I think that drugs are an issue in all pro sports. Track seems to have the worst reputation.
But isnt this because track has a reliable and well structured drug testing program?
Track looks bad compared to other sports because other sports either dont test (baseball, hockey) or the athletes are so wealthy (football)that they can afford the doctors/drugs/technology to beat the tests. Track is probably one of the cleanest sports there is.
I thnk you are right--the same thing is true of cycling. Another factor is the general media ignorance of track, preventing reporters from writing intelligent stories just about the sport itself--and the fact that all mainstream media nowadays, not just sports media, are dependent on producing sensational stories that sell papers or advertising time, rather than knowledgable well-researched coverage.
>You may be right. But I'm still not convinced
>that the leadership of the sport wants drug use
>to go away, and I'm not the only one.>>
You have got to be kidding!
Please name somebody in "leadership" (either national or international) who through either action or inaction who has demonstrated this. And while you're at it, please come up with a possible motive. This kind of Ludlumesque conspiracy-theorizing on message boards certainly does nothing to improve the sport.
GH - I think j squire may be expressing the frustration of so many of us that 2 year bans remain the norm, excuses rather than harsh penalties seem commonplace, and it seems politically incorrect to suggest lifetime bans. I for one am frustrated that the likes of Grimes, White, Lagat, etc. are seemingly not clean - it seems you have to wait 2 weeks after a major competition to see who the "real" winners were - post drug test.
>>You may be right. But I'm still not
>that the leadership of the sport
>wants drug use
>to go away, and I'm not the only
You have got to be kidding!
>name somebody in "leadership" (either national
>or international) who through either action or
>inaction who has demonstrated this.
I just did today. Craig Masback has come to Kelli White's defense instead of sitting back and waiting for a decision to be made by someone else. He protects American athletes, whether they are right or wrong. He obviously wants her exonerated. BBC Sport also has reservations about allowing suspended athletes to qualify to the Worlds after the closing date ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/athleti ... 163653.stm ) and many in the British press finds it odd that UK Athletics is helping Myerscough fight the lifetime ban imposed by the BOA. All of these things plus many more lead fans such as myself to question the sincerety of our sport's leadership.
And I don't think I do grave damage to the sport by writing posts here; I'll point out that I never write about this on Runner's World's boards or for Trackshark.com, where the casual fans are.
>Craig Masback has
>come to Kelli White's defense instead of sitting
>back and waiting for a decision to be made by
''It's seven days after the results of her test and the people at the international federation still don't know whether what she was taking was performance-enhancing,'' USA Track & Field chief Craig Masback said Tuesday. ''So how was she supposed to know?''
The problem with drugs and track and field is that there is such a direct perceived correlation between the drug and the performance. In baseball and football (or other team or skill sports where drugs or performance enhancers are being used), the game itself involves so many activities and contingencies, the outcome isn't so dependent on one person's drug use (though admittedly, when it comes down to individual statistics like home-run hitting, it's more direct). But in track, it's so direct: a person running to the limit of their physical capacity is what it's about -- and if that capacity is artificially enhanced, the outcome is completely altered. So it is very discouraging indeed to believe it's commonplace; it becomes more of a fantasy diversion, still interesting perhaps to see who wins, but no longer regarded as real contests between athletes on an even footing.
>> But in track, it's
>so direct: a person running to the limit of their
>physical capacity is what it's about -- and if
>that capacity is artificially enhanced, the
>outcome is completely altered. So it is very
>discouraging indeed to believe it's commonplace;
>it becomes more of a fantasy diversion, still
>interesting perhaps to see who wins, but no
>longer regarded as real contests between athletes
>on an even footing.>>
But if they're all "artificially enhanced" (training doesn't fit that rubric?), then it is a contest between athletes on an even footing. They're just competing at a higher level.
All is the key word; not all would be enhanced, unless the rules allow all to be enhanced. Plus some might be on better drugs than others. But yes, I probably should have seen something like "clean" footing.
Two 1-cent opinions for my alloted space:
1. Why WOULDN'T USATF stick up for Kelli? Until she is PROVEN guilty, I would certainly hope that her own national federation would stick up for her. If and when she is declared guilty (proof notwithstanding) USATF will ensure her consequence is fairly meted out.
2. What the hell constitutes illegal aid? As we saw in Nelson's regimen, there are all sorts of supplements that athletes take, from proteins, to amino acids, to HGH 'stimulators', to vitamins, etc. That unlevels the playing field doesn't it? We're not even talking non-perscription drugs either, because there ARE perscription drugs that they take legally. Then there's creatine and its ilk. Who is drawing the line between the micron sized grains of sand? I am certainly against any drug that puts an athlete at risk (because many, many, would literally kill themselves to win), but some of these bans are just silly. Gatlin's was one and I really believe that White's is another case.
realist, that's what I am saying/thinking too. This drug battle just cannot be won. It cannot be won for two reasons:1. universal testing that "catches everyone" is impossible, and 2. the scientists are always going to stay ahead of the testers, so even universal "catch everyone" testing, if possible, would not wourk anyway. So I repeat an earlier thread, if an individual human being wants to ingest substances into his or her body that are not illegal in the eyes of the law, let them do it, then run a race, go to a basketball game, take nap, pet their dog, or whatever.
