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Posts Tagged ‘cheating’

Track the Dope

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Former overall World Cup Champion Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) recently called for the use of embedded microchips to track the whereabouts of professional athletes for anti-doping purposes.  The idea that this could ever become mandatory is ridiculous.  The privacy issues with requiring an athlete to embed an electronic tracking device in their body are enormous – and they should be.  Talk about Big Brother.

But the idea highlights several interesting issues.  First of all, the current system does not make anyone happy.  Athletes must report their daily location and include a one hour window when they will be available for anti-doping inspections.  Every day.  Do you ever make a last-minute decision to head out of town for a few days – to visit friends, hit the mountains?  Such spontaneous endeavors become significantly more difficult if you are an elite athlete.  Sure, as Duncan Douglas points out, competing at the highest level is a privilege, not a right, but most anti-doping measures have been inflicted on the innocent because of the cheaters.  At best, clean athletes gamely endure the strict protocols, while others have come out strongly against the invasions of privacy and the restrictions on their daily lives.