- The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld WADA’s appeal of the AFL anti-doping tribunal’s Essendon verdict, with 34 past and present Bombers players banned for 12 months, which means they will miss the entire 2016 season.
The key thing in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) system is that the individual athlete is finally responsible for what goes into his or her body. That runs counter to the ethos of how teams operate.
Daryl Adair at The Conversation explains how the ‘court’ is set up. There appears to be no appeal. This was the appeal, but new evidence was also admitted.
The events occurred in 2012 and only half of the original 34 are still playing.
Adair points out that the players are in this pickle because at Essendon they wanted to clear their names. The Cronulla players took a deal where they admitted guilt and got three weeks.
- The AFL signed up to the WADA code under pressure from the Howard government, and the threat of funding cuts. The league’s reluctance stemmed, in part, from its own preferred harm-minimisation approach to recreational drugs.
Now it has discovered how cruel WADA sanctions can be in a team-environment.
2. Jakarta attack
Scott Edwards, Doctoral Researcher in International Relations, University of Birmingham, sees some hope that the contamination of the region is not widespread and has some confidence that the region can look after itself.
John Blaxland, senior fellow at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre in the Bell School of Asia pacific Affairs, College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University, is of a similar mind and suggests we could learn a bit from the Indonesians about how to counter radicalisation.
Greg Barton says that jihadis in Indonesia may be small in number and this attempt was pretty much botched, but they’ll be back.
3. President Obama does “State of the Union” for the last time
I heard most of it, and thought it a mighty fine speech, in the circumstances. The ‘moonshot’ moment was announcing that the US would find a way to cure cancer. He’s serious and has put Joe Biden “in charge of Mission Control”.
Certainly he defended his record, but he was also forward-looking, positive and optimistic about the country and its place in the world. It was almost back to the “Yes we can!” of his first election campaign.
But he regrets “that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better” during his presidency. He was blunt about the politics needing to be fixed. Presently deciding electoral boundaries is done in a partisan way, and elections are administered by states rather than an independent authority. As a result the administration of elections has become a partisan battleground.
He promised to “travel the country” making his case for electoral reform, given that it would only happen if the American people demanded it, giving rise to this comment from The Economist:
- As so often, he is right and admirable in his diagnosis. Still, it is hard not to be dismayed by the image he left hanging in the divided House, of the president, once the change politician, reduced to wandering America like a mendicant preacher, appealing forlornly to its better nature.
4. Vale the man who fell to earth
Vale David Bowie, who clearly deserves the accolades he’s received. He always looked as though he’d come from another planet.
Brendan O’Neill says died well in terms of how he managed the period when he knew he had a terminal disease. His dignified death was a reminder of the sanctity of private life.
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.