Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Hazards of Olympian Baldness

Last week in this post I told you I would report on interesting CAS arbitration cases coming out of the Winter Olympics. Well, we already have one. The USA Today has reported that Zach Lund of the United States was suspended from the Olympics for using a hair replacement product that contained an agent that masks steroids. The arbitrators concluded that Lund was not a cheat, he was just ... bald. And if you're bald and use a hair replacement product, you better know what is in that product.

At a news conference he said, "After five years of checking [updates to the prohibited list] I got comfortable that I was taking a little harmless product that helps me keep my hair. . . . I didn't understand something could be legal for five years, and then could be illegal. . . . That blows my mind."

Despite the setback, Lund sounds like a class act. A former national champion, Lund said, "I know in the next four years I will prove I'm a true champion," he said. "I've faced many hardships in my career and the reason I was on top is I overcame them. I will use this to build on and become stronger."

I guess we now know a balding man must choose between a little hair or an Olympian dream. You can't have both.

UPDATE: The CAS decision is available here.