Imagine if professional cycling had a strong rider’s union in place like the NFL does for its players?
A federal judge on Friday blocked the NFL from suspending five players for violating the league’s anti-doping policy.
. . . Kevin Williams and Pat Williams of the Minnesota Vikings and Charles Grant, Deuce McAllister and Will Smith of the New Orleans Saints were suspended this week for four games each. They tested positive for a banned diuretic in the dietary supplement StarCaps.
. . . The five players were suspended for four games for testing positive in training camp in July and August for the banned diuretic Bumetanide, which can be used as a masking agent for steroids. The drug was in the dietary supplement StarCaps even though the label did not list the diuretic as an ingredient.
Five guys failed a drug test this past summer, and the league cannot suspend them for four games, now, in December. Amazing. And you though the UCI was slow…
The union argued the NFL didn’t properly inform players about the substance. . . The key issue is whether the NFL had any specific obligation to notify players and the union that it had known since at least 2006 that the weight loss supplement contained the banned diuretic. The NFL says the burden is on players to know what’s going into their bodies.
Seems logical enough to me. But what the hell do I know? All I want is for the Eagles to beat the Giants tomorrow. That’s it. That’s all I want for Christmas. You hear that, Forty Hands? You’re Giants are going down!
(I am so going to regret that.)
So, lemme get this straight, the players union position is that the league has to warn the players about what substances are tested for and where one might actually find such substances in the marketplace? Isn’t it up to the players to control what ends up in their bodies? That diuretic is a steroid masking agent. You had better think hard about why you’d go near it. It just doesn’t look good. Ask Pedro Delgado about that.
Delgado . . . during the last week of his 1988 victory, tested positive for probenecid, a steroid masking agent. But Tour organizers let him off the hook on a technicality. The ban on probenecid was conveniently not scheduled to take effect until a week after the Tour was over; so as far the bylaws were concerned Delgado was clean. The modern doping age—in which no one inside cycling would acknowledge what everyone outside it could see—had begun.
Sure is nice having a big fat asterisk next to your name in the win column, ain’t it?by