SBD/28/Leagues Governing Bodies

EXAMINATION OF NBA'S DRUG POLICY CONTINUES IN BOSTON

     In the wake of the Reggie Lewis controversy which engulfed
the city of Boston and NBA circles last month, the NBA's drug
policy is examined in a front-page piece in this morning's BOSTON
GLOBE.  Noting that only two of the over 300 players in the NBA
have been in treatment, Daniel Golden writes, "This small
proportion compared with some other pro sports and the American
workforce in general may mean only that the NBA is virtually
drug-free."  Yet in the wake of the disputed Lewis story, "drug
specialists and several NBA coaches and players suggest that the
league's policy may be ineffective in uncovering drug use."  Dr.
Lloyd Bacchus, an Atlanta psychiatrist who took over the NBA's
drug program last year, "expressed concern" about the number of
players treated.  Bacchus has brought on two former NBA players,
both recovering addicts, to counsel players on whether to come
forward.  Two key parts of the policy get close examination:  the
need for "probable cause" (as established by an arbitrator)
before a veteran can be tested; and the exclusion of the teams
from testing and treatment.  NBA Senior VP for Legal & Business
Affairs Jeffrey Mishkin, who noted that the policy is being
reexamined as part of talks with the NBPA:  "We believe the drug
policy is working.  We believe it's had a tremendous deterrent
effect.  Are we ferreting out every last use of cocaine?
Probably not.  There are obvious reasons why not" (BOSTON GLOBE,
4/28).
     STAY IN SCHOOL?  In Washington, Tom Knott notes the
"hypocrisy" of the NBA's "Stay in School" program while college
sophomores and juniors are considering leaving school to enter
the NBA draft (WASHINGTON TIMES, 4/28).
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