Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Basketball Things of Note

Coupla basketball things happened this weekend we wanted to note, sorry it took C and R awhile to get around to it, it was mostly because C was sore for two days after going to a friend’s birthday party at the Sky High Trampoline place (Ever play dodge ball on a trampoline? It’s harder than it sounds).

So thing number one, Notre Dame almost, almost beat UConn! The score was 79-76. Ever since that Stanford loss (hee hee), UConn has lost that air of invincibility and teams now believe they can beat UConn. Last year, UConn had so many weapons that could score that most teams went in mentally with a defeatist attitude and the game was decided before it was played. Now teams are requesting the Stanford-UConn tape and going over it with a fine tooth comb.

Thing number two is sadder. Diana Taurasi’s second sample was tested and confirmed to have the banned stimulant modafinil.

ESPN’s Mechelle Voepelgives a good analysis of how these things work:
-Deny taking the drug
-Wait for the B sample to be tested
-If second sample comes back positive, claim the lab is bad
-Then the Athlete denies taking anything on purpose
-Then a hearing and a penalty

However, if Taurasi is banned for more than 6 months, then she may not attend the 2012 Olympics. Bummer.

Getting back to the lab being “bad”, Taurasi and her lawyer do have a case. According to Mechelle, the "Turkish lab that tested Taurasi's samples was suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for a two-month period in 2009 before being accredited again." And ESPN also reports two of Taurasi's teammates on her Turkish team Fenerbahce "have resisted doping tests in Turkey because they also do not trust the lab that tests the samples. Australian player Penny Taylor and Czech teammate Hana Horakova provided samples only after the Turkish federation agreed to send them to Germany for testing at a lab in Cologne."

Diana Taurasi’s contract has now been voided by her Turkish team.

I don't think the girl has gone more than two days without playing basketball since grade school. The irony is she was complaining just last year that she has been playing year around in the WNBA, then overseas where she gets more money and Olympic qualifying games, and that she was tired might need time off… hecka a way to do it.

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