Gary Snyder outlines steps to drug-testing, payment by surcharge
Gary Snyder has done some due diligence. Now he’s announced how USATF will launch a drug-testing program in American masters track. Besides specifying how to pay for it (by a $5 or $10 surcharge to entries at nationals), he also indicates this is a done deal. Whether on his own authority or by consensus of the USATF Masters T&F Executive Committee that he chairs, the decision is made. Debate is over. Drug-testing will come, and the masters masses have no say in this. OK dokey. Gary says: “No one else is going to pay for this. There is no pot of gold waiting to be found or grant to be awarded. So itâ€™s do-it-yourself. I believe we will be able to cover the cost via a $5 to $10 charge per entry which would generate . . . between $6,000 and $12,000 for outdoor meets. Testing of all first-place finishers or record-breakers is out of the question and only random testing of winners is feasible. In addition, there will be a yet-to-be-determined age cutoff.” So apparently, all you M90s can dope yourself to the gills! No testing 4U!
Here’s what Gary sent out to masters leaders today (with editing for clarity):
The recent positive test of an American athlete at a World Masters Athletics (WMA) meet and resulting suspension has put increased pressure on USATF Masters T&F to implement testing at our USA Masters Championships. This decision is not taken lightly and without a great deal of thought and discussion. But to delay only postpones the inevitable. Testing is expensive, inconvenient and invasive. It will, however, when implemented, eliminate the criticism of US athletes by foreign athletes that we donâ€™t test and by extension must use drugs to excel.
The testing of USATF athletes within the U.S. is conducted by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. USADA requires one year of athlete education prior to the start of a testing program. As part of the education requirement, USADA will conduct an in-person session at our meet in Sacramento this summer where they will cover the harmful effects of drugs and the use of therapeutic drugs by athletes. The soonest we could begin testing would be at the 2011 USA Masters Outdoor Championships.
The education is necessary for a number of reasons, but let me explain one scenario as an example. An athlete new to our sport enters a meet and is unaware of the testing protocols. The person is selected for testing but refuses the test. They would unfortunately be suspended as if they had failed the test. In addition, their name would be posted on the required Web sites, etc., for all to see.
Testing is very expensive, and the only sustainable solution is for the athletes to pay. No one else is going to pay for this. There is no pot of gold waiting to be found or grant to be awarded. So itâ€™s do-it-yourself. I believe we will be able to cover the cost via a $5 to $10 charge per entry, which would generate . . . between $6,000 and $12,000 for outdoor meets. Testing of all first-place finishers or record-breakers is out the question and only random testing of winners is feasible. In addition, there will be a yet-to-be-determined age cutoff.
Iâ€™ll be working with the Masters T&F Executive Committee and the USATF National Office specifically Melissa Beasley the Associate Director, Elite Athlete Relations, to begin shaping the USATF Masters T&F Anti-Doping Program.
USATF Masters T&F