Why Aren't Other Sports Leagues Asking to See the Biogenesis Records?

Mixed martial arts, on the other hand, which is governed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC, does have a commissioner. When Dana White was told there were names of MMA fighters in the Biogenesis document, he said that he hadn't been keeping tabs on the story and that he had "no idea how I'd handle it." Memo to Dana White: Better start thinking of a way to handle it, just in case.

The most intriguing of Fischer's revelations, though, was that there were NCAA athletes associated with his former employer. Does he mean college football players, college basketball, or both? Or possibly college baseball, where an increasing number of major-league players hone their skills before going pro? Given the number of athletes who play college sports, the potential for PED use is staggering--greater than that of all professional sports combined. But as Associated Press reporter Eddie Pells wrote back in 2011, an AP survey of more than 50 schools found that "policies were all over the map - with no consistency or integrated strategy to tie them together."

The NCAA claims to spend more than $5 million annually on drug testing and education in an effort to deter the use of banned substances. But according to their website, "Each NCAA member is responsible for determining whether to establish an institutional drug-testing program, at which time the school would be responsible for determining applicable penalties. If a testing program is established, though, the school is obligated to enforce the penalties. Failure to do so can lead to NCAA sanctions."

I take this to mean that member schools -- a group which includes virtually all accredited colleges in the United States -- are pretty much free to conduct their own testing programs according to their own rules, and only if they fail to adhere to their own standards will the NCAA step in. (How exactly the NCAA finds out that a school hasn't met its own standards isn't clear.) So it seems that the most powerful organization in amateur sports is far more concerned with athletes who make a few bucks on the side selling their own game-used jerseys.

No wonder, then, that the NCAA sent no one to talk to Porter Fischer; they simply assume that if any member school is interested they can give him a call on their own.

Forget about PED use being a problem specific to baseball. If the Biogenesis scandal indicates anything, it's that as far as the use of performance enhancing drugs by professional and amateur athletes goes, we've only seen a tiny portion of what could be in store. If no other sport cares, Major League Baseball would be doing fans, enforcers, and athletes alike a huge favor by making the Biogenesis information public as soon they're done.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Allen Barra writes about sports for the Wall Street Journal and TheAtlantic.com. His next book is Mickey and Willie--The Parallel Lives of Baseball's Golden Age.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

This Short Film Skewers Hollywood, Probably Predicts Disney's Next Hit

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus


A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?


In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.


What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.


How Will Climate Change Affect Cities?

Urban planners and environmentalists predict the future of city life.


The Inner Life of a Drag Queen

A short documentary about cross-dressing, masculinity, identity, and performance


Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.



More in Entertainment

Just In