Top Footballers Face 7/7 Testing
The UK's England footballers and Premier League stars are to face Olympic-style, random out-of-competition drug testing. The new rules require players to state where they will be for one hour each day, seven days per week, to facilitate random testing.
The practice of declaring an athlete's whereabouts for an hour each day in advance, to allow drugs tests to be administered at short notice, is common to Olympic sports such as cycling and athletics.
All British Olympians, regardless of their sport, were subject to similar tests and restrictions in the build-up to the Beijing Games and the same rules will apply to footballers.
At some point, entrepreneurs may decide to create new leagues that embrace all forms of modification and enhancement - an Ultimate Football League - as described in The Sun Also Explodes, a short story by Chris Nakashima-Brown.
The Ultimate Football League was the first to abandon professional athletics' anachronistic insistence on the prohibition of performance enhancements, be they pharmaceutical, biomechanical, or genetically engineered. It was a genius stroke by the founders. The audience was far more interested in superhuman performances than fidelity to nature, and the athletes were addicted to the potential of even greater power.
(Read more about Ultimate Football League (UFL).)
Olympics fans may recall the quest of Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee equipped with carbon-fiber blades called Cheetahs.
In May, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned a ban by track and fieldís world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, saying that there was not enough evidence to prove that Pistoriusís j-shaped blades, which attach below his knees, gave him an advantage. The Court said he should be allowed to compete with able-bodied athletes...
Pistorius was born without the fibula in his lower legs and with defects in his feet. His legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old. He started competing with able-bodied athletes in South Africa in 2004.
(Oscr Pistorius at Rome's Track and Field Gala )
Pistorius ultimately failed to qualify for his country's Olympic team.
From BBC and The New York Times.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/11/2008)
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