Friday, November 02, 2012

Doping - The Morality

In all the furor over the USADA Lance Armstrong report someone pointed me at this piece. It answers why we should care about this case: because it's wrong.

The article, by Dr Phil Skiba, a cancer survivor and physician.


Ken said...

Regardless of LA's guilt or innocence the real issue regarding USADA's investigation is that of US Government involvement through its funding of USADA(about $9 million a year).

What justification is there for the United States government to involve itself in determining an athlete's conformity to the rules of a sporting event? Where is such activity authorized by the Constitution (and no, it's not found in the Commerce Clause)? There's no due process in USADA investigations and there's no statute of limitations, such indefinite periods usually being reserved for the most heinous crimes like murder, and cheating in a bicycle race is certainly of equal gravity.

The government has no business being involved in any way with policing the outcome of sporting events, and in particular ones which take place outside the US. USADA gives itself world-wide jurisdiction and the people it persecutes have no Constitutional protections.

It's hard to imagine a more anti-American, anti-Constitutional organization than USADA.

IF UCI and the various Tours want to start and fund an internatinal organization to police their rules, fine. But it's not a US government function.

Aki said...

I disagree with the premise of your argument. First off, the US government funds a wide range of organizations. As long as it's not religious it's pretty much open, even if it's things that people don't necessarily support. For example many people would argue that supporting students, space exploration, medical insurance, retirement, even war shouldn't be included in government funding. Even if I disagreed with the government's USADA funding, the $9 million is so little that knocking it off the budget wouldn't even make a dollar difference in our taxes.

Second, when someone applies for a racing license, they give permission to have USADA oversee any drug testing and agree to abide by whatever rules they have. LA actually testified that he fell under USADA jurisdiction at some point (I think during the SCA hearings) and in fact used it as an argument for some other topic.

I don't disagree that USADA follows different rules than laws in general, rules that wouldn't be fair to a general population. However people choose to fall under USADA rules. Once an athlete decides to follow USADA rules, that's it.

Individually I can decide not to follow USADA rules (by not taking out a license - at that point I can dope all I want, and I "only" fall under any illegal drug use laws; I could do gran fondos and the like, without holding a license). However I can't decide whether or not I fall under US laws regarding murder or DUI etc.

In this way it's difficult to compare USADA to normal local, state, and federal laws.