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All comments by Nick Krnjevic
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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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Congratulations Greg!
I'm sure Arbitrator Haas , among many others, will be delighted to hear this excellent news.
And Arbitrators Anderes and Pinto will have yet another reason to reflect on their eccentric assessment of the weight to be given to which expert's opinion.
Jan. 21
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Jeff and Ray - I think 50E2, read in conjunction with 50E1, 50C and 50D clarifies the meaning to be given to the terms Information derived from a penalty card" and the requirements for playing that penalty card.

The interpretation of these terms provides support for your reading of 50E3.

50E1 and 50E2, when read in conjunction with 50E3, address how the information generated from the face of the penalty card is to be treated before that card is played:

50E1. Information derived from a penalty card and the requirements for playing that penalty card are authorized for all players for as long as the penalty card remains on the table.

50E2. Information derived from a penalty card that has been returned to hand is unauthorized for the partner of the player who had the penalty card (see Law 16C), but authorized for declarer.


I think 50E2 makes it clear that the information derived from a penalty card that is unauthorized to the offender's partner is that his ox holds a card having a specific rank in a known suit.

This information is authorized under 50E1. As discussed below, 50E3 expressly states that 50E1 only applies beforethe penalty card has been played.

50E1's reference to information derived from….the requirements for playing that penalty card can be reasonably interpreted to refer to information gained before the penalty card is played as a result of the application of the rules set out in 50C and 50D which identify, inter alia, the circumstances in which another card can be played before the penalty card is played.

For example, 50C states that When a defender has a minor penalty card, he may not play any other card of the same suit
below the rank of an honor until he has first played the penalty card, but he is entitled to play an honor card instead.


So if, per 50C, the offender first plays an honor card instead of the penalty card, his partner is entitled to use the information gained from seeing that honor card when determining what his next play should be.

By contrast, 50E3 specifically regulates how the information relating to the creation of the penalty card is to be treated after that specific card has been played:

50E3. Once a penalty card has been played, information derived from the circumstances under which it was created is unauthorized for the partner of the player who had the card.(For a penalty card which has not yet been played, see E1 above.)

50E3 is clearly referring to information other than that described in 50E1, else it would have reproduced the language of same. The phrase the “circumstances under which (the penalty card) was created” is an awkward construction, but it seems reasonable to construe same as precluding the offender's partner from acting on the knowledge that the card was not necessarily voluntarily played by his partner.
Jan. 15
Nick Krnjevic edited this comment Jan. 15
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Timo - did the final score exceed the calendar year?
Jan. 13
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N/S were impeccable. E/W bidding is what you'd expect from
players who were a) neophytes,b) color-blind c) post-October 17th Canadians, d) playing in the midnight swiss, or e)recently amnestied.
Jan. 13
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Agreed- but in the *extremely* unlikely event she hadn't passed originally I suspect everyone in the room would still remember the ensuing shock wave :-)
Jan. 12
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