Violating the policy also leads to significant, and costly, penalties. In short, the policy frequently tests players, looks for numerous substances and imposes heavy penalties on offenders. At least in theory, that combination ought to deter players. The NBA does not want its brand tarnished by a scandal of players using performance-enhancing substances nor the health dangers that would accompany such use.
The NBA, after all, is in the process of expanding its consumer base on a global level. The integrity of the sport is critical to that goal. Especially considering that NBA players net essentially half of basketball-related income under the collective bargaining agreement, the NBPA likely feels the same. Their incentive is to prevent a scandal from happening in the first place.
Legitimate testing techniques constitute one key preventative measure. Third, SPEDs sometimes trigger side-effects that would be detrimental for playing basketball. While they may help a player become more muscular and recuperate faster, they can also rob a player of quickness and coordination and make him more susceptible to injury, muscle cramps and dehydration. Still, these types of risks might be less worrisome for athletes in other sports linked to SPEDs.
For instance, the ability of a baseball player to put on muscle—and hit more home runs—has been shown to bring about more lucrative careers. Fourth, while a number of baseball players were implicated by name in U. Department of Justice and other law enforcement investigations into the illegal sale and distribution of steroids, those investigations have not led to the naming of NBA players. The claim, however, did not lead to the naming of any players beyond those employed by Major League Baseball clubs.
The market often moves faster than the regulator, and a combination of sophisticated designer drugs, masking agents and microdosing probably could outsmart even the most scrutinizing test. Yet as discussed above, there are also reasons to be wary of speculation that lacks actual evidence. The Washington Spirit suspended head coach Richie Burke for verbal and emotional abuse one day after the team announced he stepped down due to "health concerns. Kepa Arrizabalaga came on as a substitute in extra time just for penalty kicks, and it paid off with Chelsea's shootout triumph over Villarreal.
Senior expert Michael Fabiano is full steam ahead in providing his redraft fantasy football rankings for the NFL season. Smith has enrolled in classes and starts his first day of college Aug. Will the Saints trade their injured star receiver, despite the cap hit? The former QB will head to television in his first year after retirement. Home NBA. Or—most importantly——any names. I would have heard about it. If not me, other people. If not them, someone else. It would have been discovered and teased out.
Someone would have nabbed that story. There are well-researched articles explaining the rationale and benefits of modern PEDs in basketball while debunking the efficacy of the testing——even the current HGH testing, added before the season. Still chatter. Mindless, unscientific, biased, uninformed chatter. There are other recent examples that could be misconstrued as PED chatter. Neither does the media.
But it would probably get out. Or even the early aughts. Snapchat would get them. Or IG stories. Despite enough speculative evidence that an investigation is probably deserved, who wants that hassle? Who will care if a ton of legwork reveals an uncomfortable truth that only tarnishes everyone involved?
They get much less in everything. It costs them a lot of money to have a major guy get popped. You cannot put people in that position. In testimony before Congress, he made a statement that raised eyebrows in anti-doping circles but has not received much public attention:. In six years, Baccus testified, 23 NBA players tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
Evidently the independence of the program -- the third-party specimen collection and testing -- does not keep league staffers from having discretion to handle positive tests quietly and as they see fit. As for those 20 tests the league set aside, Stern and Baccus both say pseudoephedrine -- or Sudafed, as known commercially -- is one cause.
League sources also point out something that Baccus did not: Some of those positives were from players who left the NBA before the test results came back from the lab. In the years in question, the NBA only tested players in training camp, when rosters are fat with prospects.
It takes weeks to get the test results. If pseudoephedrine explains some of those 20 discarded tests, and cut players explain some others, what about the remainder? This may mean nothing other than that the league is exercising due caution in avoiding false positives. It also may mean even less, now that the program has a different medical director in Taylor, although sources say Taylor still has the discretion Baccus described to discard positives. This uncertainty bolsters the case of those who suggest the program needs oversight from an outside body such as USADA.
