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Muslim Boxer Refuses Urine Test, Claiming It Violates Religious Beliefs

Jul 1, 2007 – 3:38 PM
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Michael David Smith

Michael David Smith %BloggerTitle%

Australian boxer Omar Al-Shaick has been banned for two years for his refusal to take a urine test for performance-enhancing drugs, a refusal he said was necessary because his Muslim beliefs precluded him from exposing himself to drug testers.

Drug tests are, by their nature, intrusive: In order to make sure the athlete being tested is submitting his or her own urine, a tester has to watch the athlete urinate. But as long as urine tests for drugs are considered a necessary part of ensuring the fairness of sports, that's not going to change.

And that means suspending Al-Shaick was the only fair decision. If an athlete can simply cite religion, modesty or any other reason for refusing a test, testing can't work. Thousands of other Muslim athletes have submitted to drug testing without incident, but if some athletes view drug tests as a violation of their religion, those athletes just won't be able to compete.
Filed under: Sports
Tagged: Steroids