Law & Policy: Drugs & Alcohol
- Hack Shows Flaws in WADA's Exemption Practices
by Rachel Axon September 2016
In releasing private medical information about dozens of Olympians over the last week, the Fancy Bears hack team has sought to reveal "dirty methods" by which athletes — specifically Americans — win their medals. But Fancy Bears, which the World Anti-Doping Agency has said is a Russian cyber espionage group, likely has fallen short of that goal, experts agreed. Rather, the hackers have exposed other cracks in the anti-doping system -- namely a lack of transparency around therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) and concerns about WADA's ability to protect athletes' information. Those concerns come at a fraught time for anti-doping, as the last year has included two investigations that revealed widespread and state-sponsored doping in Russia. Investigators found tampering during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, compliance issues in several laboratories around the world and a lack of consensus between WADA and the International Olympic Committee as to how the system should be reformed. "It's the sort of thing where, yeah, if the Fancy Bears' target was to create a scandal around American athletes, probably it missed because there's nothing really too exciting there," said Roger Pielke Jr., a professor in the sports governance program at the University of Colorado.
- Russian Group Hacks WADA, Leaks U.S. Athletes' Data
by Rachel Axon September 2016
The World Anti-Doping Agency confirmed that its database had been accessed by an outfit WADA says is a Russian cyber espionage group. Known as Fancy Bear, the group released information on U.S. athletes Simone Biles, Elena Delle Donne, Serena Williams and Venus Williams on its website Monday.
- Opinion: NFLPA Should Take Stand on Marijuana
by email@example.com September 2016
The NFL Players Association needs to make a stand. The union has a reputation for being soft, and it looks weak on the pot issue. If it's true that half the players use pot, many for pain relief, the union has to take a stand. They can't allow Goodell to continue his ill-advised crusade against a drug that's being legalized in many quarters and is far less damaging than opioids or alcohol.
- Ohio State's New Beer, Bag Policies Take Effect
by Kaitlin Fochesato September 2016
Ohio State did not hire extra security for the opening game, but it did provide more training for staff members, said Ben Johnson, a university spokesman.All employees selling the new beverage were required to check IDs for every purchase, Johnson said. About $600,000 from the beer profits will pay for four new full-time Ohio State police officers. Another $50,000 will be dedicated over the next two years to fund research.
- NFL Clears Players Accused of PED Use
by Knoxville News-Sentinel September 2016
NFL stars James Harrison, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers can start the regular season without having the specter of a league investigation over whether they used performance-enhancing drugs hanging over their heads. The NFL cleared all three players on Wednesday, saying there was “no credible evidence” the players were guilty of any of the claims made in a documentary by Al-Jazeera America in January.
- NFL Demands to Hear from Players Accused of PED Use
by Dan Spears August 2016
The NFL's senior vice president of labor policy and league affairs, Adolpho Birch, sent a letter Monday to the NFL Players Association detailing a plan to indefinitely suspend James Harrison, Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and Mike Neal if they don't speak with the league by Aug. 25 as part of its investigation into an alleged link to performance-enhancing drugs.
- Foul-Ball Lawsuit Seeks Records on Players' Drug Use
by Bill Rankin August 2016
Major League Baseball's players union on Monday asked a Fulton County judge to prohibit the release of records on performance-enhancing drugs, which plaintiff's lawyers want to use in a case involving a girl struck by a foul ball. Disclosing such documents would violate confidentiality agreements the players worked out with the league in their collective bargaining agreement and would compromise the testing program, a lawyer for the Major League Baseball Players Association told State Court Judge Patsy Porter. Porter did not issue an immediate ruling. She is presiding over a lawsuit brought by Fred Fletcher, whose 6-year-old daughter's skull was shattered by a foul ball at Turner Field. The foul was hit by then-Braves outfielder Melky Cabrera Aug. 31, 2010. If the Braves had extended the safety netting behind home plate farther down the foul line, Fletcher's daughter would not have suffered a traumatic brain injury, the suit says.
- Disdain for Russian Doping Evident at Games
by AB Staff August 2016
With the wag of a finger and a cascade of boos, the monthslong Russian doping controversy has come to life at the Olympic Aquatics Center. The swimming venue has become the crossroads of a morality play that hearkens back to the days of the Cold War. A 100-meter race between two swimmers has turned into a metaphor for the endless bickering between East and West. A battle of words and frog kicks has become the culmination of the growing antagonism between the Russian state-sponsored doping machine and those nations around the world that have spoken out forcefully against it.
- Opinion: NFL Should Update Medical Marijuana Stance
by Jerry Sullivan July 2016
Half of the states have legalized medical marijuana. Some players are using a cannabis extract that experts say aids in physical recovery and might counteract the effects of concussions.
- Josh Gordon Reinstated by NFL
by Spokesman Review July 2016
Josh Gordon's curious and complicated career has taken a new turn. He's getting yet another chance. The talented but troubled wide receiver has been reinstated on a conditional basis by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who met face to face with Gordon last week and said he believes the 25-year-old can "make the right choices" going forward. Gordon has been banned since February 2015 for multiple violations of the league's drug policies. He will be suspended for the first four games of the 2016-17 season, but he's allowed to join the team in its upcoming training camp and can participate in meetings and conditioning work. The league said once Gordon meets clinical requirements, he can take part in preseason activities, including practices and games.