Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

Does life start when the egg is laid?

April 9, 2017

Birds and reptiles (and the duck billed platypus which is a mammal), lay eggs for their offspring. Their only interaction of the parents with the egg after it is laid is to keep predators away and to incubate it – which is often done by the male. The development of the embryo in the egg requires no nourishment or any biological intervention from the parents.

In the case of a chicken’s development, the egg when laid consists of a minuscule embryo (0.0002 grams) and nutrients. The chick hatches when the nutrients have been consumed and its weight has increased to about 30-31 grams.

Image result for development of a chicken egg

from EnchantedLearning.com

Is the chick alive when the egg is laid?

One could argue that the embryo at that point is not yet deserving of the label “chick”. But I think there is no rational way in which to question that “life” has definitely started by the time the fertilised egg is laid. In the case of humans a fertilised egg is called a “zygote” until it has implanted itself (about 6 -10 days after conception) in the wall of the womb. It is then called an “embryo”. It is called a “fetus” only from 8 weeks after conception and remains a “fetus” till the birth of a “child”. Just as a “chick” only emerges after egg hatching, a human “child” only emerges after birth. But in both cases life, life has begun much earlier. By the time a hen lays an egg, the genetic identity of the embryo in the egg has already been fixed. The unique genetic identity whether for chicken or for human is actually fixed when conception occurs. The implantation of a human zygote in the wall of the womb is the corresponding point when an embryo is defined. The genetic identity of the embryo has then been well established and the life of a unique identity has clearly begun.

An individual human time line is then not so complicated as the Great Abortion Debate would make it to be:

0: Conception: Genetic identity is established. Life begins as a zygote.

+2: Implantation in the womb: Life continues as an embryo.

+8: Life continues as a fetus

+40: Life continues as a child.

+1340: Child becomes adult when brain development is complete

+4720 (approximately): Life of that unique identity ends


The time when a unique identity is established and life begins is quite simply defined and the Great Abortion Debate is actually about the ethics of terminating that life at different times during its existence. It is trying to make an ethical distinction between breaking an egg for a breakfast omelette or killing a chicken for a roast dinner. (But note also that many vegetarians eat eggs but a chicken eater is never considered a vegetarian). Abortion, infanticide, murder or euthanasia are just labels for different times at which life is to be terminated. Abortion always kills a fetus (not a child) and infanticide always kills a child (not a fetus). But whether it is a zygote which fails to implant itself, or a fetus which is aborted, or a child killed for being the wrong gender, or an aged person being assisted to die, it is the same life, the same identity, which is terminated.

And, I note, ethics are always personal and cannot be imposed by a society on someone. But a society can always exclude someone from the club for not complying with its ethical code.

This Slate article unnecessarily complicates the matter only to try and justify a particular ethical view.

When Does Life Begin? It’s Not So Simple

It actually is just that simple. A unique genetic identity and life are established with conception.


 

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Did Jeb Bush commission the Trump fake report? and was it “laundered” by John McCain?

January 12, 2017

Fake news needs “laundering” for it to gain legs.

The Obama birther story was first started by Hillary Clinton’s supporters when she was standing against him in the Democratic primaries in 2008. It then took on a life of its own.

Now it seems the fake and scurrilous report about Donald Trump may have been commissioned from a former British intelligence officer as part of Jeb Bush’s efforts during the Republican primaries. To make it even more intriguing it may be that the fake report was passed through John McCain to the FBI – a sort of “laundering” of fake news to give it a semblance of authority. Whether McCain did it knowingly or was duped into the laundering exercise is unknown.

Of course CNN then played their part in “laundering” the fake news though that involvement is very likely intentional.

Reuters:

Christopher Steele, who wrote reports on compromising material Russian operatives allegedly had collected on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, is a former officer in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, according to people familiar with his career.

