Whenever performance-enhancing drugs rear their head, you often see the phrase "innocent until proven guilty" thrown around the discussion. It's a fine idea and one that deserves respect, but there's a significant snag to borrowing legal phrases for generic debate—it sounds very authoritative and conclusive, but the reality is much messier. There are very few universals in law. Like many legal rules, the aforementioned presumption of innocence is defined by its context. The criminal presumption must be overwhelmed beyond a reasonable doubt (even this is not a universal truth) while its civil counterpart is far weaker—often a preponderance of the evidence will suffice i.e. if the trier of fact is 51 percent convinced, you're screwed. The difference exists primarily because the p ...
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Article written by Andrew Nuschler