Thursday, August 08, 2013

Nar Geo: Why Science Can't keep up with Sports Doping

Those that get away with doping are seemingly just as sophisticated as the testers. Take Lance Armstrong as an example:

From National Geographic online:

Athletes have, along the way, figured out how to beat tests. The most high-profile case may be that of Lance Armstrong, the seven-time winner of the Tour de France. Earlier this year he admitted that throughout much of his competitive career, he doped strategically to avoid testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Rather than inject EPO moments before a race--where he knew that testers would be waiting at the finish line--the cyclist scheduled doping during training rides and between races. Working with a group of physicians, some of whom may still face prosecution by federal investigators, Armstrong was also able to keep track of when certain substances would appear in his system and how quickly they would metabolize. 

I walked away from the article thinking that those sophisticated to pass tests via timing, off-label, or non-existent usage of some forgotten steroid is mostly done by those that have the most money to gain.

Is swimming clean, NO WAY! But I will say that the majority of swimmers in the United States don' have the income or the infrastructure to finance a medical team of dirty doctors, dirty coaches, and "bag men" to pull it off. Must or all will get caught.


Anonymous said...

USA Swimming needs to bring back testing at Juniors -just so kids have a healthy fear - and they have none. Kids have no reason not to push the envelope. They have no reason to fear taking Supplements - which are unregulated and contain God knows what. And frankly, they have no reason to fear taking something worse. A scholarship can be worth a ton of dough.

The Biogenesis scandal in Southern Florida isn't just about AROD. Athletes from many sports are involved - including a good chunk of high school kids.

Tony Austin said...

High school kids doing PEDs!

This country has become corrupt from the top down.

Of course high school students are going to do PEDs if A-Rod and other millionaires do it.

Of course Goldman Saks brokers are going to game mortgage securities if Congress and Senators can trade legally on insider information to enrich themselves.

Of course NSA Director, James Clapper is going to lie to Congress and not be arrested because he knows how dirty Congress is too.

Of course the President of the United States is going to lie on Jay Leno and then say he's "shock, shocked, I tell you," when it's published in the Guardian with bon fide evidence that that all of us are having our 4th and 5th amendments violated every time we use a digital device.

TV Role models are now Walter White of Breaking Bad, Don Draper of Mad Men, Tony Soprano... And those are the fictional ones. Then you got a slew of real life narcissistic roll models like Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Mylie Cyrus, Amanda Bynes.

Just saw a graph a writer at posted on Twitter. My mouth dropped. It's China's economic growth and economic power. In five years, the United States will then be the second most powerful economy in the world.


Anonymous said...

I don't think PEDs are that expensive and I guarantee you that a LOT of top swimmers are on them. Don't be fooled.

The first person I encountered who was doing steroids was a kid at high school - he was 12 or 13 and he got them from his older brother who ran a gym. Needless to say, he was very muscular and did super-well at sport. He bragged about it, which is how I know.

Tony Austin said...

Well, health supplements are expensive, so I presume actual drugs would be more?

Bill Ireland said...

In the Biogenesis scandal, all the users except maybe Braun passed tests. The reason they got caught was not the tests--it was an angry investor getting revenge.

I assume that the tests used by MLB are the same as by WADA so the same results are likely--namely that the users are ahead.

Its not easy to choose not to use. I get frustrated with my performance level. I wonder if I could get magic improvement--that would reward my hard work with better results. I am not going to do it--but I can understand the temptation. If my education, and chance at fame was tied up with my performance the temptation would be much greater. And I am not as competitive as people who really excel.

My understanding is that weekend athletes are driving most of the PED business, not pros. There are more of us after all.

Tony Austin said...

USADA does the testing for MLB.

Do you think any Masters swimmers are doping? That would be really dumb.

Bill Ireland said...

I do not know of anyone but it would not surprise me if someone is doing something that violates WADA rules.

Some may be accidental and some may be justified--competing while using medications for medical reasons. Some may be intentional--weight control, or just to swim faster. Lots of people use lots of medications for reasons that make sense to them even if we would not make that choice. Self-prescribed depression, virility, hair loss, weight control, etc.

I don't have any illusion that all USMS members are immune to temptation--or don't have legitimate reasons to be using stuff that would make their competition illegal on some level. Or just don't read the fine print on their vitamins.

TedBaker said...

I have always said that the single biggest problem with PED's is that they really do work and they work very well.

I personally believe that PED's are used extensively in the NBA, NHL, MLB & NFL(duh!). They're used in the European soccer leagues, bike racing, track & field and rugby.

it's amazing, too, the extent of there use in masters sports and with week-end warriors. Rich guys with $6,000.00 bikes whacking Stanazonol to get a boost...

It'd be naive to think that they aren't present in swimming but I do think, given the sports history, that there is a pretty strong cultural bias to clean athletes. Plus, at the Olympics now, they are using the concept of a blood passport.

That said, look at Ye Shewin: Killed it last year at the Olys, nowhere this year in Barcelona. Shitty to say but I think she's dirty.

Tony Austin said...

It's my experience those who use PEDs age terribly. In fact cyclists have a short shelf life in that they die young.

As for Ye Shewin, could not the same argument be said about Michael Phelps when he was swimming so poorly at Pan Pacs and those silly Grand Prix meets?

TedBaker said...

"As for Ye Shewin, could not the same argument be said about Michael Phelps when he was swimming so poorly at Pan Pacs and those silly Grand Prix meets?"

You're right, you could. Hate to say it but I have a bit of a bias against the Chinese programme. The 1994 Rome World Championships were ridiculous. The Chinese women were so jacked it was stupid. They were more jacked than any East German I ever saw.

After that meet and the subsequent bust when the Chinese went to Oz for a meet, I've kinda of thought that the Chinese were guilty 'till proven innocent.

It's wrong, I know, but some people I know personally were robbed of medals and records by doped athletes. Hard for me to forgive.