Former British intelligence officials said Steele spent years under diplomatic cover working for the agency, also known as MI-6, in Russia and Paris and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. After he left the spy service, Steele supplied the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with information on corruption at FIFA, international soccer’s governing body. It was his work on corruption in international soccer that lent credence to his reporting on Trump’s entanglements in Russia, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. ……

……. Steele was initially hired by FusionGPS, a Washington, DC-based political research firm, to investigate Trump on behalf of unidentified Republicans who wanted to stop Trump’s bid for the GOP nomination. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that Steele was initially hired by Jeb Bush, one of Trump’s 16 opponents in the 2016 Republican primary. It was not immediately possible to verify the BBC’s report. ……

He was kept on assignment by FusionGPS after Trump won the nomination and his information was circulated to Democratic Party figures and members of the media. 

Steele’s dealings with the FBI on Trump, initially with the senior agent who had started the FIFA probe and then moved to a post in Europe, began in July. However, Steele cut off contact with the FBI about a month before the Nov. 8 election because he was frustrated by the bureau’s slow progress.  

And then we have McCain’s involvement.

Breitbart: 

Wednesday on CNN addressing media reports that he had turned over a dossier containing unverified claims about Russia and President-elect Donald Trump, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said, “I don’t know if it’s credible or not but I thought the information deserved to be delivered to the FBI, the appropriate agency of government.”

Partial transcript as follows:

MCCAIN: After looking at that information I took it to the FBI and have had no further involvement with it at issue. By the way, according to some media reports they already had that information, but I didn’t know that at the time. I did what any citizen would do, received sensitive information and then handed it over to the proper government agency and had nothing else to do with it.

Very commendable on the face of it but unlikely to be as innocent as all that.


 

CNN and Buzzfeed (fake news and garbage) have just shot themselves

January 12, 2017

“CNN and Buzzfeed” go together like “fake news and garbage”.

Buzzfeed provides the raw, unsorted garbage and CNN gives it the fake “news” label. But in their eagerness to attack Trump (CNN well deserves the label of being the “Clinton News Network”) they may have just provided Trump with all the justification he needs to sanction them. As lobby groups they really can no longer be considered “News Media”. They have dissipated and no longer deserve the protection that is due to journalistic activity since they have are engaged, now, primarily in advocacy rather than journalism. There are many other advocacy groups masquerading as purveyors of objective news. But most others provide a mix of advocacy and journalism. CNN sticks out as being particularly far removed from genuine journalism. CNN, from my own observations, has been consistently guilty of “politically correct” propaganda at least since the first Gulf War with the elder Bush. To my mind Blitzer (especially) and Amanpour and Tapper and their like are fatally tainted as journalists. At least Zakaria is openly a leftist advocate and does not pretend to be a journalist. CNN lost its objectivity and the skepticism necessary for quality journalism a long time ago.

This time they may have shot themselves in a much more vital area than the foot.

“CNN is fake news”

has a ring of truth about it.

This from Politico which is not particularly friendly to Trump though it has not been quite as rabid and shameless in its “politically correct” propaganda as CNN and WaPo and HuffPo

Politico: 

The best thing that happened to Donald Trump all week is that BuzzFeed published the raw Russia dossier about him.

It can’t be pleasant for anyone to see his name associated with prostitutes and a bizarre sex act in print, not even Donald Trump, who presumably has a higher tolerance for this kind of thing than the average human being, since he has lived and thrived knee-deep in tabloid muck for decades. But in the media’s ongoing fight with Donald Trump, BuzzFeed’s incredible act of journalistic irresponsibility represented the press leading with its chin. ……… 

……. BuzzFeed played right into his hands. There are legitimate questions raised about how determined Trump has been to ignore evidence of Russia’s hacking operations prior to the election. But BuzzFeed did more to obscure and discredit these questions than Trump Tower could ever hope to. By publishing the uncorroborated dossier, BuzzFeed has associated the Russia issue with fantastical rumors and hearsay.

Its decision to post the document has to be considered another chapter in the ongoing saga of the media and Democrats losing their collective minds. If the election had gone the other way, it is hard to see BuzzFeed publishing a 35-page document containing unverified, lurid allegations about President-elect Hillary Clinton that it didn’t consider credible. This was an anti-Trump decision, pure and simple.

