Jeff Passan gives the WADA the smackdown it so obviously deserves:
The white-knight crusaders at the World Anti-Doping Association set about on their high horse Thursday with another message for Major League Baseball. They do this once or twice a year, cobbling together a few paragraphs worth of phony moralistic preening with the intention of embarrassing their favorite whipping boy, then fading back to the land of obscurity where they belong.
In a press release disguised as a concerned letter, WADA president John Fahey chastised MLB and the players’ association for not using blood testing to detect human growth hormone. Nowhere did Fahey mention that the reliability of these tests remains in question six years after WADA first suggested their use. Nor did Fahey admit the organization’s real motivation: to leverage MLB into fattening WADA’s coffers with its multimillion-dollar-a-year testing program.
WADA hasn’t made public how its current test is any different than the one that drew blanks for six years, and questions sent to Fahey through a WADA spokesman went unanswered. The likely answer: it isn’t. Which means WADA wants baseball to overhaul its program for a test that seemingly necessitates an informational complement.
By using ambush techniques to grab headlines, WADA proves itself increasingly desperate. Baseball’s testing program is the strictest in American professional sports, and though flaws remain, they don’t merit such bullying. Until baseball kowtows to WADA’s desires, the letters, the didactic tone – the real nonsense – won’t stop.
Baseball knows better than to cave, of course, to give in to these performance-enhancing drug charlatans. It is up to owners and players and fans and media to keep the sport honest, to prevent it from slipping into the juiced-up freak show that unfolded over two decades.
Better them than the white knights with dark intentions.
Passan had me until the suggestioni that "baseball knows better than to cave" ... Are we sure about that? Baseball's already "caved" with blood-testing minor leaguers, and it seems fairly obvious that if the Players Association wasn't gumming things up, there would be a blood test for the big boys, too.
There is another way. At some point, Allan H. "Bud" Selig and Michael Weiner should write their own "letter" to John Fahey, concluding with this: "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
Good afternoon, and good luck.