Thursday, July 26, 2007

Professional sport scandals ... a return to the small town

David Seaton's News Links
NBA, Tour de France, Formula One... We live where two vectors cross: big money and this village-like movement of information.... Everybody's on the take and everything gets found out quickly. Either they shut down the information system or we are all going to have to walk the straight and narrow... just like people in a small town have always had to do. All the old ladies lurking behind the lace curtains watching everything. DS

NBA-WSJ: Toronto Star columnist Dave Feschuk says that not only whistle-blowers are vulnerable to greed and gambling. "Donaghy's is a rare case that will likely only illustrate how easy it is to earn large sums of money with the power of a whistle," Mr. Feschuk writes. "The truth is, many athletes and coaches are possessed of similar powers of influence over any given game. People say salaries are too large for today's athletes to risk their livelihoods by laying bets, and someone at yesterday's press conference asked Stern if the referees might be due raises to reduce the incentive to bet. Stern pointed out that Donaghy made $260,000 (U.S.) last season, and you only have to look at the gambling habits of wealthy athletes -- many engage in it, and often -- to understand it's not necessarily about needing the money. They crave action. And it's not difficult to foresee, for those most susceptible to bad decisions, how the debts might mount up, how the lines might become blurred, how the life-wrecking mistakes might get made."

Tour - BBC: Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen has been sacked by his Rabobank team and kicked out of the race.(...) Rasmussen's sacking follows the high-profile positive drugs test on pre-race favourite Alexandre Vinokourov in a dramatic 24 hours for the Tour. Vinokourov's Astana team were asked to withdraw from the race and Cofidis have also pulled out following the positive test on their rider, (...) Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said: "The important thing is not that he has been sacked by his team but that he will not be at the start of the stage tomorrow. (...) "One cannot mock the Tour de France impunitively like those riders," he added, referring to Rasmussen, Moreni and Vinokourov. T-Mobile rider Patrick Sinkewitz crashed out of the race in stage eight days before he was revealed to have failed a drug test in training before the race began.

Ferrari Spies - Guardian: Ferrari's lawyers have claimed that it is "likely" McLaren are leading the world championship only because their chief designer had access to the Italian team's secrets. In a document obtained by the Guardian and the Milan-based daily Corriere della Sera, Ferrari say that losing the title would cost them well over €5.5m. The document, lodged with the high court in London last Friday relating to an ongoing case taken out by Ferrari against McLaren's chief designer, Mike Coughlan, sets out in greater detail than ever before their accusations in the sabotage scandal that has divided formula one.(...) They add that if McLaren wins this year "Ferrari will suffer loss of at least €5.5m" in payments under the agreement that governs the constructors' championship. But, in addition, they "may suffer loss in respect of damage to the Ferrari brand" - sponsorship and sales. However, the team's claim does not put a figure on the damages that Ferrari is seeking from the British couple. The next stage will be for Coughlan and his wife to submit their defence to the court. Trudy Coughlan is claimed to have arranged for documents belonging to Ferrari to be scanned to disk. They allegedly contained a wealth of detail about the Maranello team's operations - down to "freight rates, which would enable a competitor to evaluate the amount of material shipped from Ferrari's headquarters in Italy to each grand prix".

1 comment:

LeaNder said...

How can sport be any different from our socciety? I have not focused my attention on it but what strikes me is the utter double standard in play.

If you need winner and sponsors do, you will not ever stop people from developing new drugs. For the simple reason there is a market for it.

The ones that surface are the stupid ones. The winners may well be well connected and clever people now and in the future. While the fools are caught.

Drugs will always be aheads of tests to prove them.