It created a media firestorm, but everyone should realize by now that media firestorms are Trump’s thing. They have been literally since the day he got into the presidential race. They suck the oxygen away from everything except the transfixing melodrama surrounding Donald Trump. The question is always, “How can he possibly escape this?” And at the center of attention, vindicating his own honor and that of his supporters by proxy, he always does.

cnn-fake


 

The UN Swamp: French troops get away with sexual abuse while on UN duty

January 5, 2017

The UN tried to cover it up and it was only due to the revelations by a UN official which revealed the 90 cases of sexual harassment by French troops on UN duty. The whistle-blower was Anders Kompass who was director of field operations at the UN human rights office in Geneva. He was suspended and hounded by the “swamp” of the rotten UN bureaucracy and though he was exonerated he resigned from the UN last June. The predatory sexual behaviour of the French troops was beyond disgusting.

NYTimes:

For five months, an unknown number of people in the French forces, sent to protect civilians from the violence tearing the country apart, forced boys to perform oral sex on them, according to testimonies collected by the United Nations. The boys, aged 9 to 15, said they had sometimes been lured with the promise of military rations.

Now, nearly a year after the allegations came to light, no one has been charged, let alone punished.

It is now reported by AP that the French who were investigating their own troops have now decided that nobody will be prosecuted.

No charges in inquiry of child sex abuse by French troops

The Paris prosecutor’s office says an investigation into alleged child sexual abuse by French soldiers in Central African Republic has concluded without anyone being charged. Spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Leroux said Thursday the investigation formally ended last month. She declined to elaborate.

French newspaper Le Monde reported that the decision stemmed from insufficient “elements” to press charges. Several boys told United Nations investigators they were sexually abused by French troops in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, in May and June 2014. Fourteen French soldiers reportedly were suspected of being involved. The sexual abuse allegedly took place in or near a camp for displaced people near M’Poko airport.

The French defense ministry did not immediately comment.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said he understands that it’s now up to the prosecutor to decide whether to go forward, following the submission of results from the investigative judges. “So obviously we’ll keep an eye on this,” Dujarric said. “But as we’ve said, it is the responsibility of member states to fully investigate and hopefully prosecute crimes. The fight against impunity for these horrendous actions has to be a partnership between the U.N. and member states.”

Under Ban Ki-Moon the swamp at the UN became particularly murky and rotten. Not just the cholera which the UN introduced to Haiti killing almost 10,000 but also financial wrongdoings and sexual predation. In every case the UN – as an institution – has tried to cover up. Probably less than 10% of wrongdoing at the UN ever comes to light.

There isn’t just a swamp in Washington. There is one much larger and much more rotten at the UN.


How The Lancet creates, and the UN spreads, lies — Hans Rosling in The Lancet

October 14, 2016

The UN can only mirror its member countries. While the UN (and for example the EU) are supposed to try and “level up” they very often “level down”. When that happens they disseminate “worst practices” rather than spread “best practices”. The UN’s executive and officers and bureaucrats are not either immune to the corruptions of being in privileged and protected positions. They also disseminate lies when advocating for their pet projects or causes. The problem is that when lies are sanctioned by the UN they take on a sanctity which is downright harmful.

Professor Hans Rosling and Helena Nordenstedt take the UN to task for spreading lies in a new comment to The Lancet. But they also point out the lie was first created in The Lancet itself and suggest that The Lancet should not publish advocacy articles without peer review.

rosling-lancet

They write

In September, 2016, at the UN General Assembly, the Independent Accountability Panel (IAP) of the UN’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health presented their first report. The IAP report states that 60% of maternal deaths today take place in humanitarian settings, specified as “conflict, displacement and natural disaster”The “60%” has been trending in development aid advocacy ever since late 2015 when UNFPA stated that 60% of maternal deaths happen in “humanitarian situations like refugee camps”. The 60% has even made its way into policy documents and discourse. The only health data mentioned in the proposed policy framework for Sweden’s future international development cooperation are: “60% of maternal deaths take place in humanitarian emergencies”. We chased the origin of this seemingly incorrect percentage. We found it to be a Comment published in The Lancet, referring to the published underlying data sources and to a grey publication describing the crude calculation that yielded the 60%.

……..

