Chapter[ XI. Recommendations ]
Section[ D. 2. The Program Should Be Transparent ]
2. The Program Should Be Transparent
Drug testing programs must respect the privacy rights of the athletes who are
tested. Yet to instill public trust and ensure accountability, they must be as transparent as
possible consistent with protecting those rights. Transparency can be achieved by such actions
as submitting to outside audits, and publishing periodic reports of de-identified aggregate testing
results, retaining records of negative test results so that confirmation is available to correctly
interpret subsequent tests, which may inure to the benefit of a player charged with a positive
result in a later test. A transparent program should provide the public with aggregate data that
demonstrates the work of the program and the results achieved by it (but that does not reveal or
permit the determination of individual identities).
The importance of transparency is illustrated by an article about the Major League
Baseball joint drug program that appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune in May 2007.581 The
article reported that the number of positive tests reported by the Montreal testing laboratory that
is used by Major League Baseball and other organizations increased from around 20 in 2005 to
104 in 2006. Under WADA standards, the laboratory was required to segregate its reported data
580 See supra at 276-77.
581 Mark Zeigler, Report: Stimulant Positive Tests Up; Strong Indication of Use in
Baseball, San Diego Union-Tribune, May 11, 2007.
by sport but not by client, and that laboratory has other clients whose data are included in the
laboratory’s aggregate baseball/softball data.
Nevertheless, the article drew speculative conclusions from the aggregate data
about the effects of including stimulants among the prohibited substances under the joint
program, observing that “in the absence of a fully transparent testing program by baseball, the
WADA report may be the closest thing to real numbers of positive tests.”582