Stern talk on WADA, whining and winning

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:49 AM ET

Add NBA commissioner David Stern to the large list of high-profile figures attacking Dick Pound's World Anti-Doping Agency.

The Canadian's baby was criticized by Stern -- in town for the Raptors' home opener last night at the Air Canada Centre -- for the way it handled Floyd Landis' drug test at the Tour de France.

"They (WADA) are harder to take seriously," Stern said in a press conference before last night's game. "Whenever an organization which reports to be even-handed and fair announces that a B-sample isn't necessary even though it's part of the procedures which are built in, they lose an enormous amount of respect in the international community.

"WADA is an organization we have met with, (who) we try to work with generally and we applaud their activities. We just want them to follow their own rules."

Stern made no promises about how the NBA would handle the HGH (human growth hormone) controversy, however.

"I don't want to sort of launch fears that are currently unfounded," Stern said. "But if there are ways to enhance artificially, we're going to stay on top of it with the players association."

Another major topic covered was the rash of technical fouls called early in the season as the NBA attempts to crack down on complaining. Stars such as Rasheed Wallace and Carmelo Anthony already have been ejected from games. Stern said 30 calls have been made this year that wouldn't have been called last year and felt a couple were close and one he might have reversed.

"We have some instances where players just complain consistently. And what I say to them is that they are detracting from the best game in the world, played by the best athletes in the world," Stern said.

Stern said only good things about the NBA's international explosion (players from eight countries were represented in the Raptors-Bucks game last night) and president/general manager Bryan Colangelo's massive Toronto makeover.

"Bryan Colangelo is a risk-taker," Stern said. "He's put together a very interesting array of talent. If I were a betting man, I wouldn't bet against him because he's got a proven track record."


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