We conclude that the “60%” is a fourfold inaccuracy. It is surprising that, in just 1 year, the false percentage made its way to a highly qualified panel at the UN. Global health seems to have entered into a post-fact era, where the labelling of numerators is incorrectly tweaked for advocacy purposes. The reproductive health needs in humanitarian settings should be reported without hiding that most maternal deaths still occur in extreme poverty. As recently noted in The Lancet, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, spoke the truth when stating that the real causes of maternal and child deaths are poverty, inequality, lack of financing, and poor governance.  The use of inaccurate numbers in global health advocacy can misguide where investments are most needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. We, therefore, suggest The Lancet should only publish advocacy material after due referee procedures.


 

Alfred Nobel must be spinning in his grave as his Peace Prize is politicized, degraded and disgraced

October 7, 2016

UPDATE:

Well the Norwegian committee has done it again.

The President of Colombia has got the award for a deal with FARC which has been rejected by a Colombian referendum. No doubt the President has good intentions but it is a deal which  the Colombian opposition thinks is too soft and which rewards terrorism.

The Peace prize – and which would have been much too Alfred Nobel’s undoubted disgust – has little moral credibility as a consequence of a supine committee.


This years Peace Prize will be announced today and I don’t expect anything very sensible.

Extract from Nobel’s will:  to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.

portrait of Alfred Nobel by Gösta Florman

portrait of Alfred Nobel by Gösta Florman

The Norwegian committee which chooses the award winners has allowed itself to be dominated by “political correctness” and hopes and anticipations rather than on actual achievements. Neither the letter nor the spirit of Nobel’s will has been followed. Though the choice of Nobel peace laureates has always been controversial, in recent times these choices have become downright stupid. Gandhi was nominated four times but never chosen. My ire is not against the laureates but the stupidity of the committee and the manner in which Nobel’s intentions have been denigrated and discarded.

Some of the most blatant recent examples of idiocy have been:

  • Barack Obama
  • the European Union
  • Menachem Begin,
  • Yasser Arafat,
  • Lê Đức Thọ,
  • Henry Kissinger,
  • Al Gore and the IPCC

Barack Obama receiving the award when he was just 9 months into his presidency was a travesty. If the award was based on wishful thinking of what he might achieve, then the following seven years have shown how wrong the committee could be. (History may well record Obama as a “war president” and as someone who helped caused chaos in the Middle East and nurtured and nourished ISIS). Menachem Begin, and even though he became an accomplished statesman in his later years, was perhaps the first modern world leader who used and legitimized terror as a tool of diplomacy. The European Union may have prevented major war in the heartlands of Europe but was (and is) heavily complicit in the Balkans conflict, in creating regime change and the chaos in North Africa, in fooling Ukraine into false hopes and provoking the Russian annexation of the Crimea and (with the US) in nurturing and nourishing ISIS.

The Norwegian committee has now started awarding the prize to organisations (IPCC, TNDQ, EU, OPCW). This is not only directly against Nobel’s wishes that it be awarded to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work…”, it also dilutes the award into nothingness (homeopathy of peace awards) and is meaningless.

Alfred Nobel in his grave must feel like a whirling dervish.


 

Airbnb discriminates against blacks in the US (and in Sweden as well)

October 3, 2016

airbnb

First a new paper to be published in the American Economic Journal:

Edelman et al, Racial Discrimination in the Sharing Economy: Evidence from a Field Experiment 

PDF airbnb-guest-discrimination-2016-09-16

In an experiment on Airbnb, we find that applications from guests with distinctively African-American names are 16% less likely to be accepted relative to identical guests with distinctively White names. Discrimination occurs among landlords of all sizes, including small landlords sharing the property and larger landlords with multiple properties. It is most pronounced among hosts who have never had an African-American guest, suggesting only a subset of hosts discriminate. While rental markets have achieved significant reductions in discrimination in recent decades, our results suggest that Airbnb’s current design choices facilitate discrimination and raise the possibility of erasing some of these civil rights gains.

The same story is repeated in Sweden.

Swedish Radio:

Rental service Airbnb – which provides private rooms and apartments for guests all over the world – has problems with discrimination.

