but, only 35% to 40% believe it's good-to-go as is. i'm intrigued that half of you like the program but only if changes occur. what changes? that the program is not strong enough? or that it needs a bit of modulating?
to recap, what we have is as follows, as far as i know:
=> qualifiers for kona and clearwater will be asked to sign a waiver, allowing for drug testing both in and out of competition, the "in-competition" being at each WC race; the OOC occurring only if the contestant is notified he/she is in the OOC pool. at that point, the athlete can opt out of the pool, but loses the WC slot. this is an easier rule than pros live with, as AGers can still race everywhere else, and as of this writing no other punishment is contemplated by IM or any other authority. so, that same athlete can still enter other IM races, just that the slot is given up for worlds.
=> the "panel" (list of banned substances) is the same as for the pros, so, if the AGer tests positive for either banned recreational or banned performance enhancing drugs, a penalty is levied. it's my understanding that the penalty would be the same as for the pros, a 2yr ban from all competition for a first offense, or whatever the appropriate ban is.
=> AGers can apply for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE), either from USADA or from a TUE adjudicating panel that WTC sets up itself. so, if you're taking a banned substance but feel you should be able to do so and still retain the right to race, you submit your TUE request to one of these agencies.
i have the following questions, and will at some point ask them and perhaps others of WTC:
1. if you're an AGer and you test positive in or out of competition, will your positive test and ban be made public?
2. if you submit your TUE request and it is denied, will it affect your right to race in any of WTC's other races or, if you submit your TUE to USADA and it's denied, will it affect your right to race in all sanctioned races? or, does a TUE denial only affect your ability to compete in the WC, but it does not affect your right to compete in any other race?
3. how long is an OOC pool stint for an AGer? 3 months? 6 months? a year? indefinite?
4. if an AGer tests positive, does he still retain the same rights to appeal? to whom does he appeal? who is the prosecuting authority in such appeals, WTC or a NADO? and is CAS the court of last resort for the athlete, and if so has CAS agreed to adjudicate these AG cases?
5. is WTC committed, and are the other partner orgs (e.g., ANADO) in agreement, that the only penalty for opting out of OOC testing is the loss of the WC slot? or is this a decision that's not yet firm?
6. if the athlete opts out of the OOC pool, will this fact become public?
what say the roughly half of you who want to tweak the program? how do you want it tweaked? how do you wish WTC will answer my questions above? what are your questions?