Secret of the Dead: Doping for Gold


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Secret of the Dead: Doping for Gold

Postby Jacksf » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:57 pm

Just watched a fascinating episode on PBS about the East German systematic doping of their athletes.
http://www.truveo.com/SECRETS-OF-THE-DE ... /971992275
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/episode ... for-gold-2

Most of their young athletes didn't even know they were being doped.
They were also told that the athletes in the West were cheating and taking steroids, but didn't realize they themselves were doping.
Many of the athletes have had long term damage and health problems from the doping. Some of the drugs were so strong that they caused one athlete, Heidi Kreiger - 86 Euro shot put champ - to have a sex change operation.

An interesting side note...they talked to a West German doctor who headed the anti-doping testing for the 83 Pan American Games. He said many of the American athletes tested positive for drugs and promptly left the Games.
Does anyone know anything about or remember this?
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Postby Marlow » Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:13 pm

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Postby Daisy » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:46 pm

Marlow wrote:http://mb.trackandfieldnews.com/discussion/viewtopic.php?t=30586&highlight=secrets+dead


From that thread:
gh wrote:I don't recall Krieger one way or another, but suspect that if she were mannish it was because she was born that way (and was on the way to a sex change operation no matter what program she was on).


I agree with this comment.
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Postby Matt » Wed Aug 06, 2008 12:57 am

Krieger was a little bloke-ish but didn't help herself with her haircut etc. Other East German throwers were quite the opposite eg Gansky and Hellman, both of whom maintained their feminity during their careers.

Did any 'big' US T&F names suddenly withdraw from the 1983 Pan-Ams?
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Re: Secret of the Dead: Doping for Gold

Postby Rob » Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:26 am

Jacksf wrote: Some of the drugs were so strong that they caused one athlete, Heidi Kreiger - 86 Euro shot put champ - to have a sex change operation.


Total BS.

The emergence of the individual now called Andreas Krieger had nothing to do with a PED overdose.

Note the similar and much more recent 'transition' of the pole vaulter Yvonne (now Balian) Buschbaum - which had nothing to do with drugs.

And if you want to look at Germans who paid the ultimate price for performance enhancing drug abuse during the 1980s, you need look no further than Birgit Dressel (who happened to be WEST German).

Propaganda and ignorance applied in equal measures can evidently produce astonishing results, even amongst the 'well-informed' on this board.
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Re: Secret of the Dead: Doping for Gold

Postby Mennisco » Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:31 am

Rob wrote:
Jacksf wrote: Some of the drugs were so strong that they caused one athlete, Heidi Kreiger - 86 Euro shot put champ - to have a sex change operation.


Total BS.

Propaganda and ignorance applied in equal measures can evidently produce astonishing results, even amongst the 'well-informed' on this board.


As usual Rob, a balanced and unbiased response from you. So the Andreas Krieger reference is twisted. Is there anything about the articles you found interesting, or informative, in any way? Could I be forgiven for saying it seems your comments are overwhelmingly negative, and come across as jaded and bitter?
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Postby Rob » Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:47 am

I've seen it all before, many times over (and much more, in the German press). Not much patience left these days, to be perfectly honest...

Re-packaging of half-truths to grab 'pseudo' headlines nearly 20 years after the wall came down, and prior to an imminent Olympics, is politically biased and written with intent.

Those who cast stones should not live in glass houses (and that's not aimed at you).

To add a counter argument - the top-ranked DVfL female athletes from the 1970s and 1980s, whose names will be familiar to most members on this board, all seem to be healthy, in good physical condition (most are now in their 50s), with healthy sons and daughters. But nobody bothers reporting that. Why not?
Last edited by Rob on Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mennisco » Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:55 am

Rob wrote:Re-packaging of half-truths to grab 'pseudo' headlines nearly 20 years after the wall came down, and prior to an imminent Olympics, is politically biased and written with intent.


I totally agree with that .

