There are regular stories in the media all over the world about drug cheats in various sports. However, individual sports do not always hold themselves to the same scrutiny as Olympic sports. In Australia, the AFL and NRL are still reeling from the scandal that caught Essendon and Cronulla respectively.
I have an idea that could have an enormous impact on the sporting world if it could be implemented.
I do not suppose that this is an easy idea – any idea on a large scale is extremely challenging to implement and subject to the lobbying of high profile groups who want their little fiefdom separate from the rules to protect their players.
So here is my idea:
- No government funding or assistance of any sort unless the sport/league takes part in a WADA-approved testing regime, including for recreational drugs. No access to government-funded organisations or buildings unless the sport/league takes part in a WADA-approved testing regime, including for recreational drugs
This is the main point of my argument. At the moment, the major sporting codes feel that they are bigger than governments – however, they all rely on access to federally funded schools to recruit new members in the name of community development and outreach. Similarly, many sports teams reach out to governments for assistance in constructing new stadiums.
My thinking would be that sports teams and leagues would be banned from receiving ANY government assistance by government legislation if they are not signed up to a WADA-approved testing regime that includes testing for recreational drugs. The government assistance would also extend to holding any public events at government funded venues such as schools, community halls, certain parks, etc.
While this would deal with professional sport, this would probably inhibit some amateur sports – this may need further examination and I’d like to hear your comments on it. I’m also not familiar enough with the NCAA testing regimes to make a comment on it.
- Every drug test is to be announced within 24 hours of it taking place by a prescribed method. One positive test (including the A sample) results in an automatic suspension until the B test proves otherwise. This would include any recreational drugs
Much of the non-sporting world is unfamiliar with the testing regime that elite athletes go through. To solve this issue, it is suggested that all drug tests are announced within 24 hours of them taking place by a prescribed method – I would suggest a website that is freely accessible across the globe, with additional print media support for those countries that struggle with internet access.
In addition to that, any positive drug test would need to be reported in the same way – followed by an automatic suspension of some sort (depending on the person’s history). It would only be a negative B sample or appropriate extenuating circumstances that would release them from the suspension – this would also be reported.
Open and transparent publication of drug testing would result in improved athletes, as there would be pressure to perform without cheating – it also means that sponsors can determine where they send their sponsorship dollars if they are concerned about their image and dirty sports or players.
What do you think? It’s a short blog post but I think it has merit.
Leave your comments below.