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Stuttgart Worlds: the Show Goes On

A recurring theme over the past two months has been German outrage over doping. Much of it is hard to stomach, sounding as it does like Captain Reynaud (I'm shocked...SHOCKED! to find there's gambling going on here). Not that doping isn't a paramount concern, but nobody seemed too worried about Jan Ullrich's super powers, or that there might be a legacy from the Iron Curtain sports programs that took place in their eastern half for so long.

Still, it's nice to hear that the city of Stuttgart, host to this year's world championships, has come to its $en$es and decided not to pull funding from the event -- an act that would have probably killed this year's Worlds (and cost them $4mil already invested, but that's just a coincidence). Instead, they've come up with a solution to satisfy the political interests involved: let's test the living daylights out of everyone!

If there's a bigger story here, it's the addiction to testing. Enforcement is obviously useful, but testing is often abused by the various administrative bodies in the sport as a way of saying a) we're doing all we can and b) everyone passed so the problem is solved. Stuttgart is a one-off event, so maybe it's not important, but as the politicians of various countries get involved in sports doping, one would hope they will take a longer look at things like deterrence, changing the culture, penalties, etc., and not just fall back on the easy answer of test, test, test.