FWIW - I've been secretly collecting data on many stars who are going to test positive over the next few years, when things "thaw out"......I'm already cutting deals with some since I know people on the inside who will make sure their samples never show anything. I've had some death threats, but those people ended up dead anyway, so what the heck. I "carry on"......

http://www.sfwa.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psych

:wink: :lol:
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Postby Jacksf » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:07 am

The show interviewed Kreiger, and he certainly made it seem that the doping he received played a major role in his decision to have a sex change operation.

I found this in the NY Times, Jan 24, 2004...

"The taking of pills and injections of anabolic steroids created virile features and heightened confusion about an already uncertain sexual identity, Krieger said, influencing a decision to have a sex-change operation in 1997 and to become known legally as Andreas.

"They killed Heidi," Krieger said.
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Postby tandfman » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:10 am

Matt wrote:Did any 'big' US T&F names suddenly withdraw from the 1983 Pan-Ams?

I have a vague recollection that it was reported at the time that at least one athlete withdrew and did not compete, allegedly when he/she learned that there would be drug testing. I'm blanking on the name(s).
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Postby Halfmiler2 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:43 am

My recollection ia that it was a whole lot more athletes - about ten or twelve, but the really big names were skipping the Pan-Ams because of the first World Championships being held in Helsinki that summer.

I think the Pan Am withdrawals got significant press - television news as well as print media. I sort of recall a shot putter admitting in a television interview (perhaps on the PBS News Hour) that he had taken a caffeine pill and did not want to be tested for fear of a positive. I think TAC made some sort of investigiation and issued a report of some kind.
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Postby odelltrclan » Wed Aug 06, 2008 12:55 pm

gh wrote:I don't recall Krieger one way or another, but suspect that if she were mannish it was because she was born that way (and was on the way to a sex change operation no matter what program she was on).


I agree with this comment.[/quote]

I suggest people watch the entire video feed. I find those comments to be a little lame. A socialized government (seems a certain party in American wants to go that direction) looking only into their own interests damaging many athletes.

The video metions that the drugs and doses given to Krieger were different and greater than to other athletes and very well could have led to her ultimate decision. Another athlete in the program was in a similar situation but has not gotten a gender change.

To dismiss this as a simple whim is seems pretty ignorant or careless, for lack of a known better word.
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Postby Daisy » Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:43 pm

odelltrclan wrote:
daisy wrote:
gh wrote:I don't recall Krieger one way or another, but suspect that if she were mannish it was because she was born that way (and was on the way to a sex change operation no matter what program she was on).


I agree with this comment.


I suggest people watch the entire video feed. I find those comments to be a little lame.


Read Krieger's own words as quoted by Jack above.

Jacksf wrote:I found this in the NY Times, Jan 24, 2004...

"The taking of pills and injections of anabolic steroids created virile features and heightened confusion about an already uncertain sexual identity, Krieger said, influencing a decision to have a sex-change operation in 1997 and to become known legally as Andreas.
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Postby bambam » Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:09 pm

Rob wrote:To add a counter argument - the top-ranked DVfL female athletes from the 1970s and 1980s, whose names will be familiar to most members on this board, all seem to be healthy, in good physical condition (most are now in their 50s), with healthy sons and daughters. But nobody bothers reporting that. Why not?


That's an excellent point, Rob. Unfortunately, dog bites man is not a headline, man bites dog is.
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Postby odelltrclan » Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:11 pm

Daisy wrote:
odelltrclan wrote:
daisy wrote:
gh wrote:I don't recall Krieger one way or another, but suspect that if she were mannish it was because she was born that way (and was on the way to a sex change
"The taking of pills and injections of anabolic steroids created virile features and heightened confusion about an already uncertain sexual identity, Krieger said, influencing a decision to have a sex-change operation in 1997 and to become known legally as Andreas.


