Atherton Argues For WADA Policy

From his Times column:

Ultimately, though, it is a price that cricketers may have to pay if they want their sport to remain clean and, more importantly, to be perceived to be clean. While the chief executive of the players’ union, Tim May, accepts the practical difficulties in adopting the system, he should also recall his comments three years ago when he warned that the increasingly punishing schedule could force players to start abusing drugs.

“You only have to look at the doping record in baseball to see that recovery, not enhanced power, is the motivation for most drug abuse,” he said. “The more we push the players, the more they may start to look at options.”

I don’t know — if you read the whole thing, Atherton sort of contradicts himself. He begins by noting that cricket hasn’t suffered a major drug scandal like in other sports, and he ends by saying cricket shoud adopt the WADA’s anti-doping policy because it may have a major drug scandal like in baseball.

But it’s High School Debating 101 that if you cannot prove the status quo needs change, any reform proposal fails on its face. Or, to put it more bluntly, why fix it if it ain’t broke? I’m not saying cricket should abandon their anti-drug policies completely; I only think the current system makes more sense than whatever WADA may want.

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2 thoughts on “Atherton Argues For WADA Policy

  1. Som says:

    Atherton was vague here but the thing remains as sportspersons, cricketers have certain responsibilities towards to keep the game clean and this is a small price which everyone else is ready to pay but the Indian cricketers.

    • duckingbeamers says:

      Thanks for the comment, Som. I don’t think I agree, though I’m not sure yet — first, it’s not clear other cricketers like this agreement that much. They may have signed on, but only because they knew their cricket board wouldn’t back them or have much say in the matter. India’s cricketers, however, belong to a much more lucrative market, where the monetary stakes on all sides are higher. So, they took a different opinion. Makes sense.

      Secondly, again, I’m not sure this is a “small price,” but that’s the heart of the debate. And I’m not sure why we need a new policy to “keep the game clean,” when it seems the current ICC policies do that already (as Atherton himself admits).

      So what gives?

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