Thursday, September 20, 2007

Floyd is a loser, as are all athletes

So the decision came down from the arbitration panel hearing the Landis doping case. 2-1 against Landis finding him a doper and imposing a 2 year ban. I must say I am not surprised at the decision. Not because I think Floyd doped but because I think the arbitration process is fatally flawed, at least from an American legal point of view. USADA is now 35-0 in these cases. What bothers me is the process more than the result. The WADA system basically says that once an allegation of doping has been made against any athlete, they are presumed guilty of doping. It is the burden of the athlete to now prove not simply that the allegation lacks merit but hat they are innocent of the charge. This is completely opposite from what one would expect in an American Court, even in a civil suit, let alone a criminal charge. To place the burden on the accused is unfair to begin with, then to make them prove their innocence at their own expense is unjust. There are times when I think the Euro way of doing some things may be better or make more sense but this is plain backwards.

I do not want to sound like I have been drinking the Landis Koolaid but these charges would never have stood the test in an American Court of law. The Government did not appear to be able to show scientific reliability of the test, that the testing lab followed generally accepted laboratory practices or that the results that were obtained were in fact reliable.

It just seems to me that if we are going to impose a ban on an athlete that can effectively end a career that they deserve more than a kangaroo court and a process that is set up in favor of the Government from the get go.

I suppose the reason that it is this way is because the whole anti-doping agenda has developed in response to a perceived epidemic in sports. While I in no way condone doping or believe that that it is good for sports, I never like making policy decisions in times of crisis. It seems to me that we have a very poor track record of making good decisions in times of crisis and generally overreact or over legislate a perceived crisis and not the reality that exists.

Regardless of this rant, Landis is done for 2 years at a minimum, 4 years is the actual reality. He'll be 35 at that point and with a fake hip, he'll be done riding competitively most likely. If this is a fair result for Landis, I just think he should have gotten a fair trial to impose such a sentence.

JJ, Esq.

1 comment:

bluecolnago said...

i think he spent something like 2 million to defend himself and doesn't have the funds to appeal.... it sucks.

and we still don't know if he doped.....