You also could have highlighting the "taking of pills and anabolic steroids created virile features and heightened confusion". Many people go through a period of "confusion" yet many do not go get cut up as a result. The video clips discussed the massive doses of male hormones for a long period of time that far exceeded what even a normal man would have and they had profound effects on her body. She stated her physical features changes and she became an outcast in her society. You are trying to tell me that had no impact on that ultimate decision?. Even she would not even know the answer to that because she was never allowed to go through that period in her life without the impact of those drugs. Her freedoms, and those of other athletes were violated.

I find it a little offensive for someone to say that they were "mannish" and probably headed their anyway when they really have no idea the impact the massive amounts of male hormones could have played.
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Postby Daisy » Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:21 pm

odelltrclan wrote:Her freedoms, and those of other athletes were violated.

I'm not denying that, but to claim that the drugs changed her from a normal woman to a man does not seem to fit the facts as presented in this thread. Do we know for sure she was the only one using the higher doses? Do we know for sure they pushed her to a gender that she was not already experiencing?
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Postby bad hammy » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:09 pm

An irreverent comment on a serious thread subject:

When I saw the title of this thread I was figuring it would tell me why the Grateful Dead were so damn popular . . .

OK, back to your local station.
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Postby imaginative » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:02 pm

It is quite possible that she just needed someone to blame in order to
cope with her situation. If this is the case, we should let her.
(Although therapy and acceptance is the better way to go.) No-one
innocent is being hurt, and she can feel better about the situation.

As for the factual possibility: It seems entirely plausible that
a woman who already is close to the border is pushed over by a mixture
of artificial hormonal disturbances and a ``macho'' environment.
Consider also that the EG system _may_ have made it harder for a female
athlete to develop traditionally female interests, find feminine
role-models, and so on. (I can obviously not judge whether this
applies to Krieger in particular.)

Look, as an analogy, at the related issue of sexual orientation: Most
people are not unambiguously straight or gay, but somewhere in-between.
In many cases, the eventual choice can be brought on by a few critical
coincidences, e.g. that someone has an early same-sex partner and
afterwards remains in an environment (friends, favourite bars, etc.)
that makes further same-sex partners the default. (Similarly, with a higher
likelyhood, the opposite scenario for someone who leans more to the
gay side by nature. Consider also the case of someone who is
indoctrinated to consider homosexuality to be evil, and forces
him/herself into a heterosexual mold.)

Much of our respective developments has been caused by small nudges at
the right/wrong time, big one-time decisions, and sheer coincidence.
(Other parts have been results of inherent nature.)
Sexual identity would be an extreme, but IMO is not an exception where
border cases are concerned.
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Postby Novitiate » Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:04 pm

imaginative wrote:
Look, as an analogy, at the related issue of sexual orientation: Most
people are not unambiguously straight or gay, but somewhere in-between.
In many cases, the eventual choice can be brought on by a few critical
coincidences, e.g. that someone has an early same-sex partner and
afterwards remains in an environment (friends, favourite bars, etc.)
that makes further same-sex partners the default. (Similarly, with a higher
likelyhood, the opposite scenario for someone who leans more to the
gay side by nature. Consider also the case of someone who is
indoctrinated to consider homosexuality to be evil, and forces
him/herself into a heterosexual mold.)



Is this Camille Paglia speaking? What events do you like Camille?

http://literarymakeovers.blogspot.com/2 ... aglia.html
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Postby Pego » Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:27 pm

There had been people of indistinct sexual characteristics before Heidi (Andreas) Krieger as well as after. Some took drugs, most of them did not. There is not one iota of evidence that steroids, including testosterone would change a woman into a man. Temporary hirsutism, lower voice, yes, but that is about it. I read many accounts of athletes attributing their subsequent disorders (including malignancies) to the use of steroids with absolutely no supporting evidence. Correlation does not equate causation.
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Postby Jacksf » Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:08 pm

You guys should watch the show to see what Krieger has to say about it himself - rather than just guessing about he felt.
They did mention that the drugs given to Krieger were 20 times stronger than what Ben Johnson was taking.
Krieger said that the drugs played a major role in deciding to make the change.
In the NY Times article, he said, "they killed Heidi"
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Postby Daisy » Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:00 pm

Not to sound too sceptical but invariably popular science programs embellish the facts. I may not have seen the show but there are quotes from the show above that send mixed messages. Already that is a red flag for an objective story.
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Postby Marlow » Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:08 pm

Jacksf wrote:Krieger said that the drugs played a major role in deciding to make the change.

