Who is to blame for the drug problem in sport?


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Who is to blame for the drug problem in sport?

Postby valleyrunner » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:35 pm

I pose this question because is it really the atheltes fault? Sure they take the drugs seeking improved performance or to recover from an injury quicker.

But we have in existence several known coaches who have for decades been allowed to continue encouraging this behavior and even when several of thier athletes are known to have used drugs allowed to not just coach, but convince other young athletes that, "well if you want to compete then you must take HGH, epo and a low-dose of testosterone if you want to get to the top."

Or is the agents that have a huge role to play in the sport these days as they encourage the atheltes to do "whatever is necessary" to win and earn the most money that encourage this decision to use drugs and facilitate it as is alledged some agents have done and is confirmed with a couple.

Then again I take it a step further, athletes are encouraged or even forced with loss of money from their contract to train with the above coaches by their shoe and apparel sponsor.

For years one company who has way too much power within our sport, has either directly or indirectly advocated for illegal drug use. I once did a review of athletes in track who tested positive and what shoe company they were with and it shocked me that over 85% were with one company. Athletes test positive or serve doping bans and still companies re-sign them to sponsor deals knowing the dirty deeds they did. Stories abound about some employed by shoe companies and their own drug use in years goneby so obviously they have certain view and expectation of what its going to take to be competitive at the world level.

So should WADA and USADA focus on the athletes or should they focus on the problem at a different level? Its like prostitution. You can focus on the johns, the girls turning the tricks, the pimps or the crime organization that props much of it up all over the world. Food for thought on yet another day of US celebration of food consumption.
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Re: Who is to blame for the drug problem in sport?

Postby Marlow » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:36 pm

Blame? Always, always, always . . . follow the money.
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Re: Who is to blame for the drug problem in sport?

Postby valleyrunner » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:46 pm

My point exactly and I will add, Is a sports organization puts itself in a difficult jam when it develops close ties with companies that profit from their athletes performing well on drugs so their is incentive to not put forth the greatest investigations when its obvious where the money is coming from?

I got to thinking about this the other day when reading the NY Times story that was linked on front page that said the government shouldn't pursue drug allegations against Lance Armstrong and Roger Clemens. Could we see certain parties who stand to lose in this put political pressure/special donations on certain key Congressmen to get these investigations to go a certain way or in the case of Lance, go away?
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Re: Who is to blame for the drug problem in sport?

Postby tandfman » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:51 pm

Who is to blame for the drug problem in sport? How about what is to blame?

Maybe just human nature.
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Re: Who is to blame for the drug problem in sport?

Postby gh » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:44 pm

Marlow wrote:Blame? Always, always, always . . . follow the money.


Money indeed be the root of almost-all evil, but this is one of the exceptions. Well, not zackly, but the roots of drug-enhancement way transcend the money era.

If you were ever an athlete (or even "athlete") with any aspirations, life revolves around only one thing, and that's PRs. Only a teeny-tiny % have money as a motivation (as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever more....)

This is the insidious soft seduction of PEDs. Above all else (way above all else) is the desire to up your own personal tally sheet. And "whatever goes" is the bottom line.

Twas the case before PEDs ever came along, and always shall be. To think otherwise is to be painfully out of touch.
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Re: Who is to blame for the drug problem in sport?

Postby lonewolf » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:30 pm

I don't even know if PEDs were around when I was competing 1949-53. We had some national and world class athletes and I do not believe any were on any kind of drug. i know I would not have knowingly taken anything illegal to shave a tenth off my 100 or a second off my 440, nor do I think my coach would have permitted it.
Heck, I don't even take aspirin.
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Re: Who is to blame for the drug problem in sport?

Postby valleyrunner » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:51 pm

gh to some extent I could agree but honestly like lonewolf is saying I just feel MOST athletes would prefer not to take chances on PED's that do whatever side effects or harm to the body in addition to the benefits they deliver but they are convinced, proded, cajoled or fooled into taking drugs because to achieve PR's ultimately results in bigger pay days and teams made.

Let me put it this way, if there was NO money and no world major events and athletes were only in the sport like say the weekend road racer they wouldn't take illegal drugs because the risk isnt worth the reward. But with money and honors and so forth it leads to a desire for many to cut corners and thats where it comes back to who is paying the lion's share of the the money and thats where the pressure to take illegal steps comes into play.
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Re: Who is to blame for the drug problem in sport?

Postby El Toro » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:34 am

valleyrunner wrote:Let me put it this way, if there was NO money and no world major events and athletes were only in the sport like say the weekend road racer they wouldn't take illegal drugs because the risk isnt worth the reward.


Flat out wrong. Just look at bodybuilding where use is high even though a vanishingly small number of people EVER compete. Look at the Masters sports world - non-trivial positives on a semi-regular basis.

gh is right, some people will do what they need to be the at the top no matter how small or large the pond. Your point that their might be external pressures that increase the propensity of some borderline cases to dope remains valid.
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Re: Who is to blame for the drug problem in sport?

Postby Powell » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:06 am

El Toro wrote:
valleyrunner wrote:Let me put it this way, if there was NO money and no world major events and athletes were only in the sport like say the weekend road racer they wouldn't take illegal drugs because the risk isnt worth the reward.


Flat out wrong. Just look at bodybuilding where use is high even though a vanishingly small number of people EVER compete. Look at the Masters sports world - non-trivial positives on a semi-regular basis.

gh is right, some people will do what they need to be the at the top no matter how small or large the pond.


I agree as well. As a competitive Scrabble player I know there are people who tried (and in a couple of cases temporarily succeeded) to cheat their way to the top in the game. And believe me, at the national level, there is no fame and fortune to be gained there.
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Re: Who is to blame for the drug problem in sport?

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:51 am

I wish the Feds would start trying to flip athletes into becoming informers so that all the coaches and trainers who are pushing PED's could be exposed.
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Re: Who is to blame for the drug problem in sport?

Postby catson52 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:02 am

How long have "drugs" been around in the sport? Many years back, someone made the devastating observation on another thread, that both Walter George and Lon Myers had strong connections with "pharmacies" during their careers. Food for thought?
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Re: Who is to blame for the drug problem in sport?

Postby valleyrunner » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:15 am

jazzcyclist wrote: "I wish the Feds would start trying to flip athletes into becoming informers so that all the coaches and trainers who are pushing PED's could be exposed."

I am totally for this. Was somewhat done for Kellye White in the Balco case but her "reduced sentence" was enough to end her career anyway. The same handful of dirty coaches are usually responsible for over 80% of the cheating we have witnessed if not higher. The sport would be so much better albeit slower if we could roost out all of the dirty dealers. Instead we have sponsors supporting most of these coaches and in fact pushing hard to get athletes they sign to these coaches. At US Nationals a NCAA champion was told by one company they would only sign them if they moved to a particular coach but they were unwilling and took a lesser deal with a company that allowed them to stay with their current college coach as their professional coach. This has always existed but seems to be have become a bigger issue lately.
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