Tim Davis from New York tried to book an apartment through the service in Stockholm last summer, but was denied by the 15 hosts. He believes that it has something to do with that he is black. “I sent out 15 different requests and they all said no, but I also noted that the dates were still on the site”, said Tim Davis from New York.

After having contacted 15 hosts on Airbnb in Stockholm but had been rejected by everyone, Tim Davis, who himself is an Airbnb host in New York, started to suspect that the reason that all the hosts denied him to hire his skin color. “I’ve never been in Sweden, so I began to investigate. Is it okay to go there? Will there be problems? Will there be a big problem for me to be there as the black man?”

In the US, this issue has received much attention this year, partly due to a scientific study by Harvard University showed that it is easier to get rental accommodations through Airbnb, if you have a name that is common among white Americans than if you have a name that is common among African Americans.

But we wanted to know if this is also a problem in Sweden and made our own small survey where we borrowed several black and white people’s Airbnb accounts. With the help of the black persons’ accounts, we asked 200 Airbnb hosts in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö about their places were vacant on specific dates. More than half of the respondents said yes. But when we asked those who had said no again from an account that belongs to one of the white test subjects, nearly one in three hosts said instead that the apartment was vacant.

So here are what some of the hosts said when a black person asked:

“No sorry, friends are coming to visit”.

“Unfortunately, we will not be home on these dates”

“No, unfortunately,  the accommodation is not available, we had forgotten to change the dates. “

And this is how the hosts responded when we let a white person repeat the question:

“-You are more than welcome!”

“We will arrange that, what time are you coming on Friday?”

“Absolutely, it works well. Welcome!”

Process Manager Martin Dark at the Equality Ombudsman’s Office  said about the test: “It’s difficult to say something about the individual cases but as it looks there appears to be a problem. Typically, private behaviour is protected from discrimination legislation, but in this case when you have advertised on a commercial site with the purpose of making money, these people may be guilty of discrimination.”

– As anti-discrimination law stands today, it is values that are responsible for it. …….

……. Airbnb declined to participate in an interview …… but says that discrimination is unacceptable and that it will take action if guests report that they encountered discrimination.

Discriminate is what homo sapiens do. To discriminate is the automatic consequence of thought.

This kind of discrimination may be “deplorable” but I am not sure that forcing people – by legal coercion – to disregard or abandon their own values is not equally deplorable. You may not agree with someone’s values but to force them to adopt yours is either oppression of the individual or it is brainwashing.

To pay tax you don’t owe is just incompetence

October 2, 2016

I note that the NY Times is busy attacking Trump for offsetting tax on profits against past losses. Which of course is something the NY Times is itself very quick to do when it can. As Forbes reported in January this year:

New York Times Hypocrisy On Corporate Taxes Reaches Record High

……. More recently, for tax year 2014, The New York Times paid no taxes and got an income tax refund of $3.5 million even though they had a pre-tax profit of $29.9 million in 2014. In other words, their post-tax profit was higher than their pre-tax profit. The explanation in their 2014 annual report is, “The effective tax rate for 2014 was favorably affected by approximately $21.1 million for the reversal of reserves for uncertain tax positions due to the lapse of applicable statutes of limitations.” If you don’t think it took fancy accountants and tax lawyers to make that happen, read the statement again. …….

There is much hypocrisy about taxes and tax-paying. To pay more tax than the tax code demands is all about incompetence – not about ethics.

I wrote in December 2015;

Tax avoidance is a measure of the incompetence of the lawmaker and the competence of the taxpayer

…. As law-abiding individuals and companies, we calculate and pay our taxes according to the rules that prevail. We use all available rules of allowable deductions and off-sets and deferred taxes and tax-breaks to minimise the amount of personal assets that are to be confiscated by the State. We use accountants and experts to navigate the complexities and intricacies of tax legislation. No individual is ever expected to pay more than the prevailing rules require. Any individual who does pay more than required, and assuming his perfectly rational objective is to minimise the tax to be payed, is fundamentally incompetent. Any company which pays more tax than it should also demonstrates incompetence and is not demonstrating due care of its investors’ assets.

