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AP sources. The NCAA has not tested drugs in championships

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The NCAA has not tested players for March Madness այլ drug boosters at other college championships. Knowing the NCAA test protocols directly, three people said the full-scale trial did not resume after the coronavirus epidemic stopped college sports a year ago.

Although athletes can be tested at university, or through the NCAA or school-based programs, the NCAA has not upgraded its regular testing program to national championships such as men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The tournaments end with the Final Four games, which start on Friday in the women’s semifinals.

The NCAA has been testing drugs since 1986, changing its policies over the years. Unlike some leagues and anti-doping organizations, it does not disclose how many tests it has conducted. Players with a positive test may drop out of the league և may lose a year or more of eligibility.

But three people familiar with the test reports told the AP that the number of tests from NCAA events had dropped to zero last spring when the COVID-19 epidemic was shut down. They said testing had recently resumed on a regular basis, but only through university collections.

People who did not want to use their names because of the sensitivity of the subject all confirmed the same thing! No tests were held on the organization’s signature events, from the women’s basketball tournament to the college football playoffs earlier this year. received NCAA test analysis laboratories.

The NCAA will not answer questions about the specifics of its drug testing program, saying the possibility of unannounced testing could prevent doping. During an e-exchange with the AP, NCAA spokesman Chris Redford did not say whether the players had been tested after arriving in Indianapolis-San Antonio in mid-March.

“We do not approve of drug testing on championship sites, especially when they are ongoing,” he said. NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hayline told the AP in an email. “It would hit the target of our unannounced tests in the championships. “Moreover, we do not announce when we conduct our large-scale testing of undeclared drugs outside the championships.”

This shutdown occurs as the NCAA focuses on testing for coronavirus as a way to keep March madness on track. NCAA President Mark Emert said on Thursday that the association had conducted more than 41,000 COVID-19 tests during basketball tournaments.

Although drug testing in college sports does not receive as much attention as in Olympic sports, the problem has affected large-scale projects.

Three Clemson players have been disqualified for finding a drug that boosts results in the 2018 college football playoffs. In 2015, the NCAA punished the Syracuse basketball program for a number of violations, including failing to follow its own drug testing rules.

The NCAA Drug Test Handbook says: “NCAA Drug Testing is an opportunity on all NCAA Championship stages փուլ sites. However, as a best practice, the NCAA will not say whether the drug will be tested at a specific location.

While unpredictability can be a barrier, some sports officials say not doing the right tests can leave the sport for doping athletes who have won the championship.

“If you don’t really take the test, it can be a weak link,” said Bob Copeland, who cleared a steroid-enhanced football program when he was sporting director at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Copeland said he was talking about doping in general and was not familiar with NCAA rules.

The NCAA was not alone in ending its testing program immediately after the coronavirus outbreak. Sending collectors to collect urine և blood samples was considered too risky, and most US և international testing programs were obscured.

Anti-doping tests were considered too important to stay closed for long periods of time, but as major events such as the Olympics went off schedule, sports organizations began to find new ways to resume testing.

The NCAA may not have wanted to add a collection sample to the mix of people who need to be cleaned up to have close contact with players on the pitch where urine is traditionally collected. It is also possible that the focus was on the NCAA when it invested heavily in COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 protocols. It would normally cost between $ 150 and $ 200 to develop a college sports doping test, with only a handful of players to be tested.

NCAA spokesman Radford told the AP: “The NCAA conducted a drug test in March, in the previous months,” but he did not say whether it was done during the tournament.

College sports have long been criticized for using test protocols that meet the standards set by the Olympics, the NFL or Major League Baseball. The main criticism of colleges is the lack of uniformity. Most punishment testing decisions are left to individual schools, which sometimes write their own rules or, in other cases, follow conference policy.

Copeland said a compromise testing program, in college sports or elsewhere, could lead to obvious inequalities, such as serving to reduce trust in the system.

“It is a matter of justice for pure athletes, of the games on the fence system,” he said. “Maybe they’ll see something like this and think, ‘Maybe next time I’ll roll the dice if they don’t try.'”

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