This is interesting: the New York Times reports that some World Anti-Doping Agency researchers did a study which revealed that doping was way more commonplace than people think but that WADA prevented them from publishing it:
The researchers were eager to publish their results, which they believed would expose a harsh reality of modern sports: that far more athletes are doping than might be imagined, and that current drug-testing protocols catch few of the cheaters. But after a final draft of the study was submitted to the antidoping agency, the organization ultimately told the researchers they could not publish their findings at this time …
- It was bad research. I don’t know that lay people can know that. The article describes the process but no one is on record criticizing the methodology or anything;
- It was embarrassing to WADA in that it showed that a huge numbers of dopers are not being caught in a sport that it polices;
- A study showing widespread, even routine doping by athletes flies in the face of WADA’s and other PED-hawks’ rhetoric about doping being evil, aberrant and borderline criminal. Lots of people are doing it, suggesting it’s a chronic thing instead of some shocking transgression against decency.
Not that those are the only possibilities or that these are mutually-exclusive.
But I believe that this sort of thing needs to be acknowledged whenever someone starts talking about how baseball or other U.S. team sports should adopt the tough protocols of WADA. Usually those calls come from WADA spokesmen, of course, and are offered without any criticism or question in the articles in which they appear. WADA isn’t perfect, guys, and they aren’t always on the side of the angels. They have agendas like everyone else.