SBD/January 20, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

League Notes

NFL says Packers did not violate any rules by notifying Wells of upcoming drug test
The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Reed Albergotti notes the NFL "has long maintained that its drug testing program, which administers some 15,000 tests a year, is one of the toughest in North American sports." But anti-doping experts said that early notifications of upcoming tests "raise serious questions about the general effectiveness of the program." The problem is that "by giving an athlete notice of a drug test the following day, one that would not be conducted for at least 15 hours," the player has "ample time to take measures to 'beat' the test by distorting his sample." The advance notice "appears to violate the NFL's Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances, which states that all players who are subjected to in-season drug testing will be notified 'on the day of the test.'" Packers Head Athletic Trainer Pepper Burruss recently alerted C Scott Wells about a test he would have to take the following day, but the NFL said that the Packers "had not violated any NFL rules by notifying" Wells of his test in advance (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/20).

NEW WORLD ORDER: In S.F., Ron Kroichick writes we are "slowly inching toward a real world golf tour, where top players gather for marquee tournaments -- some in the U.S., some in Europe, some in the Middle East, some in Asia." And is that "really so terrible for golf?" It is "bad for" this week's PGA Tour Bob Hope Classic and next month's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which are "struggling to attract the world's best players, mostly because the Hope goes against the Abu Dhabi Championship, and the AT&T will unfold the same week as the Dubai Desert Classic." Only "three of the top 40 players in the world rankings teed off in Wednesday's opening round at the Hope." But golf "truly is a global game in 2011, and the European Tour achieved this week exactly what the PGA Tour sought with its 'playoffs' -- getting the best players to compete against one another, head-to-head." Kroichick: "That's good theater in any language" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/20).

ON THE UPSWING: Former driver Mario Andretti said the Izod IndyCar Series, "as we know it, is definitely on the upswing." Andretti: "I think now that it's unified, it has definitely taken off into the direction it needs to go and that it deserves. Izod is doing a tremendous job of promoting into mainstream America, and that's where we belong." Andretti said IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard is "doing a phenomenal job on so many fronts." Andretti: "He has learned tremendously over this past year. He is a very calculated individual. He's patient in some ways but also very energetic in some others. He's careful with his moves. ... I think he knows where it needs to go. He needs to know where we have to appeal. He is a very good business man" (SI.com, 1/18).
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