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Chris Lofton

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by rube, May 1, 2008.

  1. rube

    rube Active Member

    No idea if this has already been posted ... but a pretty remarkable story nontheless.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?id=3376961&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab1pos1

    I pretty much take back any critical comment I had about his play this season. Wow.
     
  2. Good for him.
    Good story, too.
     
  3. Pete

    Pete Active Member

    Great story. But I had a question that I hoped someone could answer.

    It says that the first warning flag of the cancer was when Lofton flunked a random NCAA drug test during the first round of last year's tournament. The team wasn't informed he failed the test until shortly before the Ohio State game, in which the Vols couldn't hold a big lead and lost in the Sweet 16. As it turned out, Lofton failed the drug test because his cancer was causing a particular level to be elevated, a level that also tends to be elevated by certain steroid-maskers. Later tests revealed the cancer, etc.

    My question: Was he allowed to play vs. Ohio State? And if so, why? The story never really spells it out, but I don't recall him being yanked for that game.

    The UT folks are quoted as saying something like, When we heard Chris flunked we knew something was fishy, whether a bad supplement or, god forbid, cancer, because he was far too good a kid to have actually taken drugs. And they're right about Lofton, obviously.

    But not to be too much of a cynic, but don't most people who flunk drug tests insist they didn't take any? What's the NCAA policy on this? What's the point in testing people during the first round of the tournament if, when they flunk, you let them keep playing? Is that the only time hoops players are tested, at the tournament?

    Or is there a mandatory appeal, say, where Lofton would have had time to make a case that the elevated level came through some honest (and in this case, both honest and life-threatening) means? Perhaps flunking the test doesn't mean you have to sit immediately, but starts a process that could result in suspension? Or are there any penalties at all for flunking a test?

    I'm just curious. It was never really addressed in the story. It talked often about how fortuitious it was that he had this drug test, because he caught his cancer early, but not about the more mundane impact of actually flunking an NCAA drug test. The focus was on the right area, obviously, but I was just wondering on this smaller point.
     
  4. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Maybe there's a grace period after a failed drug test, just in case.

    I have another question: where were the UT beat writers during the past year? How'd they miss this?
     
  5. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    Maybe the story was given to ESPN and kept from them.
     
  6. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Bingo.
     
  7. Sxysprtswrtr

    Sxysprtswrtr Active Member

    Also, don't overlook the fact Chris Low has deep connections to Tennessee, via Rivals.com and The Tennessean before that.
     
  8. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Wow. Just wow.

    Keep Pounding, Chris.
     
  9. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    Amazing story.
    The questions about the drug testing were some of the first in my mind, too. I know from covering the I-AA playoffs that players who test positive (same thing -- random tests immediately after games) are not allowed to play in the next round. Obviously, there's a week difference there, as opposed to a couple days.
     
  10. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    But if you're the UT basketball beat writer and the team's best player is going through something like that, shouldn't you be responsible for reporting it? I mean, it's been more than a year since the drug test.
     
  11. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Not if you know about the failed test but can't get a single person to go on the record with it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  12. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    I know at least one (and probably many more, but I only know one) UT beat writer was chasing this story for months. Asked all the right questions, but nobody would talk. Sometimes that's the way it goes. It's frustrating as hell, but it happens even to the best.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
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