Saturday, April 19, 2014

Doping Indifference is Contagious

First there is outrage expressed by a furious public declaiming the perfidious practices of cheating scoundrels who have forever contaminated our sacred sport of cycling.  The media blitz pontificates a need for reforms, the public expresses their displeasure, the fanatics wander around dazed and confused wondering how such a thing could have happened.  Then there are the regulatory agencies, asleep at the wheel, who are invested with the sacred duty of monitoring cycling, burdened with the responsibility of deterring and punishing people who are tempted to use illicit drugs to gain an unfair advantage.  The International Cycling Union (UCI) pontificates their position with hypocritical passion; while allegedly accepting bribes under the table to protect favored riders.  The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) maintains a policy of "fair play," while at the same time they administer laboratory tests on samples of athletes that have no scientific reliability or validity. WADA also employs an arbitrary and capricious set of standards, physiological ranges that are subject to modification at the whim of the prosecution.  These variable physiological ranges indicate "use" of performance enhancing drugs, ( these physiological ranges once considered a "normal" range, now magically constitute "proofs" ), these "proofs" are generally rubber stamped by arbitration panels, who agree to change the "rules" mid-stream, thereby effectively destroying the tactics of the athletes' defensive team.  There is a sacrosanct philosophy that scientific evidence generated by WADA is considered "infallible," so challenges to the laboratory papacy are considered warrant-less heretical attacks, by wealthy guilty athletes, who have generated so much income from cheating, that to question WADA generated scientific "proofs" amounts to nothing more than divergent obstructionism.  According to WADA, wealthy athletes can afford to hire a staff of high priced lawyers who specialize in confounding the "proof" merely as a divergent tactic, a base amusement, merely because wealthy athletes suffer from ennui.  Of course, there is ample evidence of accused athletes who had no wealth at all; athletes who are poorly represented, or athletes who cannot even read or understand the language of the accusing document.  These "unfair" facts are ignored, the accused in these cases are minor players, however.  Journey men riders have professional careers have little impact on cycling; so if they are treated inhumanely, nobody cares.  These "second tier" athletes who are treated in such a cavalier fashion fall below threshold of public scrutiny, so their abuse does not resonate with the public.  Awareness of these cases falls below the threshold, and these victims of injustice are shunted into other professions and disappear without a trace. After all, the mantra is: if WADA has evidence, you are guilty, so there is no need to defend yourself.  Accept the dictated reward, serve your time, then if you are deemed worthy, return to the peloton, if you can secure a contract.

There is a huge difference between being a second rate journey man rouleur and a winner of the Tour de France, however.  The fate of a rouleur may be regarded with indifference, while the fate of a Tour de France winner encourages hot debate!  This debate peels layers off the sacrosanct philosophy of WADA scientific evidence, like peeling a rotten onion.  The heresy is not generated by wealthy athletes suffering from ennui, but rather from people who have been awarded doctoral degrees, and who are considered experts in their respective fields of study.  Public opinion is better directed by a professor who has conducted scientific experiments in the area being investigated than a professional lawyer who has an invested interest in clearing his client.  A scientific expert may be regarded as impartial as to motivation, therefore, credible as a witness.  WADA has an invested interest in winning cases to ensure more of a market in providing laboratory testing to professional sports leagues who govern professional athletes; therefore the credibility of WADA is suspect.  It is also important to note that there exists in many sports an unnatural incestuous relationship between WADA and the agency governing the sport, (for example, the UCI) and this invites probable illegal collusion between the two.  In a time of crises, when questionable scientific practice is revealed by professional investigation into the arrogant laissez-faire scientific practice being conducted, such as documented violations among WADA accredited laboratories, violations that result in the WADA accredited laboratory falling outside international norms, blatant lack of quality control, ignorance of protocol, there is a propensity to conclude from this evidence that this practice is directly responsible for producing spurious results!  Contesting the origin of these spurious results in a legal format and referring to the testimony of expert scientific witnesses who present convincing arguments, does not make the evidence presented against the athlete any less spurious.  But the public process does expose the laissez-faire arrogance of the alphabet soup groups who maintain the fallacy of infallibility, and public exposure generates an awareness that the process has been so abusive and so devoid of public accountability that there is a certainty that athletes in the past have been unfairly accused and punished.

This vendetta against athletes, this unfairness in the process, this arrogance, generates hysteria among the concerned public who are appalled that such behavior among the regulatory agencies can be tolerated.  But the hysteria soon evolves into apathy due to overexposure; there have been so many people who have claimed innocence who are guilty.  People become jaded, the agencies, in spite of their callous disregard of the rights of due process prove to be right in their assessments, not because they are infallible, but because the accused have no honesty.  Constant exposure to dishonesty in all of it's virulent forms generates extinction; people are constantly bombarded by the stimulus, but it does not penetrate into perception above threshold.  Floyd Landis, Alberto Contador, Ryan Braun, are perfect examples of bad stimulus.  Liars all, these men have raised the threshold for possible abuse of athletes' rights to an unacceptable level, based upon the premise that anyone accused of wrong doing; must be a liar.  As a consequence, public concern has declined to an unacceptable level of acceptance of the status quo.  Worse, the public has accepted the concept that anyone accused of cheating is guilty, so tactics employed by the accusers are "fair," and that abuse of athletes' rights do not merit any consequences to the anti-doping agencies responsible for abuse of process.

Ryan Braun lied about using performance enhancing drugs.  He accused the courier of tampering with his samples.  Ryan Braun was exonerated not because he was guiltless, but because the people who wrote the chain-of-custody rules; were outside of the law!  Therefore, Shyman Das had no choice but to invalidate the suspension.  The press called this invalidation of the suspension, a technicality, not an abuse of process, or simply incompetence, or indifference, to the right of the athlete.  Nevertheless, Ryan Braun did the effort to maintain "fairness" in the anti-doping process irreparable harm by initiation of an unnecessary appeal that was based upon lies.  Athletes who base appeals upon lies, opaque the situation, making it more difficult for falsely accused athletes to present a credible case.

Sickening.  Worse.  The Milwaukee fans cheered Ryan Braun at his first at bat with a standing ovation.  Sickening.  Doping in Sport?  Who cares anymore.  What was once considered an outrage is now regarded with accolades and cheers.  The public wants winners, like vulture's want corpses.