It's quite possible that she is using that as an excuse for what was hardly an easy realization - facing up to the fact that you're a man trapped in a woman's body.
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Postby gh » Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:18 pm

Krieger's opinion on what any steroids did to his/her body are no more germane than Lionel Alzado's deciding that his brain cancer came from it. That's the kind of determination that one can't make on one's own accord. Those are mere anecdotal testimony, like the kind used to sell you snake oil.
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Postby imaginative » Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:32 pm

Novitiate wrote:
Is this Camille Paglia speaking? What events do you like Camille?

http://literarymakeovers.blogspot.com/2 ... aglia.html


After careful review of her wikipedia entry, I am almost certain that
I am not Camille Paglia. (A small window has to be left for the
possibility of a sex change operation and an extreme re-juvenation cure,
followed by a complete memory make-over.)

There does, however, seem to be at least some areas where we think
alike to each other and contrary to the PC/mainstream view.
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Postby Pego » Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:36 am

gh wrote:Krieger's opinion on what any steroids did to his/her body are no more germane than Lionel Alzado's deciding that his brain cancer came from it. That's the kind of determination that one can't make on one's own accord. Those are mere anecdotal testimony, like the kind used to sell you snake oil.


Precisely.
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Re: Secret of the Dead: Doping for Gold

Postby gh » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:41 am

Jacksf wrote:J....
Many of the athletes have had long term damage and health problems from the doping. ...


I suspect there is zero scientific evidence to back this up. While I'm sure if you took all the DDR athletes from the '70s and '80s and compared them with the population of a random town in any country on planet of the same size (let's say 5000), I suspect you'd find both samples with sexual ID problems, with unexplained premature deaths, with cancers, with liver failures, etc., etc. Until somebody does a peer-reviewed study that shows that the athletes are prone to these things in any way outside a normal populace, I'll stick to real science rather than sensationalism.

It's kind of like deaths in the military. I saw a study once of how many people died while serving in the U.S. Armed Services in the course of a year (this was pre-Iraq, during "peace") and the number was stunning. Car accidents, falling in the bathtub... all the frailties to which we're all prone. It's so easy to think that the only way you die in the Army is the enemy shooting you, but all the time, they're dieing off in the same mundane ways as all the rest of us.
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Re: Secret of the Dead: Doping for Gold

Postby croflash » Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:29 am

gh wrote:
Jacksf wrote:J....
Many of the athletes have had long term damage and health problems from the doping. ...


I suspect there is zero scientific evidence to back this up. While I'm sure if you took all the DDR athletes from the '70s and '80s and compared them with the population of a random town in any country on planet of the same size (let's say 5000), I suspect you'd find both samples with sexual ID problems, with unexplained premature deaths, with cancers, with liver failures, etc., etc. Until somebody does a peer-reviewed study that shows that the athletes are prone to these things in any way outside a normal populace, I'll stick to real science rather than sensationalism.

It's kind of like deaths in the military. I saw a study once of how many people died while serving in the U.S. Armed Services in the course of a year (this was pre-Iraq, during "peace") and the number was stunning. Car accidents, falling in the bathtub... all the frailties to which we're all prone. It's so easy to think that the only way you die in the Army is the enemy shooting you, but all the time, they're dieing off in the same mundane ways as all the rest of us.


There is scientific evidence as there are old documents from GDR scientists and doctors stating that they were expecting and tolerating long term damages to the athletes. It is proven that PEDs, especially anabolic steroids led to all sorts of problems. One example is former shot putter Gerd Jacobs who was given PEDs by Werner Goldmann (who is the coach of Robert Harting and the German shot put team today despite a lawsuit in 1998), Jacobs had a heart transplantation five years ago.

