More Athletes Test Positive for Modafinil in Turkey
Same substance, same lab, at the same time…coincidence?
By Ben York / @bjyork
According to multiple reports out of Turkey, there may be up to four more professional athletes (and counting) that have tested positive for the same substance as Diana Taurasi (Modafinil)…around the same time…from the same lab…in the same country.
Among the accused are Taurasi, a professional soccer player and a swimmer (names could not be confirmed), and Monique Coker (a former WNBA player). Furthermore, it is expected this number of positive samples could rise in the coming days and weeks.
For those who just want the facts, here is a brief summary:
- Diana Taurasi reportedly tests positive for Modafinil
- Accusations come to fruition without following proper protocol (i.e. testing the ‘B’ sample) as outlined and mandated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
- Report questioning the validity of the lab (previously suspended by WADA)
- Taurasi’s ‘B’ sample tested in Turkey
- Taurasi’s ‘B’ sample reportedly tests positive
- Doctor in Turkey declared it was positive without official confirmation
- Teammate Penny Taylor, in an unprecedented move, requests her samples to be tested in another country (Germany)
- Taurasi tells Geno Auriemma she didn’t take anything
- Thousands of fans from Turkey join to protest the results citing other athlete’s who have tested positive as well as questioning the doctor’s motives
- More professional athletes (in multiple sports) are accused of taking Modafinil at the same time as Taurasi from the same lab in Turkey
With all the facts we currently have, there are four possible conclusions:
1. This is all a freak coincidence but they are guilty and we should hate them.
Maybe all of the athletes, who are fully aware of the frequency and severity of drug testing, suddenly decided to take Modafinil at the same time without regard to any consequence. Maybe they all got together and had a Modafinil party! Of all of the potential performance enhancing drugs that are available, multiple athletes in various different sports and disciplines decided this would set them apart from their competition. Maybe they even got matching Modafinil tattoos together and made friendship bracelets and/or necklaces with ‘M’ as the logo. Heck, maybe they started a Modafinil club?
2. Taurasi’s guilty, but everyone else is innocent.
Judging by the response of the general public, this seems to be everyone’s collective thought. In spite of all the facts and denials from each athlete who has tested positive, people’s minds are seemingly already made up, especially in regards to Diana Taurasi.
Guilty by accusation.
The aforementioned facts are just that – facts. Still, many will say Taurasi is guilty no matter what – even if she is proven innocent.
3. Lab contamination is a possibility.
Can we begin to look at this as a legitimate possibility now? It’s funny; I’ve seen many individuals and articles actually defend the lab like it was a close family member. Really? Do you have a relative that works in the lab in Turkey? We’re in America and a player of ours is accused of doping overseas from a questionable lab in Turkey…and we defend the lab?
Multiple athletes tested positive for the same substance, at the same time, in the same country, at the same lab. Other athletes went so far as to request their samples be tested in another country as they didn’t trust the facility. The lab has been previously suspended. Need I continue? Ignoring these facts is irresponsible.
Look, I’m not saying this is 100 percent what happened but we, at the very least, need to open our minds to the possibility.
4. We simply don’t know.
Without question, all of these accusations sound fishy. Something’s missing. Something isn’t right. We don’t have all the information, but what we do have sounds awfully suspicious. Before we pass judgment, let’s wait a while. Let’s see how this all shakes out.
In wake of these recent reports, don’t we need to give these athletes the benefit of the doubt? And, perhaps more importantly, isn’t a closer examination of the lab now mandatory?