Repetition is important to maximize the benefits of athletic workouts. Unfortunately, the never ending saga of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal and cover-up shows investigators need to keep on repeating doping scandal details until adequate safeguards are in place.
This week’s drug test scandal is being reported from Austin, Texas, the longtime home of Lance Armstrong. The Dallas News reported yesterday that “Texas Longhorns pitcher Corey Knebel was suspended after he provided urine to a teammate who was worried about failing a team-mandated drug test.” The test showed positive for the banned substance Alderall, which is normally prescribed only for patients diagnosed with severe Attention Deficit Disorder and is banned by the NCAA. While Brazil has prosecuted over eighty percent of the doctors who have prescribed drugs for inappropriate purposes, prosecution rates in the U.S are under one percent.
Failure to do anything about American doctors who prescribe drugs improperly is only part of the problem. The web site ProPublica is reporting that many American doctors make over a million dollars for consulting and speaking fees that are unrelated to the practice of medicine. Fees sometimes exceed $15,000 an hour. And a loophole allows college teams like the Texas Longhorns to give doctors free sports tickets, which they are allowed to resell or give to clients as premiums.
In addition, drug and health testing integrity is compromised by poor supervision of delivery and inspection of blood and urine used in medical testing. As previously reported on March 11, couriers dropped off blood and urine test samples near Cedars-Sinai Center at the entry of a closed, locked medical office where they could easily be radiated – and possibly switched as in the case of Texas Longhorns pitcher Corey Knebel.
This latest testing integrity issues were highlighted by a report from .the “Treatment Advocacy Center.” Called “The Going Rate on Shrinks: Big Pharma and the Buying of Psychiatry,” it reports that: “Sales of antipsychotic medications have quadrupled in the past four years to more than $4 billion. These drugs are a major reason why the profitability of the 11 pharmaceutical companies in the Fortune 500 “was almost four times greater” than the median for all Fortune 500 companies during the 1990s, according to a report by the Public Citizen Health Research Group. Not surprisingly, psychiatrists have become a prime target of pharmaceutical companies’ marketing, because prescription drugs can’t be sold directly to consumers. In the United States, pharmaceutical companies spend an estimated $8,000 to $13,000 per physician per year on marketing.” Those figures include the physician who prescribed Attention Deficit Disorder treatment drugs for Corey Knebel.
Such challenges to the integrity of medical records are adding controversy to unusual practices by financial asset managers in the Academy of Special Needs Planners. They publish trust documents that have been recommended to preserve the assets of former NFL Players who retire with injuries, but many financial experts do not see how the benefits justify the costs. While the Academy of Special Needs Planners name sounds like a non-profit educational institution, this Academy is a for profit organization.
One example of standard language contained in its trust documents gives readers a good idea of how much a for-profit organization this is. Paragraphs U and V of its standard definition of “Fiduciaries Powers” have been referred to by 2014 Olympics host Russia as a “license to steal.” Paragraph U states that the trustee can “convey property for a nominal consideration or without consideration.” Then Paragraph V claims that international laws against self-dealing do not apply to fiduciaries of these trusts (No waiver can be found on the Internet). Paragraph V gives fiduciaries nominated by the Academy of Special Needs Planners authority to “enter into any transaction on behalf of the Trust Estate despite the fact that another party to that transaction may be: (1) a business or trust in which the trust holds an interest or is controlled by a Fiduciary, or of which a Fiduciary, or any director, officer, or employee of the Fiduciary is also a director, officer, or employee…or any relative of such party.”
The language is complicated but the result is simple. The Academy of Special Needs Planners trusts allow fiduciaries to apply trust funds to buy properties or business concerns like sports teams for millions of dollars and then sell them to companies owned by themselves or their relatives for spare change. That is one more good reason to make sure that the NFL checks whether the documents used by Academy of Special Needs Planners members to create and manage these financial trusts have the necessary integrity, or whether they are as undependable as Corey Knebel’s prescription for Attention Deficit Disorder treatment drugs.