Teams are cracking down on season ticket holders and a second opinion on Guillermo Coria’s steroid suit.

Friday I talked about the NCAA cracking down on bloggers and I meant to post this example of more sports entities acting badly, but I was too tired from shooting a dating video called First Date with Me. I’m having trouble finding dates so I figured I might have more luck if I posted a youtube video showing what a date with me might be like. Desperate times require desperate measures!

I’ll tell you when I put it up, meanwhile, back to sports.

Greedy Sports Franchises

Despite being a rabid Los Angeles Lakers fan, I’ve attended exactly one Lakers game in the nine years I’ve lived in Los Angeles. I bought a ticket on Stub Hub for $175 to sit in the very last row of Staples Center. It was worth it. I had a great time even though Kobe Bryant was injured and didn’t play that night. The dancers and the band and the styling contest between fans made it one of the best sporting events I’ve ever attended and I’ve been to hundreds of them.

I didn’t like paying that much but it’s not Stub Hub’s fault, that’s the market value for a Lakers ticket. Sports franchises are unhappy, though, and they’re starting to place restrictions on their season tickets holders. The New York Times reports that pro football’s New England Patriots went as far as revoking the tickets of 52 season ticket holders who dared to sell their tickets on Stub Hub. The Patriots are using Massachusetts’ anti-scalping laws to take Stub Hub to court but that’s ridiculous. They don’t care about scalping, they just want to get their share of the sports ticket “aftermarket”.

The article also says that 50 sports teams have signed a contract for resale tickets with Ticket Master. Bad news. Ticket Master has had an ugly monopoly on music concert tickets for years and it’s the scourge of rockers all over. I’m surprised Ticketmaster doesn’t charge $2.50 just for logging onto their website, they charge for everything else imaginable.

Coria’s Steroid Suit Revisited

As I reported last week, Guillermo Coria is suing Universal Nutrition for over $10 million for putting the steroid nandrolone in one of its multivitamins. Coria was suspended for 7 months when he tested positive for nandrolone after, he said, taking a Universal Nutrition multivitamin. At the time, I said Coria’s suspension should have been rescinded because ATP players were accidentally given nandrolone by ATP trainers and they avoided suspensions.

I now want to amend that. In the case of the ATP players, the nandrolone found in their positive tests had an identifiable chemical fingerprint so the ATP knew where the nandrolone came from. They also had results from a number of players who got the same supplement from the ATP trainers.

If there were a chemical fingerprint connecting Coria’s positive test to the multivitamin, then I stand by my previous opinion. It shouldn’t matter if the multivitamin came from the ATP or not. If there’s no way to connect the positive test to the multivitamin, I think the case should be handled to same way Guillermo Canas’ case was recently handled.

In that case, Canas presented information at his appeal showing that he got a prescription containing a banned substance that was meant for a tennis coach who was at the same tournament. However, since Canas didn’t present that information at his first hearing, the rules state that his suspension can reduced but not voided. With the same standard applied to Coria, he would have been handed a reduced suspension which is exactly what he got.

Later today I’ll post a 2007 ATP Fantasy Tennis guide and picks for Nottingham and S’Hertogenbosch (love that name!) so stay tuned!

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