Saturday, May 23, 2015

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is OK

While the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency isn't immune from constructive criticism, they've been doing things right (Big & Small) for the athletes whose commitment to clean sport they're charged with verifying.

The redesign of the Athlete Express website has made it fantastically easy and convenient to update Whereabouts now from multiple platforms. My last plan change took about 17sec to complete. This is pretty Big, since inclusion in an out-of-competition testing pool means accepting unpredictable intrusions into what "normal" people might consider to be pretty sacred private space. So being able to efficiently manage your role in the process makes it easier and less dramatic for all involved.

And apart from the actual monitoring & testing regimes...just last week I got an out-of-the-blue call from a USADA investigator - not looking for intel or assistance, but just to say hi and ask how I was. And then Chester (Bob) found this gem in the post today. It's a nice reminder that USADA is staffed by actual human beings like Athlete Services Coordinator Kirk W., who'll take the time to send you a hand-signed birthday greeting. Little things like these encourage one to see the relationship as collaborative, and not adversarial or unpleasant.

I know this isn't every athlete's experience with their NADO, but it's been consistently mine and I appreciate it enough to want to let you know.

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