RELEASE: Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Contact: Bob Weiner/Sasha
Varghese/Taylor Jubanowsky 301-283-0821
IS "PARIAH OF SPORTS"
FOR "LAUGHABLE DRUG POLICY":
HOUSE DRUG SPOKESMAN;
U.S. COULD LOSE OLYMPIC
(Washington, DC) –
Because of its "laughable" drug policy, "Baseball is the pariah of sports,"
Robert Weiner, former White House Drug Policy Spokesman 1995-2001, said
today. In a sports commentary in the
Baltimore Sun today, "Baseball in Last Place on Drugs", Weiner and Sasha
Varghese, Athletic Chair of the University of Virginia Lodge, assert, "The sport
is being poisoned by illegal drug use for the sake of entertainment."
Weiner says that
despite powerful actions against track and field athletes, "the U.S. Anti-Doping
Agency, Department of Justice, and Major League Baseball itself have yet to take
action against big-time baseball players or trainers.Other sports bodies -- professional hockey,
football, basketball, 30 Olympic sports, and the NCAA for example -- test for
drugs and provide severe penalties for abusers… Baseball is the pariah of
Weiner asserts, "Baseball's deterrence is
laughable. The players' union refuses to consent to strict prevention and
enforcement. The first positive test results in treatment. The
second? Up to a $10,000 fine (the big
guns make millions so that's pennies to them) or a possible 15-day
suspension. #3 and 4? 25-50 days. The fifth?
A $100,000 charge or maybe a one-year suspension without pay," Weiner,
who has also been the U.S. House Narcotics Committee's spokesman,
Weiner and Varghese point out, "This
is a stark contrast to a two-year ban for most sports for
first use, and a
lifetime ban (with possible appeal for
good behavior) in track and field."
In another oped
today, in the Newark Star-Ledger, Weiner and Varghese say that "The bid of New York City and the U.S. to host the 2012
Olympic bid is on the line over how the United States handles the current drug
scandal (involving several track and field athletes among others). Whether it still exists and how and if we've
cleaned it up will be big factors in the voting." They quote IOC President Jacques Rogge, who
has stated concerning the site selection, "One of the criteria is whether a
country has complied with WADA (the World Anti-Doping
Weiner and Varghese
add, "The issue doesn't end with athletic icons: they are just the
starting point. Last year over a million
American teenage boys and girls abused steroids -- a tripling over the past
"Using drugs to
cheat is deplorable on any level -- in any sport. That's the message kids need: not to be
drugged-up gorillas pounding home runs," Weiner and Varghese assert.
Source: Robert Weiner Associates, Tel. 301-283-0821 or