I cannot figure out the psyche behind the athletes who dope. The two most recent positive testers are Riccado Ricco in Tour de France and Mohammed Asif in cricket. Ricco was unknown to me before the tour started, but since then, as I saw him win a couple of spectacular stages, I was impressed. If I am not mistaken, the Tour tests the stage winners, the jersey holders besides random tests and anyone whose performance gives rise to suspicion.
That leads to the following questions.
Do the riders believe they won't be caught despite the fact that the tour is one of the better tested events now?
Do the riders want the 2 minutes of fame though it is actually notoriety they ulimately get?
Are they trying to outsmart the system, but ocassionally get caught?
How did Ricco not get caught in prior 2 wins in Giro d'Italia?
I do think that the tour is trying to do their best now, but it seems to be falling short. What else can the tour do to clean up the sport?
The second part is Asif - besides his own responsiblity and PCB's mis-handling, I find that I hold the IPL and the Daredevils team responsible as well. When prior offenders like Akthar, Asif and even Warne are picked up at a premium, the franchises and the IPL are doing it out of one of two motives.
-They believe they have reformed or were innocent in the first place.
-They are willing to turn a blind eye and take the risk of their getting caught.
If we assume they take the first case, have they done anything to verify that the first scenario is true - have they asked them to take dope tests prior to joining the team? Have they sent them a message saying it won't be acceptable? Have they said they they will conduct independent tests and their contract is dependent on that? I doubt that, and therefore I believe they are willing to look the other way.
In case of the second option, I think that the IPL and other franchises, should insist that a team with a repeat offender (whether they are caught in the IPL or not), should not be allowed to replace the player for the duration of the players contract if a player is banned. As of now they can take the risk of hiring a doper with no consequences. Perhaps if the team was banned for the participation in the next year's IPL, it would be enough of a detterent for the teams to more actively discourage doping.
This leads to the issue of the boards, ICC etc. Do they give any guidance to the young players? (who have learnt a lot from Asif, Aktar etc - as per the IPL interviews). You wonder what they may learn directly or indirectly. Have they been told what to do if exposed to drugs or to bookies? If not there is no point is blaming them down the road.
Lastly, sports should be all about "the spirit". I still remember reading about Luz Long's wonderful gesture towards Jesse Owens with Hitler watching and I doubt that if I had been in the same position I would have made the same choice . In cricket with the Wicketkeepers Walkers Club (co-founders Gilly and Sanga), the spirit still flourishes. Dopers and match-fixers be removed from the game as early as possible - or eventually sports will lose to the Ekta Kapoor bandwagon.