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Volume 24 No. 156

Leagues Governing Bodies

     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,
6/13).

     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).

     "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
(PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/11).