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“It’s unthinkable that in the Olympic movement, hackers would illegally obtain confidential medical information in an attempt to smear athletes to make it look as if they have done something wrong.” ~ Travis T. Tygart, President, U. S. Anti-Doping Agency

Believe me, Travis, the hackers don’t care about smearing U. S. athletes. They want revenge on you, your agency, and of course the World Anti-Doping Agency as well.

Where do you even begin, when you read the latest news about the U. S. Anti-Doping Agency? Russian hackers apparently stole medical records from the World Anti-Doping Agency, to exact revenge for WADA banning over one hundred Russian athletes from this summer’s games in Rio. You are really not in good shape if you find yourself competing with Russian sports in a competition to see who looks worse.

Perhaps ‘race to the bottom’ captures this kind of downward public relations spiral better than other concepts.

USADA set out to make a name for itself with its prosecution of Lance Armstrong. It seems to have succeeded. I don’t like it that Lance Armstrong intimidated his teammates, essentially threatening to ostracize and punish them if they did not go along with his doping practices for the team. Nevertheless, I also don’t like it that people made him a scapegoat. For me, no group should act to ostracize someone. Even if you don’t like an individual, we owe it to our fellows not to ostracize anyone. No one deserves that kind of punishment, no matter what he or she has done.

As for two pan-sport anti-doping agencies, WADA and USADA, their actions speak for themselves. These agencies don’t set examples of integrity for any athlete or sports fan. They behave like authoritarian busybodies. Athletes and sport in general are worse off because of their so-called enforcement activities. The same basic principle has held from the start: each sport should regulate itself. Set up a regime that emphasizes transparency, so fans and competitors know the medications athletes use. Don’t ban athletes because you think you’re protecting the integrity of the sport.

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