endorses drug use and gene doping by athletes for the entertainment of the masses.

John Hobberman better not continue blaming physicians about the drug use by athletes. Clearly the athletes themselves cheat, and tolerate cheating. The public is apathetic about drug-cheating, and even to an extend enjoys seeing freak shows. Owners like the attendance numbers the freak shows draw. Pharmacists, and physicians simply serve their pocketbooks, and their public over-lords.

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