Leagues running their own testing programs have always been fraught with potential conflicts of interest. Doing so in secrecy, and with league officials able to discard large numbers of positives, only compounds the risks. Now imagine doing all of that with one arm tied behind your back.
Strong player unions have succeeded, with minor exceptions, in banning blood tests on the grounds they are too invasive. Meanwhile, in the Olympics and in other sports, the blood test for human growth hormone is in heavy use. There are signs a longstanding ban of blood testing will end soon.
But blood testing still is not part of the program in the three most prominent leagues, creating a major challenge for those trying to catch the cheaters. Meanwhile, anecdotally, HGH has become not only a favored drug of athletes, but also of actors, movie executives and the wealthy. Not testing for it is becoming indefensible. His answer focused on a then-new kind of testing:. I felt like the amount you would gain from doing it just didn't outweigh the stress and the risk.
Biological passports are a different approach to anti-doping efforts. Biological passports have generally been seen as useful in endurance sports, and experts suggest they are the future of drug testing in all sports.
Biological passports are built on repeated blood tests, though. The NBA has not been able to convince the players' association that any blood tests are acceptable, let alone year-round protocols. A lot of testing programs were developed with anabolic steroids in mind.
The drugs, and their delivery, have come a long way. But others are taken only in tiny amounts -- microdoses -- that clear the body in a matter of hours. The solution was to take tiny doses that cleared the system quickly. It works for several different substances. Cyclists who testified against Armstrong explained that one of their preferred methods was to take banned substances like testosterone or the blood booster EPO or in small doses in the evening. The body would process and expel the banned supplements in a matter of hours.
By morning, cyclists had nothing to fear from testers. Drug testers in cycling then, and in the NBA now, resolved that testing in the middle of the night was both rude and invasive. Testers would politely wait until morning, which seems reasonable -- except that if you give players eight or 10 hours of test-free time every day, you give microdosers freedom to dope at will.
With sophisticated cheats, the question is: Exactly how much time elapses between when a player first learns he is to be tested and when the test takes place -- and does the player have privacy during that time? Those names emerge from a computer at the National Center for Drug Free Sport, the contractor that collects samples for all of the major North American leagues. The trainer then herds the players to the tester one at a time.
The trainer is a close colleague of the player whose job includes seeing to it the player performs his best -- any anti-doping cop would have to play defense against the trainer helping players pass. The offseason program is even less stringent. The protocol the NBA negotiated with the players' association calls for a tester to arrive in the city where the player is supposed to be, then phone the player and arrange to meet.
That means the player is guaranteed some time alone before seeing the tester. One last unknowable element: What if players do a sloppy job of reporting their whereabouts and are in fact not in the city when the tester arrives? By rule, that counts as a refused test, and therefore as a positive.
No one has been punished for missing a test. It is natural and normal for a league and union, working together to make the rules, to want tight control of the testing process and to respect players' privacy. But put it all together and you get a disturbing collection of opportunities for sophisticated cheaters in the arms race to beat the testers -- if it is an arms race at all.
It was more like a big game of hide-and-seek played in a forest that has lots of good places to hide, and lots of rules that favor the hiders. Beal averaged The Brooklyn Nets finally slowed Beal down somewhat, holding him to 30 points in his next game by employing a box-and-one defense. That was the story of the night from that game until Beal, 26, revealed after the contest that he had been required to submit to a mandatory drug test permitted under the collective bargaining agreement between NBA players and the league.
Beal is just the most recent professional athlete to be called in for a random drug test under circumstances that appear to be less than coincidental. It even happens to NFL specialists. New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead pinned the Seattle Seahawks deep in their own territory for much of their game last September by averaging 54 yards on six punts.
He posted a picture on social media shortly afterward showing a notice he received from the NFL requiring him to provide a urine sample to test for performance-enhancing substances. Also, Tyreke Evans was hit with a two-year ban in According to the agreement between the NBA and the union, players can be randomly tested up to four times during the season and twice during the offseason, with half the tests for human growth hormone.
The total number of tests for the entire league is capped at 2, — or an average of around four per player.