Friday, March 12, 2004

Scandal at the Crufts Dog Show

This week, Senators dragged officials from professional athletic leagues to Capitol Hill for questioning on the use of performance enhancing drugs in their sport. Most notable among these officials was Donald Fehr, head of the Major League Baseball Players' Association. But the use of performance altering drugs may not be limited to Major League Baseball. This week, there were accusations that drug scandal has spread to the world of competitive show dogs, as well.

Officials at the Crufts Dog Show, England's largest dog show, are investigating allegations that one of the entrants was drugged with a sedative. Clive and Nancy Evans claim that their Doberman, Kerri, was given a piece of contaminated meat prior to competition. They claim that the meat contained a sedative that caused their pooch to perform poorly in competition. Kerri was the favorite to win her group, but the Evans withdrew her from competition out of fear that she would collapse. "She was just not herself," Clive Evans said. "She was uncoordinated, listless and lethargic."

After her premature departure, Crufts' veteranarian, Trevor Turner, examined Kerri. Turner found symptoms that could be consistent with sedative doping, but could not draw any conclusions without a sample of blood and stomach contents. "She was quiet, subdued and a little bit wobbly on her back legs," Turner said. "She showed signs of sedation, but there is no evidence of this."

This is obviously a serious matter. The integrity of competitive dog shows will forever be called into question if scandles such as this are not cleaned up. So, why weren't blood samples taken by Turner? Do blood samples violate a collective bargaining agreement entered into by the Crufts' Players Association? I smell Donald Fehr's involvement in all of this.