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All comments by Nick Krnjevic
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John -it was a felony because Texas has enacted section 66.023 of the Texas Parks & Wild Life Code, entitled Fraud in a Fishing Tournament.

Good luck trying to bring this charge without the statutory provision.
March 15
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Definitely an ethical issue, but one that can work to your advantage.

IIRC, Al Roth gave the following eminently practical advice. When playing unknown opponents he would take fake finesses as early as possible in the match (e.g. when Roth hold KQx he would table the J from dummy's AJT) in order to get a sense of whether RHO was the type of player who engaged in the conduct described in the OP.
March 15
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Eduard - since your organization's viability appears to be dependent in no small measure upon public funding, it must necessarily be acutely sensitive to the requirements that have to be met in order to obtain such funds.

While the CAS issue is more complicated, is your organization able to petition the national sports federation for relief from WADA requirements that are not clearly relevant to the “sport” of bridge?

By way of exaggerated example, Ben Johnson's steroid of choice,stanozolol,is on WADA's list of proscribed substances. But unless you have a particularly intemperate partner,anabolic steroids do not confer a bridge benefit.
March 13
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Addictive Captivating Exhilirating
March 9
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Three against one
March 9
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LA would be a tragic figure if that was the whole story.

But it isn't.

LA was a notorious litigator who routinely filed libel actions against journalists, friends and colleagues who accused him of doping.

These punitive lawsuits - which LA filed in plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions - dragged his critics into prohibitively expensive litigation which exposed them to potentially ruinous financial consequences.

Oprah had the following exchange with the “tragic hero” about this particularly unsavory tactic:

“OW: This is what doesn’t make any sense: when people were saying things – David Walsh, the Sunday Times, Emma O’Reilly, Betsy Andreu, many others were saying things – you would then go on the attack for them. You were suing people and you know that they were telling the truth. What is that?

LA: It’s a major flaw, and it’s a guy who expected to get whatever he wanted and to control every outcome and it’s inexcusable. When I say that there are people who will hear this and will never forgive me, I understand that.”
March 6
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David - the Tour de France is not an obvious analogy since the principal driver of doping regulations in endurance sports seems to be the protection of athlete health, at both the professional and amateur levels.

As was discussed in a 2016 Lancet editorial:

“Beyond the ethics of using performance-enhancing
drugs (PEDS), and inconsistencies in governing body
decisions, athlete health remains the most important
factor. In endurance sports, such as road cycling, there
has been evidence of injury and death from doping.
(…)
However, doping is not limited to professional athletes, and there is an increasing use of EPO, steroids, growth hormone, and other PEDs in amateur circles. Recently, 19-year-old
club cyclist Gabriel Evans was given a 3·5 year ban by
UK Anti-Doping for using EPO. The general health risk
is clear as more individuals use these sorts of substances
without adequate supervision.”

www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanhae/PIIS2352-3026(16)30082-5.pdf

I have not yet seen any suggestion that the WBF regulates PED in order to safeguard the health of competitors.
March 6
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Indeed!
March 4
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Single dummy the defenders will have to discard very carefully if declarer ducks the J of spades, wins the forced D return in dummy (a club gives him the entry for a heart trick) and then runs 5 rounds of clubs.
March 4
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Steve - how does any comment that starts with the dismissive ‘seriously?’ constitute collegial conversation?
March 3
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I agree that a great deal has changed in the last 17 years.

But I don't think we are thinking of the same changes.

In my view, recent events (notably the fiasco involving F/N at the CAS)make it clear that the WBF's misguided decision to adopt IOC protocols has done a great disservice to bridge.

So my perception is that the events of the last 2 years provide significant support for the view that in 2019 the WBF should apply a *milder* sanction for a technical breach of an IOC-WADA rule than it did 17 years ago in respect of a more serious breach.

Which is why I am frankly astonished that the WBF has instead seen fit to do the reverse.
March 2
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Francine-I agree that your question is an important one. GH should be expected to know the rules.

The difficulty I have is that the WBF doesn't seem to apply sanctions that are consistent with those rules.

Which gives rise to the question I put to Alvin: why is a significantly harsher sanction being applied in 2019 than was levied in 2002, particularly since the 2019 circumstances seem more benign than those of 2002 when considered in the context of the benefit provided by the respective substances that were taken?
March 2
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Thanks - in the future I'll choose neutral examples.
March 2
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Richard, with respect, you are usually a thoughtful poster who carefully reads what people write. I must confess that I would have taken you to be one of the last people who would interpret my comment as equating GH with a civil rights protester.

The comment in no way seeks to defend GH by equating him with a civil rights protester.

It's important to read my comment in its context, namely as a reply to Francine's post, which focused purely on facts.

BW has no shortage of those who leap to criticize both at and for the drop of a hat. So I anticipated that some might fail to read my post in its proper context, namely what is the appropriate analytical approach to a consideration sanctions.

Which is why the first half of the comment expressly states that an analysis of sanctions requires both a consideration of the facts *and* an assessment of the merits of the rules.

And which is why I then took pains to expressly preface the restaurant counter scenario as an “extreme” example of what can happen when one adopts an incomplete analytical approach that ignores the merits of the rules and focuses solely on the facts.
March 2
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Richard-if you think that what I wrote equates GH's conduct with civil disobedience then I think you need to read it again.
March 2
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Francine - I think you're omitting an essential part of the analysis.

When considering the appropriateness of sanctions imposed for breaking rules, it is necessary to consider whether the rules are reasonable.

The following is an extreme example of what can happen when that essential step is ignored:

Fact: He is X;
Fact: The sign on the front door of the restaurant says Xs have to sit in their own section.
Fact: He sat in the Y section.
Fact: He knew that only Ys can sit the Y section.
Fact: He isn't presenting any defense.
March 2
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Steve - if you're going to comment on tone, it's curious you'd take up the cause of John, whose opening gambit to Giorgio was the ubiquitous, and quite dismissive ‘seriously’.
March 2
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Alvin -it's disappointing that the Panel will not release the full decision.

I was looking forward to reading that section of the ruling which explains why the sanction applied in the 2019 case - namely the forfeiture of the team's standing/medals - is so different from the sanction that was applied in 2002 in the context of the McConnell Teams.

As I'm sure the WBF recalls, in 2002 Disa - who was a member of the team that won the silver-medal in the McConnell Women's Teams - admitted to having taken a banned substance as part of a weight-loss regime. The substance was dexedrine, which is a stimulant that markedly improves concentration.

(grammar edit)

Only Disa was stripped of her silver medal, and the team results remained unchanged.

Can the Panel explain why a different sanction was applied in the 2019 case?
March 1
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Alvin - I assume the ruling is a public document else the WBF would not have authorized the publication of extracts of same.

It would be useful if the WBF provided a link to the full text of judgment.
March 1
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MR - suggest “of” rather than “from” as 2nd to last word of 2nd stanza.
Feb. 23
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