Paul, the fine came from the IWF, not WADA. They can do that because it was an international competition. I've heard of larger fines, but those were for steriods. I am not aware of any "set in stone" penalties for drug offenses. We were surprised by both the six months and the fine, plus the suspension took effect in September, not June, which took him out of the worlds.
Mike,Don't you think Norik is worth $5,000 to the federation? If the USAW could get another lifter of his quality (say some unknown American somewhere who needs the $ to start competing for some reason), wouldn't it be worthwhile? Is $5,000 worth risking losing an athlete of this level? I suggest viewing it as an investment in a great lifter. I hope his athlete reps are speaking up for him, and against this precedent. This system of arbitrarily determined fines going to who knows whose pockets for who knows what is ridiculous and strikes me as an opportunity for the USAW to unite around its own. Protest, pay it, and move on is what I hope you all will decide.
Mike,I consider American law irrelevant to this matter as it is does not involve the State, so no point in discussing it. The way I see it, international experience isn't all that big a deal unless you are competitive first. Otherwise domestic experience is more appropriate. Second, I do not view all lifters as being of equal worth. Both the USAW and the talent will benefit from focusing money on talent, and Norik is proven talent. Even turning this 6 month suspension into a 1 year suspension could change things forever and of course the longer it takes to raise the money the more likely a significant change in career we should expect. The lifeline of a champion is fragile.I'll chip in $20 for Norik because I think he should be allowed to lift again as soon as he wants to, if he will accept it.
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