Then you have class-action lawsuits from former GDR athletes, they succeeded because it was proven that their long term damages were not because of the training, they are suffering from the abuse of oral-turinabol and other PEDs. It is true that not any former athlete has those problems, but the number of those who can't give birth to children because uterus is inable to. Another example is Birgit Boese who has had organs of an 11 year old at the age of 24 because they PEDs interfered that process. She was still growing, as were here hands and she became more muscular, but she is still suffering because of that today.

Many recognized doctors are shocked today about the dimension of doping in the GDR and most of them are backing up their diagnosis of long term damaged with the abuse of PEDs. I know that because there has been a lot about that that topic in the German media recently. There has been before, but with the Olympics nearing, several former GDR athletes were interviewed and you could hear the opinion of doctors about the reason for the long term damages.
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Re: Secret of the Dead: Doping for Gold

Postby Daisy » Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:53 am

croflash wrote:There is scientific evidence as there are old documents from GDR scientists and doctors stating that they were expecting and tolerating long term damages to the athletes. It is proven that PEDs, especially anabolic steroids led to all sorts of problems. One example is former shot putter Gerd Jacobs who was given PEDs by Werner Goldmann (who is the coach of Robert Harting and the German shot put team today despite a lawsuit in 1998), Jacobs had a heart transplantation five years ago.


Doctors who were "expecting" long term damage will have problems being objective due to their conformation bias.

"Proven" is not a word I associate with science, especially when we are dealing with very few data points.

With respect to the heart transplant, this is gh's point above. Heart disease is common there needs to be a control group and preferably the study would need hundreds of data points.


croflash wrote:Then you have class-action lawsuits from former GDR athletes, they succeeded because it was proven that their long term damages were not because of the training, they are suffering from the abuse of oral-turinabol and other PEDs.


A court of law rarely, if ever, presents a scientifically objective hypothesis.


croflash wrote:It is true that not any former athlete has those problems, but the number of those who can't give birth to children because uterus is inable to. Another example is Birgit Boese who has had organs of an 11 year old at the age of 24 because they PEDs interfered that process. She was still growing, as were here hands and she became more muscular, but she is still suffering because of that today.


I don't know about this case but individual examples are not useful for a scientific consensus. The same problems in many different individuals is the beginning of a hypothesis. And that is the starting point for clinical studies, with rigid controls, that could then lead to a strong correlation.

croflash wrote:Many recognized doctors are shocked today about the dimension of doping in the GDR and most of them are backing up their diagnosis of long term damaged with the abuse of PEDs.


This returns to conformation bias. Without strong data sets from controlled trials any opinions are two a penny. I am certain that other recognised doctors could be found to present the opposite case. This kind of data always leads to polar opinions within the scientific community. I have yet to see really good studies on the health effects of drugs in healthy athletes and part of the reason is the ethical issues. The other is that they're banned.

On a topic like this I think any strong statement with regard to proof should be taken with the scepticism it deserves. This does not mean it is wrong.
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Postby imaginative » Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:14 am

To formulate the issues slightly differently:

1. That a certain percentage of all people exposed to X suffer from Y
does not automatically imply that X causes (or is otherwise correlated
with) Y. Only if the percentage is significantly (in the statistics
sense) higher than in control groups is there a valid reason for
conclusions. (Suspicion is another matter.)

2. Even if X does cause Y, it is not logically correct to
assume that it did so in a specific individual (barring very specific
evidence). Smoking does increase the risk of lung cancer; however, not
all smokers who have lung cancer got it because of smoking.
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Postby Daisy » Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:23 am

Anyone who is interested in this debate should read the following article that appeared in the new york times magazine.

