"Silent Bans" to end?

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"Silent Bans" to end?

Post by YvonneT on Wed 25 May 2016, 9:34 pm

Well, OK, not silent bans but provisional suspensions - the ITF is looking to change procedures to announce positive tests as they arise rather than only announce the result when the hearing is concluded:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2016/05/25/international-tennis-federation-to-change-anti-doping-procedures/

I think this is a good move to stop the frustration about players essentially having to lie about reasons for not playing (e.g. Cilic when he withdrew from Wimbledon 2014 and Sharapova when she withdrew in advance of Indian Wells), which simply fuels the conspiracy theory about true "silent bans". However, players can be found to have not been at fault when a full hearing take place, and too many people live by the saying "no smoke without fire".

On balance though, given the current climate of corruption allegations across various sports, the more transparent the better.

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Re: "Silent Bans" to end?

Post by YvonneT on Wed 25 May 2016, 10:20 pm

An American article expanding on the American player Varvara Lepchenko and the alleged positive test for meldonium:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/25/sports/tennis/reports-of-positive-test-dog-varvara-lepchenko.html?_r=0

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Re: "Silent Bans" to end?

Post by socal1976 on Thu 26 May 2016, 3:52 am

I honestly, don't like it. I wasn't aware of the change so good thread and a very good post. My problem is that reputational damage not just to the player but more importantly to the game with things like mistakes or premature media witchunts. When the damage is high it is not too much to have a fair hearing and investigation before passing judgement via a massive public PR hit. I think it is better to be sure and be fair and then go public.

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Re: "Silent Bans" to end?

Post by bogbrush on Thu 26 May 2016, 10:30 am

socal1976 wrote:I honestly, don't like it. I wasn't aware of the change so good thread and a very good post. My problem is that reputational damage not just to the player but more importantly to the game with things like mistakes or premature media witchunts. When the damage is high it is not too much to have a fair hearing and investigation before passing judgement via a massive public PR hit. I think it is better to be sure and be fair and then go public.
I agree. Go public when guilt is established.

The problem is that it's also wrong to lie - to pretend there's an injury when it's not.

Perhaps the concept of a suspension before judgement is where the fault lies. If that in turn raises the risk of a player participating and affecting another players livelihood and subsequently being banned, then the solution is to speed the process up.
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Re: "Silent Bans" to end?

Post by Born Slippy on Thu 26 May 2016, 10:52 am

It would be difficult to speed the process up. I think they usually take place within 2 months and given the need to get a "B" sample and allow the player sufficient time to investigate and obtain any evidence that seems pretty reasonable.

I think just declaring it is the right option. Whilst there might be an element of "no smoke..." if the process is transparent and there is a good reason for the player being found in the clear, then that seems a minimal risk.

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Re: "Silent Bans" to end?

Post by Henman Bill on Thu 26 May 2016, 2:32 pm

Good discussion. I agree with speeding up. I don't see why it can't be done a bit faster. Otherwise, I think I'd lean towards transparency myself. Tricky, though. Good discussion.

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Re: "Silent Bans" to end?

Post by djlovesyou on Thu 26 May 2016, 8:16 pm

Born Slippy wrote:It would be difficult to speed the process up. I think they usually take place within 2 months and given the need to get a "B" sample and allow the player sufficient time to investigate and obtain any evidence that seems pretty reasonable.

I think just declaring it is the right option. Whilst there might be an element of "no smoke..." if the process is transparent and there is a good reason for the player being found in the clear, then that seems a minimal risk.

After the B sample is fair. (The B sample is the same sample as the A sample, they just split it in two). The option to have the B sample tested is given to the athlete right after they're notified of the positive.

The only reason for the B sample is not because it could have been a false positive, but to give the person who's tested positive a chance to actually view the dope testing process themselves so they can't just call out corruption or error within the actual testing process. It's a legal safeguard.

If the substance is in the the body, unless very dramatic circumstances, the athlete is thought to be guilty (given strict liability.) The only issue to to ascertain just how guilty and how they should be punished. I don't think they should wait until all that has been sorted out before an announcement.

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Re: "Silent Bans" to end?

Post by socal1976 on Thu 26 May 2016, 9:15 pm

bogbrush wrote:
socal1976 wrote:I honestly, don't like it. I wasn't aware of the change so good thread and a very good post. My problem is that reputational damage not just to the player but more importantly to the game with things like mistakes or premature media witchunts. When the damage is high it is not too much to have a fair hearing and investigation before passing judgement via a massive public PR hit. I think it is better to be sure and be fair and then go public.
I agree. Go public when guilt is established.

The problem is that it's also wrong to lie - to pretend there's an injury when it's not.

Perhaps the concept of a suspension before judgement is where the fault lies. If that in turn raises the risk of a player participating and affecting another players livelihood and subsequently being banned, then the solution is to speed the process up.

Yes I mean we are talking about serious consequences here and I think it behooves fans of the game to want to not ruin people or the sport without dotting the I's and making sure. It is pretty much a death sentence even sometimes in minor PED (Sharapova) violations to that players reputation, career, and brand; therefore I don't see why its so important to know now, as opposed to 2 or 3 months later. Obviously, there is as you notes issues of people creating these sort of false alibis or excuses but those are generally in an investigation not going to hold up under scrutiny, so this might not be as big a fear in most cases.

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Re: "Silent Bans" to end?

Post by lydian on Thu 26 May 2016, 9:55 pm

Behooves? ...is that an equine term? Wink
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Re: "Silent Bans" to end?

