Essendon's Players should be banned
Debate Rounds (3)
Full Resolution: The players of the Essendon Football Club should receive the standard 2-year suspension for doping.
I don't know if anyone on here will know what I'm talking about, but it's worth a shot.
I believe that, regardless of whether or not the players were aware they were being given a banned substance they should still be suspended.
First round acceptance.
Forfeiting any round will result in the full 7 points being awarded to the other debater.
Passing a "no steroids rule" is like passing a rule in basketball that says no player shall be over 6 feet tall.
The Essendon Supplement Scandal has attracted a lot of media intention in Australia lately.
The fact of the matter is, that during the off season these players were administered illegal peptides, believed to be AOD-9604 and Thymosin Beta 4, which was not approved for human use and is banned under the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA). If these players took this drug, then under the current system they should be banned for professional sports for the mandatory two year period outlined in the WADA code, of which Australia is a signatory. 
These banned substances were apparently administered by club sports scientist Stephen Dank and club doctor Stephen Dank, with the players claiming that they believed to whole thing was legal. However section 2.2.1 of the WADA code reads:
"It is each Athlete’s personal duty to ensure that no Prohibited Substance enters his or her body. Accordingly, it is not necessary that intent, fault, negligence or knowing Use on the Athlete’s part be demonstrated in order to establish an anti-doping rule violation for Use of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method" 
We can take two key things away from this. The first being that it is the athletes responsibility to make sure they do not take a prohibited substance. Second, that it is not necessary that an athlete knows they have taken a banned substance in order to violate the terms of the WADA code.
So the question now becomes, was a performance enhancing drug taken? Well Essendon have all but admitted to administering their players with AOD-9604, a human growth variant. In his interview on the popular talk show, On the Couch Essendon captain Jobe Watson admits to it himself. (See video)
The evidence is growing larger and larger in the wake of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) report into the matter, and while this investigation remains on-going. As a fan of the game, this entire situation makes me feel deeply troubled. I really feel very sorry for the players, who seem to the victims in this entire saga. However, the rules are there, and it is not fair on the other 17 clubs in the competition if another club is able to take banned substances and get away with it.
I do not even know where to begin with my opponents opening statement, except to say with. The resolution of this debate is about what should happen to the Essendon players, not to sport in generally, and if that's the angle that you want to argue then it's fine by me, as long as you keep it relevant.
Its the reasoning behind the rule that is important.
If there is a reasonable doubt as to whether or not the player knew they were taking an illicit substance, they should not be banned, merely stripped of whatever titles and records they had received during that time. I do not see what gives this appointed agency the right to create rules and regulations and enforce them without regard to players rights to arbitration or fair hearing. Remember, athletes are employees, and have all the same entitlements in that regard as any other employee, including access to civil courts.
If you can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that they knew that they were taking an illicit substance, then yes, according to the terms of their agreement, they should be banned. But as is, there is some question as to whether they knew they were taking steroids to begin with.
Players often consume several different types of enhancements, most of them perfectly legal, such as vitamins, protein powder, herbal supplements, ect. If they were given, as prescribed by a professional, illegal substances as part of their training regiment, and told that they were 100% legal, with no prior knowledge as to what those substances were, they should not be banned.
Remember, these are people, people with kids and families that depend on their income, who were just doing there job, and risked censure by NOT taking these substances.
ObiWan forfeited this round.
KBattleson forfeited this round.
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