Do We Really Know What Makes Us Healthy?
By GARY TAUBES
Published: September 16, 2007

Interesting paragraph from the middle of the article:
As John Bailar, an epidemiologist who is now at the National Academy of Science, once memorably phrased it, “The appropriate question is not whether there are uncertainties about epidemiologic data, rather, it is whether the uncertainties are so great that one cannot draw useful conclusions from the data.”
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Re: Secret of the Dead: Doping for Gold

Postby croflash » Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:55 am

Daisy wrote:This returns to conformation bias. Without strong data sets from controlled trials any opinions are two a penny. I am certain that other recognised doctors could be found to present the opposite case. This kind of data always leads to polar opinions within the scientific community. I have yet to see really good studies on the health effects of drugs in healthy athletes and part of the reason is the ethical issues. The other is that they're banned.

On a topic like this I think any strong statement with regard to proof should be taken with the scepticism it deserves. This does not mean it is wrong.


This pretty much means though that you won't be satisfied with any information regading that topic. It's impossible to have in-depth study on the long term damage effects since you would either have to find enough people willing to sacrifice their bodies or convince athletes who have admitted to drug use to be available for a study.

However, even then it's still inaccurate because drugs from the 70s and 80s might have a different effect on the body then they do today. You either have to take the statements of former athletes with a grain of salt or accept those, I don't think there will ever be a consensus on it.
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Re: Secret of the Dead: Doping for Gold

Postby Daisy » Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:08 am

croflash wrote:
Daisy wrote:This returns to conformation bias. Without strong data sets from controlled trials any opinions are two a penny. I am certain that other recognised doctors could be found to present the opposite case. This kind of data always leads to polar opinions within the scientific community. I have yet to see really good studies on the health effects of drugs in healthy athletes and part of the reason is the ethical issues. The other is that they're banned.

On a topic like this I think any strong statement with regard to proof should be taken with the scepticism it deserves. This does not mean it is wrong.

This pretty much means though that you won't be satisfied with any information regarding that topic.

As a whole the body of data and conclusions leave me with doubts. I do not discount the data but rather the weight of the conclusions that are derived from these data.

croflash wrote:It's impossible to have in-depth study on the long term damage effects since you would either have to find enough people willing to sacrifice their bodies or convince athletes who have admitted to drug use to be available for a study.

I think you'll find plenty of people willing to sacrifice their bodies. Look at how many body builders are out there. In fact, that might be the group that should be used for such a study. That would get around the problem that these athletes would be banned, or are steroids banned in body building too?

More problematic would be that the control group might not be happy if they find out they are not on the steroids (by the fact they are not bulking up).

croflash wrote:However, even then it's still inaccurate because drugs from the 70s and 80s might have a different effect on the body then they do today.

I'm not sure what you mean here. Why would you expect steroids to have a different physiological effect now compared to the 70's?
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Re: Secret of the Dead: Doping for Gold

Postby croflash » Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:27 am

Daisy wrote:
croflash wrote:It's impossible to have in-depth study on the long term damage effects since you would either have to find enough people willing to sacrifice their bodies or convince athletes who have admitted to drug use to be available for a study.

I think you'll find plenty of people willing to sacrifice their bodies. Look at how many body builders are out there. In fact, that might be the group that should be used for such a study. That would get around the problem that these athletes would be banned, or are steroids banned in body building too?

More problematic would be that the control group might not be happy if they find out they are not on the steroids (by the fact they are not bulking up).


Steroids are banned in any sport, doesn't mean bodybuilders don't use them.

Daisy wrote:
croflash wrote:However, even then it's still inaccurate because drugs from the 70s and 80s might have a different effect on the body then they do today.

I'm not sure what you mean here. Why would you expect steroids to have a different physiological effect now compared to the 70's?


That's another aspect, I don't think a substance like HGH has the some long-term effects on athletes as, let's say, oral-turinabol had. Of course we are at the same point again and it depends whether you believe that or not. PEDs of today are more sophisticated than they were back then.
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Re: Secret of the Dead: Doping for Gold

Postby odelltrclan » Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:33 pm

There is scientific evidence as there are old documents from GDR scientists and doctors stating that they were expecting and tolerating long term damages to the athletes. It is proven that PEDs, especially anabolic steroids led to all sorts of problems. One example is former shot putter Gerd Jacobs who was given PEDs by Werner Goldmann (who is the coach of Robert Harting and the German shot put team today despite a lawsuit in 1998), Jacobs had a heart transplantation five years ago.

