Friday, August 30, 2013

MABRA Drug Testing: Part II

To all who commented--both critically and supportive--on my previous post, thanks.  One thing I regret not writing from the onset:  MABRA is a great community with great members and leadership, and that should come prior to any discussion on a particular choice we made last year.

One criticism I cannot accept: that Paps' glories on the field were somehow not titty tingling good.  In no way was my performance lessened by the absence of competitors such as...

  • Keck? a claim of "Dad legs" holds no water.  Consider superdad Chip Hoover and his many feats of strength performed while changing diapers (the smell was atrocious, but his wins were undeniable).  Keckscuses!  
  • Rugg?  Surely the standard Ruggscuse of " many bears, so little time..." applies.
  • Custer?  Blown out crotch from excessive thrusting to drum 'n bass.  
I'm not even bringing up all the Superfreds I shamed at Hains nor the little Asian girl with the groceries in her basket that I dropped on 15th Street.  My glory as a bike racer knows no bounds outside hilly road races in which I wheel-suck Scott Giles, and definitely not including time trials or Dawg Days, in the MABRA region, in July and August of 2013.

But enough on that.

One criticism I think is justified--I didn't contact USADA and USAC directly for information.  I'd hoped some official person in some official capacity would do this; that was, after all, one of the reasons for Pap's bitterness:  lack of information.  Who was tested?  Where's the money?  How is the program going nationally?

In government, this information is the responsibility of officials to provide.  It is, however, the responsibility of journalists, even crappy bloggers, to elicit.  This means it's my responsibility as a journalist to request--not the responsibility of MABRA leadership or even USAC or USADA.

The critics, I must admit, have a point.

Rightly castigated, Paps resolved to contact USAC's RaceClean organization and get to the bottom of this.  Do something constructive instead of just dominating MABRA like Rugg on a Kodiak brown.  Even if only a dozen people read what I write, I have an obligation to them

So I headed to the RaceClean website again.  I say again, because it's the same site that's been there since March.

RaceClean and the Wizard of Oz
RaceClean's two webpages provide no phone number, no email, no address--no way to contact RaceClean.  This may the case for three reasons:
(1) the organization is simply small and new,
(2) the organization does not wish to be contacted, and/or
(3) there is no organization.

The third explanation is probably the most accurate.  RaceClean doesn't seem to do anything other than redistributing funds.  USADA does the testing and the identifying of riders (as should be the case).  RaceClean simply matches funds from local organizations.  It's essentially an app (or could feasibly be).

As the webpage states:
USADA will conduct the in-competition and out-of-competition testing, as well as any adjudication.  USADA will also select the events and athletes for testing.

Basically, USAC is deflecting.  "Hey, you got a problem?  Talk to those USADA guys."

RaceClean is not an organization (as I'd called it); rather, it should be understood as a fund.

As a fund, RaceClean need not provide information on testing, but they should provide data on funding.  They do not: no data on amount given, no listing of partnering local organizations (such as our own MABRA).  Nothing.  

Posting such data is standard business, nonprofit and government best practice:
-Save the Children's report.
-Wounded Warriors
-Department of State
-Krochet Kids

Even small organizations like Krochet Kids (with revenue of less than $2M) take the time to do this.

RaceClean is, of course, a new organization in its first year, so if we're generous, we can assume this information will be provided in 2014.  If we're less than generous, we can simply assume RaceClean either doesn't care what its partners think, or that RaceClean doesn't know its financial information.  In either case, troubling.

Contact: USAC RaceClean
After some searching I found a link at the bottom of the FAQ page and emailed the recipient, probably a mere webmaster, the following:

There is no contact information on the RaceClean website.
My local organization, Mid-Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association (MABRA), committed funds to the fund, and I'd like to hear back on how those funds were spent.
Where can I find answers?
Thanks, and thanks for helping make bike racing great.
Contact: USADA
I then went to the USADA website, which does have minimal information on financials and testing (in fact, pathetic, in relation to Krochet Kids).  USADA does provide contact information for testing.  I sent them the following email: 

My local organization, Mid-Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association (MABRA), committed funds to the RaceClean testing, and I'd like to hear back on (if?) how USADA used those funds, both in MABRA and nationally. 
Where can I find answers? 
Thanks, and thanks for helping make bike racing great.
Hopefully I'll get some answers.  I'll let you know if I do.


Peter Custer said...

You guys should know that I had to drive the dude (kid) who got tested at Black Hills because his ride bailed on him when he was yanked for testing...went so far as to take his backpack out of the car and leave it sitting in the parking spot. That is either a hilarious story of unreliable bikeracerism or a tragic story of WTF did that have to happen during a drug test for.

Sigberto Garcia said...

MABRA teams may have good leadership, but MABRA leadership (the board?) doesn't do much but skimp a few bucks for every racer registered at each event and keep adding it to a growing pot of gold for a do-very-little non-profit. The money's there, but the supporting programs are not.