SBD/14/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         On ABC "World News Tonight," Armen Keteyian reported on the
    NBA's drug policy and its many "loopholes."  Keteyian, on the
    policy which the league "touts as the toughest in sport": "Drug
    experts say, while the NBA policy seems strict on paper, it
    hasn't worked out that way. ... It doesn't test enough people, it
    doesn't test for all the right drugs, and it doesn't encourage
    athletes to come forward voluntarily."  Dr. Arnold Washton, who
    treated NBA drug offender Michael Ray Richardson in the '80s:
    "The policy looks to me to be more for the protection of the
    league's image than it is for the protection of players' health."
    Peter Bensinger, former Dir of the DEA:  "I think the NBA is
    putting its head in the sand saying 'We don't want to hear the
    bad news.'"  A PLAYERS' VIEW -- Former Suns Guard Richard Dumas,
    one of two players suspended since '90: "I think a lot of people
    just keep it under their hat and just pray everytime that they
    don't have to take a urinalysis."   Dumas says the league's
    policy keeps players from coming forward: "I do feel like I was
    branded.  I think that keeps a lot of people from stepping up,
    knowing that if you do come forward that it may cost you your
    job."  WHAT IS NEEDED -- MLB Drug Adviser Robert Millman: "It's
    critical in any sort of a drug policy, if you expect anyone to
    ever come forward, to give them a free pass.  They've got to feel
    as if they can come forward with a problem and not be penalized
    or punished."  Washton argued that the league's failure to test
    veterans is a large flaw:  "One might argue that it should be the
    opposite, because as players get on in their experience, become
    more famous and become wealthier, and get inducted into a
    lifestyle.  You could argue that their chances of getting
    involved in drugs go up, not down."  TEST NO EVIL, SEE NO EVIL --
     Bensinger, on the league's exclusion of testing for marijuana:
    "If you exclude marijuana, which is the most widely used illegal
    drug, five times more often used than cocaine, your not going to
    get as many positives."  Keteyian reported that according to
    National Institute of Drug Abuse, drug use among males age 19-32
    averages 17% nationally.  The NBA's ratio for known positive drug
    tests is "about one percent."  Keteyian said that NBA
    Commissioner David Stern would not comment on the report, because
    of negotiations over a new CBA.  Keteyian: "Negotiations from
    which a new NBA drug policy is almost certain to emerge" (ABC,

    Print | Tags: ABC, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, NBA, Phoenix Suns, Walt Disney

         Representatives of the NBA and its players union met for 10
    hours in New York yesterday "as the first work stoppage in league
    history loomed, possibly less than 24 hours away," according to
    Mark Asher in this morning's WASHINGTON POST.  The sides ended
    yesterday's talks without an agreement, and a source "with ties
    to the players" said that if the Finals end tonight, "it's
    unlikely an agreement will have been reached."  The source did
    say that a lockout could be averted by extending the no-free
    agent signing, no-renegotiation moratorium that went along with
    the no-strike, no-lockout deal for this season.  NBPA Exec Dir
    Simon Gourdine said the talks will resume today.  NBA Deputy
    Commissioner Russ Granik and two attorneys will represent the
    league, as Commissioner David Stern has traveled to Houston for
    Game 4.  The NBA dispute mainly concerns how the league's
    revenues will be divided.  As one team exec said:  "Thank God
    this one's over splitting the money, not ideology" (WASHINGTON
    POST, 6/14).  In Orlando, Tim Povtak reports that the two sides
    "inched closer" to an agreement yesterday and that Granik and
    Gourdine have scheduled meetings for this morning to report any
    progress to their respective constituents.  Magic Player Rep
    Donald Royal, on reports that a lockout would commence
    immediately after the Finals:  "I think that really got
    everyone's attention" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/14).  The N.Y. TIMES
    lists three ways the negotiations will end, according to several
    league officials:  1) A summer lockout; 2) An extension of the
    signing moratorium -- if there is progress;  and 3) An agreement
    will be reached this week -- "but that possibility seemed highly
    unlikely" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/14).
              WHY US, WHY NOW?  NBC's Bob Costas, on the timing of
         letting the possible lockout "come to light" before the
         Finals are over:  "Maybe the thinking is to not let this go
         to brinksmanship -- to bring the issue to a head in the
         offseason, rather than when the clock begins ticking like
         crazy" (USA TODAY, 6/14).  On ESPN's "Up Close," Lakers Exec
         VP of Basketball Ops Jerry West would not comment on the
         labor situation, nor answer whether the league has
         threatened teams with a "gag order."  West: "The league as a
         whole is prospering beautifully, and I think that if any of
         us -- players, management -- if we would do anything to
         inhibit this almost cult following that we have in the NBA
         today, we wouldn't be very far sighted" (ESPN, 6/13).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBC, Orlando Magic, Walt Disney

         "A lackluster and underfunded promotional campaign handled
    by U.S. Soccer" made it difficult to produce a crowd larger than
    the 22,578 who turned out for the U.S./Nigeria U.S. Cup game on
    Sunday, according to Gus Martins in the BOSTON HERALD.  Foxboro
    Stadium Manager Brian O'Donovan thought the "spirit" of the crowd
    made up for the low attendance.  O'Donovan:  "It wasn't a
    disaster, but it was a little disappointing" (BOSTON HERALD,
    5/13).  O'Donovan also commented in the BOSTON GLOBE that these
    type of events require a "buzz at the grassroots level" to make
    them successful and he is optimistic MLS will have that kind of
    attention (Frank Dell'Apa, BOSTON GLOBE, 6/13).  But in
    Philadelphia, Bob Ford writes that MLS will suffer by starting
    its season "in the deep shadow cast" by the '96 Olympic Games

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLS
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