SBD/Issue 87/Leagues & Governing BodiesPrint All
Goodell Says League Is Ahead
Of The Pack On Drug Testing
REAX FROM ANTI-DOPING COMMUNITY: In Charlotte, Charles Chandler reports in a front-page piece that the league “made no commitment to participate in HGH blood tests if they become available later this year as expected” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/25). While WADA member Gary Wadler praised the changes, he believes there should be a provision allowing for blood samples to be frozen until a reliable HGH test is developed. But Upshaw said, “What use would it be for you to find something out two or three years from now and we’ve already played games? We have 25[%] turnover each year. What good is that? It’s almost like changing the speed-limit sign after you’ve passed” (N.Y. TIMES, 1/25). Penn State Univ.’s Charles Yesalis said that the enhancements “won’t mean much until the NFL contracts with an outside agency to create a transparent testing system.” Yesalis: “We only know about the positive tests we’re allowed to know about. ... Until that changes, I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the other moves they make.” Yesalis added the $500,000 grant for an improved HGH test is “unbelievably inadequate” (Baltimore SUN, 1/25). WADA Chair Dick Pound: “Four games for steroids. Frankly, that is not serious.” Upshaw responded, “The record speaks volumes about what we have done in the NFL. We also have a union that protects and defends our players, which is what is (lacking) in the Pound arena” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/25).
Bruener Does Not Believe NFL
Has Problem With Illegal Substances
PLAYER REAX: Patriots LB and union rep Don Davis said, “The NFL players wanted the steroids out of the league. That was our goal 10 years ago, and we’re still going strong now” (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/25). Colts DE Dwight Freeney, who was randomly tested yesterday, said, “Whenever you can catch some cheaters, it makes my job easier. ... Anything you can do for the integrity of this game is good” (USA TODAY, 1/25). Texans TE and union rep Mark Bruener “doesn’t believe the league has a problem with illegal supplements,” but he said, “In professional sports, one headline about a player in a negative light paints a broad stroke. That can be unfair to the other players, but that's how it is. So with these new policies, we can be proactive in working toward a drug-free league” (USA TODAY, 1/25).
Source Says Int’l Had Deal
With Sponsor To Up Purse To $10M
Roush Feels Toyota Could Have Negative
Impact On Financial Landscape Of NASCAR
RED SOX EFFECT: Roush is in negotiations to sell 25-50% of his team to Red Sox Owner John Henry’s Fenway Sports Group (FSG), and he said that the “infusion of cash would help Roush Racing compete with the arrival of Toyota.” Roush added that the partnership with FSG would give NASCAR and his sponsors “a greater presence” in the Northeast (N.Y. TIMES, 1/25). Roush: “Part of the reason I’m doing it is so we can stand the pressure of having a round of negotiations with sponsors that may not be rich enough to cover everything we’re spending (and) to negotiate with our drivers in the face of offers” (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/25). USA TODAY’s Ryan & Livingstone note Roush has “committed to invest an extra” $10M in his Nextel Cup teams (USA TODAY, 1/25).
OTHERS NOT TOO WORRIED: Toyota Motorsports USA National Motorsports Manager Les Unger said of Roush’s comments on the company’s spending on its NASCAR teams, “We have been interested in what the other manufacturers are spending and have been trying to gauge those numbers, but they’re impossible to get. Therefore, I don’t know how people can claim that Toyota is outspending the competition without knowing what the other manufacturers spend.” Nextel Cup team owner Rick Hendrick added, “I don’t see Toyota being any more a threat than any of the other teams” (USA TODAY, 1/25). Team owner Joe Gibbs: “It will be good for our sport. We thrive on competition” (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 1/25). ESPN’s Tim Cowlishaw noted Roush “didn’t have a problem with money being an issue when he had five drivers in the Chase two years ago, when Roush Racing had more money ... than just about all the race teams in the Nextel Cup circuit. Now all of a sudden money’s an issue because Toyota’s coming in? ... These were pretty ill-advised comments by Jack Roush” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 1/25).
MLS Red Bulls
Officially Sign Reyna
BECKS EFFECT: Fire President & CEO John Guppy said that the team “likely will play host” to the Beckham-led Galaxy at Toyota Park in September or October. In the two weeks after the Beckham announcement, the team renewed 30% of its season-ticket holders and sold over 200 new packages (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/24).
ALL-STAR GAME: Scottish Premier League club Celtic FC will play the MLS All-Star team this summer at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the Rapids’ new stadium opening this season. The event will “likely to take place in late July or early August” (DENVER POST, 1/25).
American Airlines Center, which hosted this week’s NHL All-Star festivities, “wasn’t packed for Tuesday’s skills competition,” and the “late-arriving crowd” for last night’s All-Star Game “didn’t feel much different ... than a regular-season Stars crowd,” according to Jean-Jacques Taylor of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB for years “formed the big four of professional sports,” but Taylor writes, “Now, I’m not really sure where hockey fits into the mix. It’s certainly behind the other three sports, but it’s also behind college football and basketball, golf and NASCAR. And it will stay that way unless [NHL Commissioner] Gary Bettman makes some significant changes” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/25).
SCHEDULE: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, on not changing the unbalanced schedule: “We’re in the middle of a three-year rotation and to force the change before we finish the cycle probably would be unfair to some of the teams. So the notion is we have one more year of this and then we’ll make whatever change everybody’s comfortable with” (“Mike and the Mad Dog,” YES Network, 1/24).
Some Criticize Bettman After
BOG’s Scheduling Vote
MINORITY REPORT: Bettman, “opening a luncheon this week on diversity in hockey, proudly made note of 39 cities offering inner-city programs with the help of the league.” But he said that he is “not satisfied with the number of minorities in the NHL — currently 31,” or about 5% of all players (AP, 1/25).