Thursday, February 16, 2006

Olympic B.S.

When I first read about this, I was unsure what to think. Now, I'm pretty sure the World Anti-Doping Agency is a bunch of fucktards. (bolding and Italics Mine)

U.S. slider Lund banned from Olympics over failed drug test

CESANA, Italy (AP) -- He had high hopes of walking into the Olympic opening ceremony with his teammates, spending another week in the athletes' village and then bringing a medal home to his family.

And now, that's all gone for Zach Lund.

Lund, the top slider on the U.S. skeleton team, was banned from the Torino Olympics on Friday for taking a common hair-restoration pill with an ingredient that can be used to mask steroids.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport -- while saying it believes Lund did not cheat -- ruled he should serve a one-year suspension anyhow, retroactive to Nov. 10 and enforced immediately.

He will spend a couple of nights in a Torino hotel, then head home early next week.

"The last thing I ever wanted was to be considered a cheater,'' Lund said. "The one thing I prided myself on was carrying myself with the utmost honesty and dignity. To be in this category, to be a cheater, kills me and hurts more than losing the chance to be in the Olympics. My reputation is on the line here, and that hurts more than anything.''

He did not march with the U.S. team at the opening ceremony on Friday night. Lund will be replaced on the Olympic roster by Chris Soule, who came in seventh at the Salt Lake City Games.

"We share the point of view offered by CAS in its decision, which is that Zach Lund is an honest athlete who was poorly served by the international anti-doping system,'' U.S. Olympic Committee chief executive officer Jim Scherr said in a statement.

"We do not believe that Zach Lund is a doper or a drug cheat,'' Scherr added. "An athlete of his character and integrity deserved a better outcome.''

Lund, 26, has always listed whichever hair-restoration drug he's taking on his medical forms, and insists that's proof he wasn't hiding anything. But he said he didn't check the forms in 2005 when finasteride, an ingredient in his hair medication that he has since thrown away, was added to the banned list.

"Unfortunately, in 2005, he made a mistake,'' CAS wrote.

Lund told CAS he was misled by the Web site of the governing body of his sport, which lists finasteride both as a "prohibited substance'' and a "specified substance.''

"It was very confusing,'' said Lund's attorney, Howard Jacobs. "The international federation shouldn't be able to put things on their Web site that are misleading to athletes and leave them there without any consequences.''

Last month, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency decided Lund deserved only a public warning and should forfeit his second-place finish from the season's opening World Cup event in Calgary, where he tested positive in November.

But the World Anti-Doping Agency wanted a tougher sanction and appealed to CAS for a two-year ban. Lund will be able to compete again on Nov. 9, but will not have to forfeit any other results from this season aside from Calgary.

"Mr. Lund was not well served by the anti-doping organizations,'' CAS wrote. "The Panel concluded that Mr. Lund bears no significant fault or negligence.''

WADA director general David Howman said the organization was "comfortable'' with the one-year ban.

"CAS functioned in the way we have come to expect of them,'' Howman said. "Once the offense is established, then the onus goes on the athlete to convince the panel that there was no fault or no significant fault. The panel found no significant fault.''

Skeleton racers slide headfirst on a thin sled down the same track used for bobsled and luge, exceeding 70 mph. Lund, who was the World Cup leader at one point this season, was the Americans' best gold-medal chance....


I get trying to look tough, but c'mon, the guy has listed it on his forms for years. Clearly he's not hiding anything. Why ask for a harsher sentence?

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