17 July, 2009

Eight-Year Suspension not enough for WADA

File this in the double-standard cycling lives in the fight against doping. Pro athletes in the Big Three US sports get a slap on the wrist and a little shame when they test positive. Bike racers lose everything. They're typically fired by their teams and lose any sponsorship deal they might have had. Tyler Hamilton, who already got busted for doping in 2004 and served a two-year suspension, got caught again. The US Anti-Doping Association, USADA, recommended an eight-year suspension. That would make Tyler 44 before he could race again. Now the World Anti-Doping Association, WADA, wants to make it a lifetime suspension. Some think it's about setting a precedent. Might be. Tyler blames his suspension on mental illness, specifically depression, that caused him to take a medication that he knew contained banned substances. But WADA probably wants to scare people straight. Eight years seems pretty long to me, but banning would keep people from participating in sport in any way for the rest of their lives--unless they want to go into unsanctioned sports like power lifting and pro wrestling.

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