November 8, 2009 § 5 Comments
With limited information, and growing bewilderment I see a massive amount of blind support for these two tennis players on Facebook and blogs.
According to the information I have (data roaming is expensive when on holiday), both have failed not only once but three times to tell the anti-doping agency their whereabouts. Multiple sources even tell me that they didn’t even bother to give their whereabouts.
(For the rest of the post, I’ll assume the above is correct, if not some of the below would of course change)
I have known, and still know a lot of olympic sports people. The system of telling the authorities where you are have come in place after lots of people went on training camps abroad all the time. Fyi: the whereabouts rule has been in place for a while, this is nothing new. The latter often in places where control was difficult, raising suspicion amongst the colleagues, media and supporters. (So for these who say that sports people are presumed guilty and have to prove their innocence… partially true, but you do get three chances + an appeal for an international tribunal)
Lance Armstrong has peed 60+ times under supervision in 1/2 year and never failed to communicate where he was. Christine Ohurugu failed to comply to the whereabouts rule and missed a big part of the pre-olympic year (limiting her chances of qualifying). I heard Pieter Van Den Hoogenband once say that he got told off for not informing the authorities that he went to a major competition. It was in all the media though… but that did not suffice.
So we can already drop the silly one-liners that this is only possible in Belgium/Flanders.
But what bothers me most, is the arrogance with which these professional athletes are just not playing by the rules. I mean, what’s next?
Even if you don’t like the rules or think they make no sense, play by the rules and try to change them with all means you have. Can you imagine that some of us do not agree with the silly “priority from the right” traffic rule anymore? We’d try to change that through our representatives, not by singularly causing havoc on the roads!
No, with the limited information I have (mostly De Standaard), I cannot have sympathy for these athletes… or more correctly their surroundings (management, parents,…). If amateurs have the means to provide their whereabouts, no matter how tedious the process (and it has improved with online apps and SMS…), professionals should also be able to comply.
[So I’m eagerly awaiting for this rule to be applied for professional football players! But I guess they can improve more by training than with doping :)]
If I get it wrong at some point, please point to sources via url if possible!