Little NCAA Role in Biogenesis Scandal

This is certainly the type of lede that will get people all worked up about about a hot new college sports scandal:

Athletes in the NCAA, tennis, boxing and MMA also received drugs from Bosch, according to Fischer.

But do not expect this to reverberate too much through college athletics. The big NCAA penalties, losing a season of competition and sitting out for a year, only come if an athlete tests positive in an NCAA-administered drug test.

If an institution learns through its own drug testing or gets other information that a student-athlete has used a banned substance, this bylaw applies:

A member institution’s athletics department staff members or others employed by the intercollegiate athletics program who have knowledge of a student-athlete’s use at any time of a substance on the list of banned drugs, as set forth in Bylaw 31.2.3.4, shall follow institutional procedures dealing with drug abuse or shall be subject to disciplinary or corrective action as set forth in Bylaw 19.5.

So all the institution is required to do is put the athlete through its own drug policy, which may be even less severe without a positive test.

Athletes who might have received or purchased performance-enhancing drugs from Biogenesis are more likely to be in trouble with the law than anyone else. But any major impact in college sports is more likely to be longer-term, say through reform of drug policy to address situations where there is evidence an athlete used a banned substance, but no positive test.

Posted on by John Infante
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