LA Times Doping Story: Part 2
Honestly, this is what news journalism should be about, not celebrity worship, sex and drugs, or an endless parade of murder and mayhem. The Times is doing a public service.....Ed
Athletes see doping case appeals as futile exercise
The arbitration system is flawed, with a tilt toward accusers. Accidental and trivial cases result in harsh penalties.
Second of two parts
A panel of international sports arbitrators hearing a doping case against Olympic sprinter Torri Edwards went out of their way to sing her praises.
They described Edwards, then a 27-year-old USC graduate, as "a diligent and hardworking athlete" who had "conducted herself with honesty, integrity and character."
They acknowledged that her purported breach of doping regulations was entirely unintentional, caused by the obscure additive nikethamide in a couple of otherwise innocent glucose tablets she took at an exhibition race in Martinique.
"She has not sought to gain any improper advantage or to 'cheat' in any way," they wrote in August 2004.
But the arbitrators, while expressing "unease" about the rules and acknowledging their "harshness," still found Edwards guilty of doping. Her sanction: a two-year suspension from international competition.
The punishment was indistinguishable from what could have been imposed on an athlete caught deliberately injecting steroids. It wiped out Edwards' eligibility for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
Full story at: http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-me-doping11dec11,0,2983494.story?coll=la-headlines-sports