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Sunday, December 16, 2007
Jenkins Ruins USADA's Perfect Record

On Friday, a AAA arbitration panel in the case of United States Anti-Doping Agency v. LaTasha Jenkins ruled in favor of 2001 world track medalist LaTasha Jenkins, who had been sanctioned in 2006 for using the anabolic steroid nandralone but now has the option of resuming her effort to try for the 2008 U.S. Olympic team. The arbitration panel ruled that the results of Jenkins' positive doping test from a track meet in Belgium last year were compromised because both European labs testing her sample violated World Anti-Doping Agency rules that require the tests be run by two different technicians.

Jenkins was represented in the case by the Valpo Sports Law Clinic, which is directed by Professor Michael Straubel of the Valparaiso University School of Law. In the law school's press release, Professor Straubel stated:
This addresses a crucial issue emerging in sports law. Has the science been done well? Anti-doping enforcement relies heavily on still-developing science. The standard these labs violated is a safeguard that prevents labs from providing doctored results to mask testing process error or to intentionally harm the athlete’s standing. The burden of proof is on the laboratory to demonstrate that both the science and ethics of the test were properly managed. Assertions of propriety are partial and therefore not reliable proof.
According to USADA CEO, Travis Tygart: "USADA is not the judge. At the end of the day, independent arbitrators make a decision through an established process that's designed to protect the accused athlete's rights. They base the decision on the evidence presented."

According to the press release, USADA's overall record fell to 36-1.


I had Prof Straubel this semester for Sports Law, he spent a lot of time on doping and it was one of the essay questions on the exam. I hope I can be a part of the clinic next year!

Anonymous Jeff -- 12/17/2007 7:14 PM  

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