Then you have class-action lawsuits from former GDR athletes, they succeeded because it was proven that their long term damages were not because of the training, they are suffering from the abuse of oral-turinabol and other PEDs. It is true that not any former athlete has those problems, but the number of those who can't give birth to children because uterus is inable to. Another example is Birgit Boese who has had organs of an 11 year old at the age of 24 because they PEDs interfered that process. She was still growing, as were here hands and she became more muscular, but she is still suffering because of that today.

Many recognized doctors are shocked today about the dimension of doping in the GDR and most of them are backing up their diagnosis of long term damaged with the abuse of PEDs. I know that because there has been a lot about that that topic in the German media recently. There has been before, but with the Olympics nearing, several former GDR athletes were interviewed and you could hear the opinion of doctors about the reason for the long term damages.[/quote]


I think you are barking up the wrong tree here with many of these posters. A lot of won't believe in the damage of these drugs because of lack of "scientific proof". Of course, remember now, Marion Jones never tested positive for drugs right? Getting so-called scientific proof is a crapshoot because of all the variables and conditions that could affect outcomes. It is not uncommon to hear of disagreements among so-called scientifc "experts" about the results of scientific studies.

Common sense, which the world lacks plenty of these days, would lead you to believe that if you mess with mother nature, weird and bad things can, will, and do happen. There is plenty of evidence, but many won't accept unless it was done in a lab looking for a small set of certain results over a period of years.

Common sense tells me that if you pump huge amounts of male hormones [i.e. 20 times Ben Johnson's level] into a female (who then became abnormally large and powerful with odd characterics and then was ostracized by her society] something bad probably would have happened.
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Postby imaginative » Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:57 pm

A common fallacy, in particular in media, is to think that ``no
scientific proof'' equals ``is not true''. This, obviously, need not
be the case. It is similar to a ``not guilty'' in court---it often
just means that ``reasonable doubts'' exist, not necessarily that the
defendant was innocent. We, too, should take care not to fall into
this fallacy.
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Re: Secret of the Dead: Doping for Gold

Postby bambam » Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:54 pm

Daisy wrote:
croflash wrote:There is scientific evidence as there are old documents from GDR scientists and doctors stating that they were expecting and tolerating long term damages to the athletes. It is proven that PEDs, especially anabolic steroids led to all sorts of problems. One example is former shot putter Gerd Jacobs who was given PEDs by Werner Goldmann (who is the coach of Robert Harting and the German shot put team today despite a lawsuit in 1998), Jacobs had a heart transplantation five years ago.


Doctors who were "expecting" long term damage will have problems being objective due to their conformation bias.

"Proven" is not a word I associate with science, especially when we are dealing with very few data points.

With respect to the heart transplant, this is gh's point above. Heart disease is common there needs to be a control group and preferably the study would need hundreds of data points.


croflash wrote:Then you have class-action lawsuits from former GDR athletes, they succeeded because it was proven that their long term damages were not because of the training, they are suffering from the abuse of oral-turinabol and other PEDs.


A court of law rarely, if ever, presents a scientifically objective hypothesis.


croflash wrote:It is true that not any former athlete has those problems, but the number of those who can't give birth to children because uterus is inable to. Another example is Birgit Boese who has had organs of an 11 year old at the age of 24 because they PEDs interfered that process. She was still growing, as were here hands and she became more muscular, but she is still suffering because of that today.


I don't know about this case but individual examples are not useful for a scientific consensus. The same problems in many different individuals is the beginning of a hypothesis. And that is the starting point for clinical studies, with rigid controls, that could then lead to a strong correlation.

croflash wrote:Many recognized doctors are shocked today about the dimension of doping in the GDR and most of them are backing up their diagnosis of long term damaged with the abuse of PEDs.


