This is where sports is headed: The World Anti-Doping Agency, a Big Brotherish creation of the International Olympic Committee set up in 1999 to ensure that athletes don’t use illegal steroids and the like. The agency’s motto: Play True. The unspoken part: Or Else.
Of course, the aim is noble. “Play true” is a wonderful sentiment, and one that every competitor and fan would embrace. The “or else” part is troublesome, though. You have to wonder whether it’s any more possible to create an absolutely clean, level playing field in sports than it is to keep drugs off the streets. How far do you go, how intrusive do you get, in pursuit of that goal? Do you throw out the notion of due process or the presumption of innocence — quaint notions, those — in the hunt for bad actors?
While you ponder that, test your anti-doping IQ at the WADA site. Sample question and answer:
True or False? If a Doping Control Officer comes to your home to conduct an out of competition test, it is okay for you to leave the room alone to make a cup of tea or run an errand.
False. It is important that you protect the integrity of your sample by staying in full view of the Doping Control Officer at all times until the test is complete. If you need to leave the room, tell the Doping Control Officer who will go with you.
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