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An Unjust System

Strict liability. That phrase was burned into my mind as a teenager entering the world of elite cycling. It means that an athlete is ultimately responsible for anything and everything that is absorbed by your body, intentionally or not. An outright prohibited substance or method, a contaminated substance, or even an accidental ingestion, it doesn’t matter because the fault fell upon the athlete. That was the world I was entering, and those were the rules. Full stop. 
The burden of proof of innocence also falls to the athlete should they fail a test. Yes, they have the option to have their sample retested; they have the option to file appeals; they have the option to hire a team of lawyers, doctors, and scientists; they have the option to have a pharmacokinetic conducted to clear their name… all at their expense. An athlete without or with little means does not have that option. Example: Chris Froome’s adverse analytical finding of salbutamol. Other athletes have received severe sanct…

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