This returns to conformation bias. Without strong data sets from controlled trials any opinions are two a penny. I am certain that other recognised doctors could be found to present the opposite case. This kind of data always leads to polar opinions within the scientific community. I have yet to see really good studies on the health effects of drugs in healthy athletes and part of the reason is the ethical issues. The other is that they're banned.

On a topic like this I think any strong statement with regard to proof should be taken with the scepticism it deserves. This does not mean it is wrong.


Excellent points from Daisy
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Re: Secret of the Dead: Doping for Gold

Postby bambam » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:00 pm

odelltrclan wrote:It is proven that PEDs, especially anabolic steroids led to all sorts of problems.


No, that is incorrect as Daisy pointed out above. Proving something in the medical world means performing a randomized, prospective clinical trial, to produce what we refer to as Level I Evidence. This has never been done, to my knowledge, with performance enhancing drugs, for a number of reasons. I've asked the other MDs on this board a few times if they knew of any or could give me references to any RCTs but have never gotten any.

The fact that GDR athletes had health problems after taking PEDs, does not mean that the PEDs caused the health problems. That is a leap and assumption you cannot make scientifically. It is what we term in medicine anecdotal evidence (or Level V Evidence - the lowest level). Your rejoinder that "there are a lot of anecdotes" will be countered by the common statement we have about that "a millions anecdotes still constitutes anecdotal evidence."

Your reasoning is using the legal reasoning of post hoc ergo propter hoc - "after this, therefore because of this." By that reasoning we have - winter has snow, spring follows winter; therefore, snow causes spring. Does not work scientifically.
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Postby eldrick » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:33 pm

bam

merck didn't need to do a level-1 trial to pull vioxx when some evidence started coming back that it possibly/probably increased infarction risk in cardio patients with established ihd

similarly, schering's not going to be doing trials on 5y+ use of high dose testo just to test whether it pre-disposes to hepatoma or hyperlipidaemia leading to necessity of cardiac transplantation - soon as they get back anecdotal incidences of such with chronic, therapeutic doses, they'll put it on warnings/precautions part of their formulary & doc/user beware

if level 1 trials is be all/end all of medical progress, we'd still be in era of "foxglove" for the "dropsy"
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Re: Secret of the Dead: Doping for Gold

Postby odelltrclan » Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:01 pm

bambam wrote:
odelltrclan wrote:It is proven that PEDs, especially anabolic steroids led to all sorts of problems.


No, that is incorrect as Daisy pointed out above. Proving something in the medical world means performing a randomized, prospective clinical trial, to produce what we refer to as Level I Evidence. This has never been done, to my knowledge, with performance enhancing drugs, for a number of reasons. I've asked the other MDs on this board a few times if they knew of any or could give me references to any RCTs but have never gotten any.

The fact that GDR athletes had health problems after taking PEDs, does not mean that the PEDs caused the health problems. That is a leap and assumption you cannot make scientifically. It is what we term in medicine anecdotal evidence (or Level V Evidence - the lowest level). Your rejoinder that "there are a lot of anecdotes" will be countered by the common statement we have about that "a millions anecdotes still constitutes anecdotal evidence."

Your reasoning is using the legal reasoning of post hoc ergo propter hoc - "after this, therefore because of this." By that reasoning we have - winter has snow, spring follows winter; therefore, snow causes spring. Does not work scientifically.



Please go back and read my last post because it couldn't apply more to folks like you and Daisy. Please also review the entire production piece on video.

You people cannot see the forest from the trees. There is plenty of evidence of the physical damage done by the drugs, especially in the case of the DDR, before the science improved. But because it hasn't fit neatly into your clinical lab test protocol, you won't believe it. There is plenty of evidence, mind you, but you have conditioned yourself not to accept other obvious forms of evidence, so you cannot get out of your own way.

Too bad.
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