Individuals and corporations are not required or expected to pay more than what is due under the rules prevailing. The issue of ethics is in play when the rules are formulated and is also involved in the following of the rules. The act of payment is an ethical issue but minimisation of tax due is a matter of competence, not of ethics. Paying more taxes than are due demonstrates incompetence and gains no ethical credits. So when there is criticism of companies for “not paying enough tax”, the real failure is with the politicians who have made the deficient rules – not with the individuals or companies who have followed the prevailing rules to their own best advantage.

Back in January 2015 I was also exercised about the sanctimonious clap-trap that wealth inequality gives rise to:

Wealth inequality: The poor are not poor “because” the rich are rich

Most people on the left of the political divide want more to be taken from the rich to be “given” to the poor. The Robin Hood syndrome. Note that when the intention is to “give to the poor” and not for “making the poor greater creators of wealth”, the driving force is mainly envy. It is when the desire to deprive the rich is more important than any desire to improve the lot of the poor. Concern is over-ridden by envy. Sometimes it seems to me that the real difference between left and right is that the left wants to spread the consumption of existing wealth (and hope that total wealth increases), while the right want to focus on creating wealth (and hope that it trickles down and gets equitably distributed).

But there is a fundamental fallacy in the view that the poor are poor because the rich are rich. There may well be some of the rich who are exploiting some of the poor and where the poor are not getting a just opportunity to be creators of wealth. There may well be members of the rich who create no wealth but remain rich because of inherited wealth. But by far the greatest majority of the rich are rich because they created more wealth than others. The real question is whether each individual gets an equitable opportunity to create wealth and then gets to retain an equitable portion of the wealth he has created. (It is a different matter but I still do not understand why it is the creation and the retention of wealth that attracts more penalties in the form of taxation than the destruction or consumption of wealth).

I incline to the view that taxation as it is practiced today by most states is fundamentally immoral. It is in fact an act of confiscation. This I wrote in February 2015.

On the legitimacy and morality of taxation

I am persuaded that the concept of taxation as practised today is immoral. It is fundamentally a coercion of an individual by a larger (stronger) society. It is an enforced confiscation (by threat of legal action) of an individual’s property or wealth. It cannot be seen as a membership fee for being a member of the society because leaving (or being expelled from) the society is not an option. It is closer to the extortion of “protection money” than to the membership dues for a golf club. The use to which the funds are put is irrelevant. The key point is whether the payment is voluntary or coerced. When early Christians paid a “tithe” to the Church voluntarily it was not immoral. But when the payment was coerced and no longer voluntary, the system became immoral. Similarly Islam requires the payment of zakat on individual wealth over the minimum nisab and this also shifted from a quite unexceptionable and moral voluntary payment to become an obligatory and immoral coercive confiscation.

I don’t quarrel with the need for any society to generate “common funds” to improve the well being of that society. But the legitimacy of appropriating the funds lies only in that the society (state) is stronger than the individual. Might becomes right. I come to the conclusion that a tax code by which the amount a “good citizen”should contribute to society is calculated is quite moral as long as the payment is then voluntary. There would be no moral issue if all taxation was voluntary. The immorality lies in the use of threat or force to confiscate the payment. It is the oppression of the minority by the majority which is immoral. (I observe that all democracies use the very fact of being a “democracy” as being a justification for the oppression of minorities when that is the will of the majority. As if being in the majority – by and of itself – ensures proper behaviour). But, the good socialist will argue, compulsory payment of tax is necessary to ensure the funds for the common good. Without coercion society as a whole would suffer. The common good – as seen by the majority – is worth the oppression of the minority who do not pay their dues.

And so we come full circle. The end justifies the means. Oppression of the minority by a majority is acceptable for the good of the majority. A society must be able to use force and coercion against its own minorities for the greater good. Taxation is made legitimate only because the state is stronger than the individual.


 

When “star” athletes are permitted to dope and get a dispensation to cheat

September 25, 2016

UPDATE: Guardian article (see below).


Following on from my previous post, the BBC had this today. It reduces even further the very little confidence I have in WADA and the way in which the “sporting establishment” have permitted “stars” to cheat.

