Santa Barbara Tough Enough


Rant, news (sort of)
July 3, 2021, 7:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sha’carri Richardson will miss the Olympic 100-meters because she smoked weed after her mother died. She’s 21. She didn’t expect her mother to die. Brianna McNeil, Gold medalist in Rio, qualified for Tokyo, had her career ended because two days after having an abortion she failed to answer the downstairs door when the drug tester arrived. And then, to make it worse, she lied: she mistakenly thought the procedure date was the 11th and when the medical records showed the 10th she corrected it. This brought a five-year ban. Oh, to make things more egregious, McNeil, a religious woman, went to her church for solace and counseling, not a psychiatrist, as the CAS (Court for Arbitration in Sport), a panel of lawyers in Switzerland, deemed a required cultural universal. Her five-year ban eliminates both the current the the next Olympics and the intervening two World Championships. She didn’t want to publicly talk about a very private and for her heartbreaking procedure; she spoke to a NY Times reporter to clear her name. Shelby Houlihan ate pig offal (organ meat) in a food-truck burrito and had a test 11 hours later. Pig offal is known to very temporarily—roughly 24 hours—raise nandrolone levels. She’d had eleven other tests in the past year. The Director of the Canadian lab that runs the tests lied under oath about the lab’s data in a previous case. The arbitration clause is binding; no athlete who wants to compete internationally has any choice. Appeals of a CAS decision can be made to Swiss Federal Courts but only on procedural grounds. There are no scientists on the CAS panel, only lawyers. Testing is now so sensitive it can detect one part per trillion. To make that degree of granularity vivid, if translated to time it’s one minute in roughly 1.9 million years. Because testing is so sensitive and the lists of banned substances is so long, and so frequently without empirical data, effectively it is a single lab director who decide whose career should be upended or crushed. The lab director’s main job is to secure sustaining funding; this means the core incentive is to deliver convictions. There is no counterbalance; accusations, which are almost universally convictions, carry no cost to the lab. (The lab director who lied about her data was promoted to a seat on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Board.) Even the head of US testing has said, publicly, that the testing system is corrupt.

Well, in news specifically relevant to Tough Enough, rattlesnakes are predicted to thrive under climate disruption.

When the heat comes, as we know it will, please be safe. Heat is not something to shrug off. Please put more into being aware than into being ‘tough.’


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I think she should use this time well and crush the beer mile world record.

Comment by Ryan

The marijuana thing seems odd – as far as I know it is not a performance enhancing drug.

Comment by Martin J. Pattison

Pretty sure being heartbroken and withdrawn after an abortion isn’t performance-enhancing, either. Empirically-measured thresholds for performance enhancement are not required (seemingly, at all) for things to be banned.

Comment by Hart K.

Well said. Too much bs happening in sport.

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Comment by ucsbwalkerucsbwalker




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