Posted by Alex W.C. on 10:41 AM
On January 31st, Diana Taurasi made it clear in an AP interview, posted on ESPN.Com, that she never took the substance that she tested positive for in Turkey.

"There's no way I've ever taken anything," she told The Associated Press by telephone Sunday night from her parents' home in Chino, Calif.

So now, the wait begins. There has been no punishment handed down from the Turkish league as of today and Taurasi has already stated she plans to appeal. The process could take until the end of 2011. That's quite a long time, for Taurasi, and for fans, to wait.

However, something has intrigued me more; the response to the allegations of her taking a PED. (performance enhancing drug) Since this news broke some time ago, there have been the usual suspects; the doubters, the haters, and the supporters. But what has intrigued me more are the arguments, particularly the ones that support her being guilty.

Let me get one thing out of the way first. Those of you who know me, know I'm a Taurasi fan. So yes, I'm biased. And yes, I believe her. (after all, we Taurasi fans are, what do they say, Batshit Insane?) Now, after you've put that in your pipe and smoked it...

If you peruse the comments of the article above, you will notice that in between the supporters, that there are a greater number of people who, as it seems, take great joy in announcing their beliefs that Diana is guilty of the allegations, period. Now, I firmly believe everyone has the right to their opinions; such as the beauty of living in a country such as ours. It is, however, the arguments these people use that support their beliefs that I just cannot wrap my head around. (One ESPN member by the name of msmoniker went so far as to use 3 separate posts to weigh in on the issue) So, rather than reprint/analyze each one, I've categorized them for your convenience.

1) Diana hired the same attorney that other athletes in the same situation hired, therefore she's guilty. (or) The attorney Diana hired has had a great deal of clients who were guilty, therefore she is too.

So, Diana is in the wrong for hiring one of the few attorneys that has experience in this kind of matter? In this day and age, when you are accused of anything at this level, and you have no legal representation, you are simply chum waiting for the sharks. I am by no means a fan of lawyers, but if my career was on the line and I believed I was innocent, not to mention I had the resources to hire the best help, I damn well would.

2) It doesn't matter what background the lab has, nor it's reputation, it's accredited now and that is all that matters.

Would you take your car to a mechanic that previously was found negligent of repairs as opposed to one that wasn't? Go to a restaurant that was previously fined by the local board of health as opposed to one that has a clean record? These things do not prove that these establishments should be shut down, but to go through a period improvements to begin anew. However, it still creates a sense of doubt, especially in my mind. Not to mention the lab hasn't come forth with a lot of effort trying to prove otherwise. Not saying they are automatically in the wrong, but their reputation gives me reason to doubt the accuracy of their tests, and believe Taurasi.

3) She took too long to deny the allegations, so she has to be guilty.

When these allegations surfaced, it was still unclear if and what was going to happen. She was still in Turkey and just trying to figure out what happened.

"I had never heard of it and couldn't pronounce it," Taurasi said. "I had to Google it to find out the side effects. I never have come in contact with it."

It is always a good idea to figure out the situation you are in before you start making statements. She has always been a smart player, on and off the court. The timing of one's statements do not necessarily indicate the validity of them.

4) There is a long list of athletes who denied using PED's, then admitted guilt. She must be one of them.

Guilt by association? Really, I'm not going to even comment on how invalid this is.

5) There is a clear outlined procedure for drug tests to avoid human error, so she must be guilty.

Really? Unless you are the lab manager of that exact lab in Turkey, and you personally developed and put into place the "procedure" you speak of, then I can see your point. If not, you have no proof that the procedure in question was accurately followed. There is absolutely no procedure that can be implemented to eliminate human error.

Again, everyone has the right to their own opinions. You can believe Taurasi, or not. I believe her. And until she says otherwise, I stand by my decision to do so.

For those of you arguing as to why she's guilty, consider this - if you were wrongfully accused of something and people were using these arguments to implicate your guilt, how would you feel?

Put the shoe on the other foot people.


Well said, Alex. I couldn't agree with you more. I beleive Diana, too.

I don't really understand why the "haters" are the ones being scrutinized here. Her A and B sample were positive. There are no shades of grey right now, this is not being innocent until proven guilty. The guilt has already been established according to doping procedures. Until there is solid evidence that there was mishandled or tampered with (which, at this point, all we have are allegations by the parties involved), there really isn't much to argue about here...

Anonymous - point taken. However, I would argue your statement of "no shades of grey" - there is no solid evidnce of mishandling, but there is also no solid evidence of procedure being followed. There is still resonable doubt in this situation, which to me, is a big area of grey.

I'm not scrutinizing the haters, as I said, everyone has the right to their opinions. However, the arguemtns that are made that go to support Taurasi's guilt, I feel, are a bit unbalanced.

Why were failed drug tests never an issue for any of the other WNBA players who have played for that team over the years? This never seemed to be an issue for players like Tammy Sutton-Brown, Matee Ajavon, and Katie Smith just to name a few who have previously played for Fenerbache.

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