Of course these doped up athletes could do nothing wrong because they were officially permitted to “do wrong”.

Legal but unfair.

Compliant but unethical.

BBC: 

Sir Bradley Wiggins has insisted he was not trying to gain an “unfair advantage” from being allowed to use a banned steroid before major races. 

The Olympic cyclist told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show he took the powerful anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone for allergies and respiratory problems.

Sir Bradley said he sought therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to “put himself back on a level playing field”.

TUEs allow the use of banned substances if athletes have genuine medical need.

Sir Bradley’s TUEs were approved by British authorities and cycling’s world governing body, the UCI.

What is worse is the manner in which the licence to dope is justified:

Sir Hugh Robertson, vice-chairman of the British Olympic Association, told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek:Whatever you think about whether he should have been allowed to do this, the fact is the anti-doping rules at the time allowed him to do so”.

If Bradley Wiggins had not been a star, and from a “sporting power”, I wonder if he would have got dispensation to cheat.


Epilog: 26th September

The article in today’s Guardian is more of the same but it seems pretty clear that Bradley Wiggins was given official sanction to “cheat” by the UK cycling authorities.

Guardian: …… which invited more questions than it answered in dealing with the trio of therapeutic use exemptions granted to Wiggins in 2011, 2012 and 2013 to allow him to take the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone, for legitimate medical reasons before his biggest races of the season. …….

…….. “This was to cure a medical condition. This wasn’t about trying to find a way to gain an unfair advantage; this was about putting myself back on a level playing field in order to compete at the highest level,” Wiggins said, explaining why he had received an injection for 40mg of triamcinolone just before his triumphant 2012 Tour.

He said he had “really struggled” with respiratory problems in the run-up to the 2012 Tour one of the high points even among so many in that golden summer for British sport. But he did not really explain how that tallied with the account he gave in 2012 in his autobiography.

Then, Wiggins said: “I’d done all the work, I was fine-tuned. I was ready to go. My body was in good shape. I’m in the form of my life. I was only ill once or twice with minor colds, and I barely lost a day’s training from it.” 

Nor did he really manage to explain the contradiction between the “no needles” rhetoric espoused in the same book and the fact he received injections of a powerful drug just before the biggest races of his life; nor the fact that he has never discussed the TUEs in any of his books or since. His contention that he believed questions on needles to refer exclusively to doping is similarly hard to countenance.

It is time for WADA to be open about all athletes who have TUE’s. It’s difficult not to be cynical.


 

Remarkable how so many top athletes take asthma medication

September 23, 2016

When top athletes get out of breath while competing it is called “Exercise Induced Asthma”. Getting out of breath is surely a consequence of the athlete’s physical condition and it seems to me that EIA is an entirely invented medical condition. This allows them to get a “therapeutic use exemption” (TUE) and then use asthma medicine to improve their breathing. The TUE is effectively being used as a doping licence. Why inventing a “medical condition” and then using drugs is not considered cheating is beyond me.

tue-doping-licence

tue-doping-licence

Daily Mail: Six more Team GB athletes have had their medical data leaked by a group of Russian hackers calling themselves the Fancy Bears. In the latest batch of data stolen from the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Fancy Bears list the therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) granted to 41 athletes.

The British athletes were revealed as sprinter Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, sailors Sophie Ainsworth and Saskia Clark, rower Richard Chambers, cyclist Steve Cummings and gymnast Nile Wilson. As with the vast majority of the previous batches, all six of these athletes have been allowed to take medication for their asthma via inhalers.

The drugs in question have since been removed from WADA’s banned list and therefore no longer need any special permission for their use.

Among the international athletes in this batch – the largest so far – are Swiss cycling star Fabian Cancellara, American golfer Patrick Reed and US distance runner Galen Rupp. 

Team GB now accounts for 23 of the 107 athletes named by the Fancy Bears, with top names such as Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins among those targeted. 

Under pressure from out of breath athletes and their trainers, these asthma inhalers are no longer banned.  WADA may as well remove all restrictions on all drugs.

I find WADA hypocritical. The acronym could just be for the “World Approved Drugs Association”.



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