An eye-opening story over at Vice shows us what can happen when PED testing is treated as theater, inspired by a wave of emotional and public relations concerns and is implemented in a half-assed manner: it fails totally.
That’s what happened in Texas, at least, where $10 million was plowed into a high school athlete drug testing regime that caught virtually no one and may have, in fact, created a bigger drug problem than the one it claimed it would solve. Bad testing, you see, can be worse than no testing, because it’s easy to beat bad testing and give users clear, safe harbors.
A lot to chew on here, including an appearance from Don Hooton, who was a big backer of the failed Texas plan and still wants it to continue despite its obvious lack of efficacy. I’m sure that the fact that the Taylor Hooton Foundation brings in $700K a year has nothing to do with that. Just as I’m sure that The Center for Drug Free Sport’s love of these sorts of programs has nothing to do with the money it makes off of them.
None of which is to say that their hearts aren’t in the right place. It’s merely to say that, when you try to accomplish something that involves science, deception and human calculation, leading with your heart is the worst thing you can do.