——– Original Message ——–
From: brooks@spikesandflats.com
Date: Sat, January 03, 2009 6:39 pm
To: blog@spikesandflats.com

The last installment discussed drugs/doping and attempted to provide a partial history as to why we are where we are with drugs and some of the forces that are present that will allow them to be with us longer than necessary. Let’s stray just a bit to explain the notion that drugs will be with us longer than they need be. In the early eighties the machines mostly used for testing for drugs were made by Hewlett-Packard. Working then at Stanford University, I sought out some scientists at Hewlett-Packard because they had offices close by. When I queried them about the efficacy and effectiveness of testing modalities then in use , I was knocked back their response, ” First of all, the tolerances that your federations allow as acceptable are laughable. If people applying for certain sensitive jobs in industry and government came back with the values you allow,… they would summarily be discarded as candidates for the jobs. They would fail the test hands down.”. Not to be upstaged and outdone, I countered, what about drugs like human growth hormone and stuff that can not be detected ? ” There is absolutely nothing you can ingest into your system that we can not trace. We can get down to one part in a trillion in many instances. We can detect gases in universes that are hundreds of light years away from earth. Do you really think we could not detect a gas or molecule of a drug in the human body ?”. Still not wanting to admit defeat and beat a retreat, I asked, ” Then why is it we hear about all these substances that can not be detected ? ” The totally deflating response was, ” What you have is a lack of will and money. If there was true will and sufficient funding, there is nothing,……I repeat, NOTHING that could go undetected in the system of a human being that we could not trace and identify.”.
Fast forward to today and it is easy to see this being the case with Major League Baseball, NFL Football, and the NBA Basketball. But what about track and field ? With the major professional teams we have strong players’ unions and reluctant ownership holding back and limiting the drug detection efforts.
What serves the same function for track and field ? Before I attempt to answer that question, let me pose a question. ” What company, or executives within that company, actively work purposely to put themselves out of business ?”. In an earlier installment we described what I call the “Corporate Role Reversal Syndrome”. That is corporate entities start out with the very best of intentions as it regards serving the constituency they are supposed to serve. But some where in the process, the roles are reversed. The corporate leaders expect , even demand that the constituency and the people they are supposed to serve, to in fact reverse their positions and basically serve the corporate leaders and the perverted excesses to which they go in the name of serving the interests of their constituency.   This is more than evident as we follow the corporate meltdowns on Wall Street and elsewhere, with corporate leaders getting massive salaries, bonuses, and golden parachutes for basically destroying the companies they  are supposed to run and bankrupting the stockholders they are supposed to be protecting and enriching.
The two major drug testing entities ( WADA and USADA ) in sports are funded to the tune of millions of dollars. Their corporate leaders get salaries they would be hard pressed to get elsewhere. If they were totally and completely successful in their mandate and mission, they would eventually work themselves out of a job, and with it, all that power and money. What special qualities of personality and character do the leaders of WADA/USADA have that distinguish them from their corporate brethren ? Where is the firewall between their activity and that of people involved in the “Corporate Role Reversal Syndrome” ?  Instead, what they are doing is becoming even more dictatorial in some instances and insisting that athletes become even more subservient to their whims and wishes than ever. This is not the kind of action that works as a counter, and is contrary to the “Corporate Role Reversal Syndrome”.  That being the case, we can not expect that these people are going to work in ways that are totally counter to their own self-perpetuation, gainful and explosive employment. Thus, drug testing and drug detection will be constrained and tainted by the needs of self reward and self promotion of the very people who are charged with stamping out drugs. Just listen to the pompous and pious pronouncements coming from these people and you can hear echoes of a distant refrain that went like this, ” What is good for General Motors is good for America. “.   That statement was accepted by many as the absolute truth, and the doctrine and ideology supporting that statement was just as hollow and shallow then ( 80 plus years ago ), as it is now. The same is true of those in the drug detection and testing business. They will make sanctimonious statements about the good they are doing and how they are the only thing between sport/athletics becoming a cesspool corrupted by drugs,…… and a drug free playing field. I have waited a very long time to hear an empowered person in the drug detection and testing business state just how hard and diligently they are working themselves out of a job. I want to hear them say, ” When I took this job it was by definition obsolescent, in a very short time I will see to  it that it becomes obsolete !”. A person in power, strong and honest enough to make such a statement for me would represent  “The Audacity of Dope”,…… with all due respect and apologies to the President-Elect and his fine book, “The Audacity of Hope”, I took the first two words of the title. Further, President Barrack Obama’s book, ” Audacity Of Hope “, will provide the backdrop against which we will continue in the next installment. It has awakened and inspired some thoughts I consider worthy of sharing thta have direct bearing on our sport.
Brooks T. Johnson
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