lie detectors and doping – a viable solution?


sounds like a crackpot idea to crankpunk, but not to LA’s lawyer, Tim Herman:

“A lie detector test properly administered, I’m a proponent of that frankly, just personally. I wouldn’t challenge a lie detector test, with good equipment, properly administered.”

incredibly, lie detectors are actually used in 2 sports – natural bodybuilding and deep-sea angling. no news as of yet as to whether they’ll be used in natural angling or deep-sea bodybuilding…

how about lining up every rider at the Tour in July and asking them a series of questions each morning on a little stage, before the crowd?

-is the sky blue?

-are my pants red?

-is this the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard of?

-are you a doper?

the problem here though is that, as anyone who watches Homeland will know, the longer you lie about something the more you come to actually believe it. i mean, if you were to use a lie detector to substantiate the existence of a higher power – depending on who you asked – you’d get a positive answer often enough.

an article in today’s Guardian newspaper looks at the ins and outs of lie detector tests and discusses how viable the are, and though it leans against, it does note that Contador voluntarily underwent a detector test during his CAS hearing.

Contador, of his own accord, underwent a polygraph examination, the results of which were analysed by Dr Louis Rovner, an experienced polygraph examiner who claimed accuracy levels of 95% . Dr Rovner’s analysis concluded that Contador was telling the truth when stating he did not undergo a transfusion in order to benefit from clenbuterol. Importantly, Dr Rovner’s conclusion was then verified by Dr John Palmatier, an independent polygraph credibility consultant.

Regarding the admissibility of the evidence, Contador drew the panel’s attention to article 3.2 of the Wada code: “Facts related to anti-doping rule violations may be established by any reliable means, including admissions.” He further underlined that the admissibility of a polygraph test in arbitration “is far less stringent than in courts”. Contador argued the polygraph examination was a reliable method and should therefore be admitted.

Somewhat surprisingly, the admissibility of the polygraph examination as evidence per se was not disputed by the UCI or Wada. The two bodies did, however, refer to the previous Cas rulings on polygraph evidence and argued that the results should be given no greater evidentiary weight than a personal statement.

Contador is notable as the first Cas decision to accept polygraph results as per se evidence with the panel finding that the polygraph results “add some force to Contador’s declaration of innocence”, albeit then adding that the results “do not, by nature, trump other elements of evidence”.

The panel weighed the polygraph results in light of the other evidence presented and Contador was found guilty and stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title.

still busted then.

Author: Lee Rodgers

Cycling coach, race organiser, former professional cyclist and the original CrankPunk.

Leave a Reply