They are hurting their own possible physical health, no one else.
How many NFL interior lineman do you think are on steroids ? Probably over 90 %. Has the world been harmed as a result ? No. And I have seen nothing that indicates that performance-enhancing drugs cause any degree of behavioral problems, so I repeat, they are only possibly harming themselves, no one else. And every athlete that has used performance-enhancing drugs does not necessarily have problems later. And if they do, that's their problem. Just like smoking. If they are stupid enough to smoke, their possible problem later.
I completely understand the impassioned feelings of so many on this subject. They are "right", but they are also wrong, because it is an impossible fight.
There are several good arguments against everything I have said here, I know that and respect those arguments.
>1) make drugs in track "not illegal", subject
>only to regular state or federal statutes( it is
>not against the law to take steroids)
I agree w/you that performance enhancing agents should be legalized in sports. It is a blind, senseless and futile chase that has been around for 30-40 yrs, costing hundreds of millions of dollars and accomplishing pretty much nothing. Law enforcement should not be the responsibility of the sporting administrations and should have never been attempted in the first place. There have never been sufficient, substantiated, comprehensive and conclusive research results that confirm the alleged physical harm (stigma)that has been laid on the use of performance enhancing drugs.
However, are you so sure that it is legal to take steroids? Baseball's slugger Jose Canseco was recently thrown behind bars w/o bond for a couple of months just recently for using steroids while on house arrest for a civil matter in Florida. Can anyone shed some better light on this?
I agree, the USATF should be sticking up for her, especially because of the nature of this particular case and all the uncertainity of what is and is not. There are too many question marks surrounding the whole thing and until there are more definitive answers, they should stick behind her.
To me, illegal aid constitutes those things that the rules say shouldn't be taken. Obviously there are different levels of "wrong", since caffeine and steroids just aren't on the same level, but for everyone to feel like the playing field is even, you have to go with what the powers that be have said is okay and not okay. Maybe in the future something like creatine, which is fine to take now, will be banned. Does that mean that those who take it now are in the wrong? No. In sports and in life in general, you are always going to want to do whatever is possible to get ahead and to get an advantage. Track is no different. But to those whose morals and ethics guide them, the limit comes at the point where you choose to follow the limits that have been set up. To those that don't (and there are MANY), that just means there morals and ethics are set at a different standard. That is why the laws and punishments do need to be so much stricter because it will never be the case where those who rationalize it being okay will think otherwise. They have already made the decision of whose beliefs they are going to follow, and it is only their own. And because right now it is so relatively easy for them to get by, there is no deterrence.
A truly level playing field will never be possible for such a plethora of reasons. But what we should reach for is forcing people to play by the rules we do have or else why even have them. Right now our system just seems like one big joke and that is how everyone who cheats it looks at it as well.
Could you imagine how much money would be saved if they stopped testing athletes.....stopped the whole process and the technology that goes along with it...lab fee`s..legal fee`s....all the people who are employed by the IAAF or the USATF to do all the leg work involved with testing . The dollar amount is staggering. Better put to good use some where else.
Hey guys-look below. Can't you see that dl and gh are trying to back on to track. Btw-Donovan Bailey just said on a talk show on TSN that White should get suspended. Just caught the last part of it so I'm not sure if he is just talking Worlds or not. He cited the non declaration of the drug basically. The host asked him(and I haven't heard this before) whether or not he thought that Provigil was a masking agent. He kind of squirmed around a bit and then said "possibly".
>Who decides what is a supplement vs a drug? Is
>creatine a drug? It helps folks in
Until a certain
>substance shows up on the banned list, folks will
>take it as a supplement.
For athletes to be
>totally clean, are we saying that they should
>only have natural foods with no other
Well, creatine is a naturally occuring substance in plants and in foods like steak. EPO, Repoxagen, Anavar ... they don't turn up no matter how many steaks you eat, or how much lifing you do, or how much altitude training is involved..
"Please name somebody in "leadership" (either national or international) who through either action or inaction who has demonstrated this. And while you're at it, please come up with a possible motive."
Huh? Please explain why DDR athletes still hold women's WRs in 400 and 4x100 when there is far more than enough evidence (in writing, documents found post-DDR) to indict them. Please explain why some athletes can confess to drug use (Ruth Fuchs) and it is ignored, while others (Angella Issajenko) confess and lose records and medals. Such "leadership" hardly shows the world that a rule against taking drugs has teeth. The IAAF has brought the reputation of the sport into disrepute in many people's ideas thanks to their hypocrisy. Motive? Maybe a rug and a broom to hide their filthy laundry.
"A Burlingame lab that specializes in nutritional supplements and serves athletes including Barry Bonds, Marion Jones and 250 professional football players was raided yesterday afternoon by the IRS and the San Mateo County Narcotics."