Post by bogbrush on Fri 27 May 2016, 10:08 am

socal1976 wrote:
bogbrush wrote:
socal1976 wrote:I honestly, don't like it. I wasn't aware of the change so good thread and a very good post. My problem is that reputational damage not just to the player but more importantly to the game with things like mistakes or premature media witchunts. When the damage is high it is not too much to have a fair hearing and investigation before passing judgement via a massive public PR hit. I think it is better to be sure and be fair and then go public.
I agree. Go public when guilt is established.

The problem is that it's also wrong to lie - to pretend there's an injury when it's not.

Perhaps the concept of a suspension before judgement is where the fault lies. If that in turn raises the risk of a player participating and affecting another players livelihood and subsequently being banned, then the solution is to speed the process up.

Yes I mean we are talking about serious consequences here and I think it behooves fans of the game to want to not ruin people or the sport without dotting the I's and making sure. It is pretty much a death sentence even sometimes in minor PED (Sharapova) violations to that players reputation, career, and brand; therefore I don't see why its so important to know now, as opposed to 2 or 3 months later. Obviously, there is as you notes issues of people creating these sort of false alibis or excuses but those are generally in an investigation not going to hold up under scrutiny, so this might not be as big a fear in most cases.
The other side is that if a subsequently convicted cheat wins a Slam, or beats any player, would that player be justified in running to some stinking bloodsucking lawyer (actually not sure I needed the adjectives, "lawyer" probably said it Wink ) and suing the ATP for their loss?

I'm interested in why the process can't take under a week from 1st sample fail. Isn't it as simple as

tell player, who requestes re-test.
hearing schedule for date re-test made (surely no more than 2-3 days?)
player concocts hopeless excuse, made even more hopeless for not having weeks with above-mentioned lawyer to schedule personal appearances on poor quality carpet
decision made and sponsors fly into orgy of virtue-signalling
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Re: "Silent Bans" to end?

Post by Born Slippy on Fri 27 May 2016, 11:26 am

Said lawyer would probably advise player that 3 days is insufficient time and a breach of their Human Rights to a fair trial. Lawyers win regardless. In all seriousness, the quickest time it can be done is a month or so.


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Re: "Silent Bans" to end?

Post by barrystar on Fri 27 May 2016, 12:38 pm

bogbrush wrote:
socal1976 wrote:
bogbrush wrote:
socal1976 wrote:I honestly, don't like it. I wasn't aware of the change so good thread and a very good post. My problem is that reputational damage not just to the player but more importantly to the game with things like mistakes or premature media witchunts. When the damage is high it is not too much to have a fair hearing and investigation before passing judgement via a massive public PR hit. I think it is better to be sure and be fair and then go public.
I agree. Go public when guilt is established.

The problem is that it's also wrong to lie - to pretend there's an injury when it's not.

Perhaps the concept of a suspension before judgement is where the fault lies. If that in turn raises the risk of a player participating and affecting another players livelihood and subsequently being banned, then the solution is to speed the process up.

Yes I mean we are talking about serious consequences here and I think it behooves fans of the game to want to not ruin people or the sport without dotting the I's and making sure. It is pretty much a death sentence even sometimes in minor PED (Sharapova) violations to that players reputation, career, and brand; therefore I don't see why its so important to know now, as opposed to 2 or 3 months later. Obviously, there is as you notes issues of people creating these sort of false alibis or excuses but those are generally in an investigation not going to hold up under scrutiny, so this might not be as big a fear in most cases.
The other side is that if a subsequently convicted cheat wins a Slam, or beats any player, would that player be justified in running to some stinking bloodsucking lawyer (actually not sure I needed the adjectives, "lawyer" probably said it Wink ) and suing the ATP for their loss?

I'm interested in why the process can't take under a week from 1st sample fail. Isn't it as simple as

tell player, who requestes re-test.
hearing schedule for date re-test made (surely no more than 2-3 days?)
player concocts hopeless excuse, made even more hopeless for not having weeks with above-mentioned lawyer to schedule personal appearances on poor quality carpet
decision made and sponsors fly into orgy of virtue-signalling

It's not difficult to imagine reasonable circumstances where 2-3 days would be inadequate - say the laboratory is in Europe and the player is in Australia or somewhere else equally far away and wants professional "X" present at the testing of the B-sample, but "X" is overseas somewhere else and has other important commitments over the next 2-3 days. Sure, every time you introduce something to make life 'fair' for the accused, you will be helping some who are cheats and who know damn well that they are cheats and will try to take advantage of it, but due process means nothing if you aren't prepared to let everyone benefit from it, and given the dire consequences for the accused they have to be given time to get their stuff together including having an appropriate person present if that's what they want and having the chance to give instructions to and receive proper advice from someone they trust. If not, then some Court somewhere will hammer the procedure.

Frankly, the authority would probably rather not be associated with disclosing a positive A test until such time as the athlete either accepted it or challenged it, because they might be exposing themselves to litigation or needlessly damaging the reputation of their own sport.

There are no obvious ways around this that I can think of.
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Re: "Silent Bans" to end?

Post by socal1976 on Sat 28 May 2016, 9:15 am

Great post barry, completely agree. Due process of law has its own worth beyond who is or is not guilty. We could catch more dopers and criminals if we simply went to an authoritarian model, but we value due process and protect the rights of the guilty because fairness encompassed by due process while allowing for a few more cheats to make getaways, helps the rest of us don't have to live in a police state.

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