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Dr. Paul Wright argues about drug testing/spiking

first_img tremendous increase Drug-testing experts have noticed a tremendous increase in the size, strength, and speed of players in international rugby since the sport went professional in 1995. Surveys done in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa have indicated that among the young, steroid use is much greater than 10 per cent. However, in these countries, there’s a paucity of drug testing in schools and clubs, where the temptation to dope is high, due to the reluctance of doping authorities to test in schools, and the relatively little financial resources to extend testing to clubs, not involved in international competition. In Jamaica, the new and impressive JADCO website gives no indication of testing by sport, so we do not know if rugby is one of the many sports under the scrutiny of the local testing agency. What we do know is that when it comes to doping, there is a very obvious ‘Catch 22’: Take it seriously and catch people (because there are cheats in every area of human activity), or pretend to take it seriously and catch nobody. Do the former and you have a drug problem. do the latter and no problem – until a superstar makes a mistake and the edifice of propriety collapses. British online media have been reporting on the out-of-competition activities of a Jamaican superstar, with a letter writer to a Jamaican newspaper wondering about the possibility of the superstar imbibing ‘spiked’ drinks at one of the establishments where he has been filmed. This concern ties in with the allegation in Jamaica that sporting superstars have been known to order take-out food in their own name and personally come to pick it up minutes later. The national disaster that would accompany a subsequent test that revealed an adverse analytical finding in a test done after a meal spiked by (paid) accomplices of jealous competitors would demand that JADCO-sponsored seminars re the dangers of using banned substances and supplements be mandatory for elite athletes, with serious sanctions for those who consistently ‘have other engagements’ when these seminars are put on. No one wants to curtail the fun of any young sports superstar, but the fact that young, rich stars attract friends with ulterior motives cannot and must not be overstressed and ignored. A word to the wise is sufficient. The World Championships in rugby enters its knockout stage this week, with the main stories focusing on the capitulation of the England team to Australia in a dramatic win-or-go-home match, thus becoming the first host to be eliminated from the competition before the quarter-finals; and the claims by a 20-year-old British player, Daniel Spencer-Tonks, that doping “is widespread” in the sport. Spencer-Tonks is a former under-15 international player, who was caught using the banned steroid stanozolol in February this year and who received a four-year ban from the United Kingdom Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD). As can be expected, the anti-doping testers in rugby in Britain have trotted out their statistics to reveal that of all the tests done, in and out of competition, only about 10 per cent reveal adverse analytical findings. They also state that more than 50 per cent of their tests are based on information received (target testing). This contrast (‘widespread doping’ versus ‘less than 10 per cent of tests positive’) highlights the belief that a significant percentage of sportsmen (and women) throughout all sports are using dope to cope with the demands of professional sports.last_img read more

AllCash Sales Hover Near OneThird of Transactions

first_imgAll-Cash Sales Hover Near One-Third of Transactions All-cash Credit Availability Home Prices Home Sales Redfin 2014-05-26 Scott_Morgan May 26, 2014 445 Views The mortgage meltdown and its somewhat predictable fallout—tighter regulations that ensure such a crisis cannot recur but choke lending and borrowing at the source—have led to an equally inevitable outcome: a glut in cash sales for homes. A recent report by Redfin shows that in 17 metro markets in the United States, a full third of sales this year have been all-cash deals. And that figure has been essentially flat since 2011.Moreover, financed purchases are still way down from their 2000 peak, when 800,000 homes were mortgage buys. By 2011, that number plunged to 440,000 and only recovered to 520,000 in 2013.The all-cash economy kicked off in earnest in 2007 as the national housing market walked off a cliff. It grew steadily through the next few years. Redfin attributes the steadiness of the all-cash phenomenon to tightened lending regulations, but also to the lowered inventory in most areas.Redfin also cites investor purchases as a reason the all-cash figures have been so steady, though investor purchases have waned this year. Redfin’s figures are notably lower than those released by RealtyTrac earlier this month. That firm found that all-cash deals comprised 42 percent of U.S. residential sales so far this year. However, RealtyTrac measured sales in more than 17 metros.The largest effect of the all-cash deal, of course, is on competition for buyers. Sellers typically prefer cash deals because they come with shorter waits, fewer complications, and a much lower chance that financing will fall through. Most of the competition, according to Redfin, lies outside of the $200,000-to-$600,000 market. This middle range accounts for roughly half of all home sales and is the most active for mortgage financing, as buyers either don’t have enough money to buy outright in this range or can afford to buy higher-end properties.Miami leads the metros in Redfin’s all-cash-sales capitals, where 64 percent of homes were bought without financing. In the $50,000-to-$100,000 range, 87 percent of homes in Miami were all-cash deals so far this year. Miami’s closest competition is Las Vegas, where 80 percent of sales in that same range were all cash. Almost half of Vegas’ overall sales so far this year have been cash.The Beltway has the lowest all-cash numbers so far this year. Baltimore and Washington, D.C., have had, respectively, 21 and 20 percent all-cash deals overall, though Washington saw three-quarters of its $50,000-to-$100,000 purchases made with cash. Denver tied with Baltimore for an overall 21 percent non-financed sales.center_img Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, Newslast_img read more