Friday, September 28, 2012

Legitimately Avoiding the Rules

The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport highlights this interesting situation related to the consequences of sanctions that the US Anti-Doping Agency have levied against Lance Armstrong, which include a lifetime ban from participating in any event that falls under the jurisdiction of the World Anti-Doping Code:
[W]hen Mr. Armstrong sought to participate in the Chicago Marathon. The Chicago Marathon is a sporting event certified by USA Track & Field [A body under WADA Code]. Hence, the organizing committee for the Chicago Marathon were obliged, under the terms of his lifetime sanction, to deny Mr. Armstrong entry as a participant.

Mr. Armstrong has now sought to enter the Half Full Triathlon of Maryland on October 7, 2012. The Half Full Triathlon of Maryland is an event certified by USA Triathlon – whose events are subject to the World Anti-Doping Code. Therefore, as with the Chicago Marathon, the Half Full Triathlon should deny Mr. Armstrong entry into their event. If they choose to allow Mr. Armstrong to compete in their certified event, they may be subject to discipline imposed by USA Triathlon.

The Half Full Triathlon of Maryland has chosen to become a non-certified event to allow Mr. Armstrong to compete. The loss of the certification by USA Triathlon appears to be of little consequence to the Half Full Triathlon, while the added revenue generated by having Mr. Armstrong compete is of great value to the event. The mission of the Half Full Marathon is to raise money for cancer. Mr. Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation has raised millions of dollars for cancer research and Mr. Armstrong himself is a cancer survivor.

No one is against raising money to fight cancer. But, by finding a way to skirt the doping sanction that Mr. Armstrong is under, is the Half Full Triathlon potentially doing more harm than good?
The Canadian Centre is focused on ethics, and raises a question that they answer in the affirmative. Ethics aside, as sporting events are organized and run by associations which generally self-govern, it is up to the Half Full Triathlon whether or not they'd like to be run under the WADA Code. Should its organizers choose it to be a fundraising event primarily and a sporting event second, rather than the other way round would seem to be their business.

1 comment:

  1. Livestrong's mission is to "Fight to improve the lives op People affected by cancer". There is currently no evidence, that Livestrong or Lance Armstrong have donated significant amounts of USD - millions - for cancer research.