October 11, 2005

Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go, do not receive an Olympic medal. : IOC president Jacques Rogge is trying to get Italy to suspend its anti-doping laws for the duration of the Torino Olympics. Unlike IOC regs, which call for disqualifications and suspensions from sports, the Italian laws apparently include possible jail time for violators.

posted by lil_brown_bat to other at 10:02 AM - 7 comments

This just goes to prove that we prefer to protect athletes from punishment. If steroids are illegal in Italy and carry a jail sentence, then the athletes that go there are subject to those laws. Why does the IOC believe that athletes from other countries should be somehow exempt? We don't bend our drug laws for visitors from other countries. I think the IOC needs to back off and let these athletes face the music for their stupidity.

posted by mcstan13 at 10:16 AM on October 11, 2005

mcstan: maybe you should read the article for the reasoning behind it. Short version: not all "drug laws" are addressing similar problems.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:18 AM on October 11, 2005

OK, but I still stand by my point. Whatever the reasoning behind the law is, it is the law.

posted by mcstan13 at 10:44 AM on October 11, 2005

Well, yeah, but I don't know how long that law has been around. The Olympic Games get awarded years before the games happen (remember they just awarded the 2012 games to London, so figure about eight years), and a lot of legislation can happen in eight years. If the law was in place when the IOC awarded the games to Torino, that's one thing...but if not, it does kind of put the IOC in a bind if they committed to the site. I think that's the only leg the IOC has to stand on in asking for a suspension of the law; if they want to campaign to reform the law permanently, that's another matter.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:16 AM on October 11, 2005

"We must respect the rules of the IOC," Pescante told The Associated Press. "The IOC fears police raids in the athletes' village." Yeah, the night before someone is set to compete they get the old no-knock search warrant service (or the Italian equivalent thereof) at 3 am...I can see where that could be applied unevenly for an advantage. Depending on how much evidence (probable cause, reasonable suspicion, a rumor, etc.) is needed for something like that in Italy. Is the distinction any different than what goes on here? For example, I'm not aware of any criminal prosecution involving Rafael Palmeiro (for steroids, not perjury or anything like that), Juan Rincon, et al. Instead they are letting a private league police itself for awhile, despite the fact that steroids are illegal. Isn't that kind of what they are doing, except for more like a one-time exception for a special event? Or am I misunderstanding that?

posted by chris2sy at 11:34 AM on October 11, 2005

despite the fact that steroids are illegal. I meant there that they are illegal without a prescription, for certain usages, etc., not banned altogether for the general populace.

posted by chris2sy at 11:37 AM on October 11, 2005

Maybe they could come to an agreement to only prosecute those athletes that IOC tests positive. That way there wouldn't be a witch hunt to stack the odds against one certain athlete or one country's athletes.

posted by roycedawg at 01:00 PM on October 11, 2005

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