Kate Schmidt weighs in: Legitimize PEDs


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Kate Schmidt weighs in: Legitimize PEDs

Postby wamego relays champ » Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:22 am

Perhaps I missed it on these boards, but I'm sure others besides me saw the LA Times Sunday Opinion Section piece by Kate Schmidt, in which she explains why the criticism of MJ is unfair and calls for legalizing limited use of PEDs. Not a popular view, but fearless individuality has always been part of why she was called Kate the Great.

http://www.latimes.com/features/health/ ... 5532.story


The next day LA Times columnist/writer Helene Elliott wrote a rebuttal of sorts:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-ell ... 074.column
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Postby tandfman » Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:46 am

Both of those were on the home page list of linked articles when they were first published.
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Postby gh » Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:54 am

Elliott's rebuttal had a lot of good points, but she severely damaged her case in my eyes by playing the "everybody's going to die" card.

I found it interesting that Kate (for whom I'd be willing to swear on the stack of proverbial bibles I'd believe to have been 100% clean), who almost surely had her Olympic medals of both '72 and '76 diminished--and numerous World Rankings spots deflated--by EastBloc usage, isn't full of the typical "I want my medals" rage of so many of her compatriots.
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Postby Swoosher » Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:22 am

and here is another interesting link to a journal article proposing leagalising doping (under medical supervision). It is a good read.

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6939/8/2

I would consider myself very against doping, but I have to admit they bring up interesting points and valid ideas.

Despite their ideas, and without going into a long post about ethics I would agree with most of the rebutal by Elliott

1) no one wants their kids to have to choose between taking large amounts of drugs or not being able to compete at an elite level

2) I think people are seriously kidding themselves if they think athletes will take "safe" amounts of drugs once allowed. Greed and money always take over (just as they do now) and they will take larger and larger doses to make sure they keep wining and eventually this will result in disaster.

If the "level playing field" becomes one where controlled drug use is permitted - then athletes will just seek to make it unlevel again by using even more dangerous drugs and larger doses resulting in disaster (but some damn impressive performances!!!).

plus - how would you ever police the fact that an athlete was required to use medical supervision for doping? You think the poor Nigerian sprinter trying to make the Olympics is going to take a safe level of Stanozolol with careful medical supervision????

so given you don't have a level playing field either way and you can't police either option - then I for one choose the anti-doping path, acknowledging that many athletes might escape the testing - but it is much better than the alternative mentioned in the above articles IMHO
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Postby Powell » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:23 am

Swoosher wrote:2) I think people are seriously kidding themselves if they think athletes will take "safe" amounts of drugs once allowed. Greed and money always take over (just as they do now) and they will take larger and larger doses to make sure they keep wining and eventually this will result in disaster.


Exactly, it will always be negative selection. Perhaps most athletes will not want to kill themselves to succeed, but there will always be a few despeate enough (for whatever reason) to take the risk, and we'll end up with a situation where those taking only reasonable doses will no longer be competitive. That's why a free-for-all is a terrible solution.

My position is (and has fo a long time been) the following:
- Introduce cut-off limits for all PEDs. If drugs are found in you body in amounts lower than the limit, you're fine.
- Get rid of random testing. Test all top athletes at defined intervals - say every month. You could require them all to show up in the lab on a prearranged date - it would substantially reduce the cost of administering the program compared to what we have now.
- Put emphasis on protecting athletes' health, not on the moral issues. If the athlete is found with 'illegal' quantities of drugs in their system, they should not be allowed to compete because it puts their health at risk, not because they committed a sin or a crime. Give short bans - not more than a few months. That's enough of a punishment for people who depend on competing to make a living.
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Postby EPelle » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:25 am

Bershawn Jackson would appreciate the removal of random testing, as he:s had officials show at his house as early as 07.00.
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Postby tandfman » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:50 am

Powell wrote:- Get rid of random testing. Test all top athletes at defined intervals - say every month. You could require them all to show up in the lab on a prearranged date - it would substantially reduce the cost of administering the program compared to what we have now.

Do that and nobody who is properly advised will ever test positive, even those who have been training with the use of PED's.
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Postby tafnut » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:52 am

Swoosher wrote:I think people are seriously kidding themselves if they think athletes will take "safe" amounts of drugs once allowed.


That is exactly my position. I believe that there ARE safe amounts of PEDs, and I don't believe everyone on steroids is going to become the next Lyle Alzado (whether steroids did or did NOT do him in), but my fear is not the USE of PEDs, it is the ABUSE of PEDs, and people, being people, will say 'more is better' and then many WILL incur serious health issues!! That is also my position on rec drugs. Ya wanna drink, smoke dope, drop pills? Knock yourself out, but do so at your own risk. People ABUSE alcohol and rec drugs and then put me and my loved ones in harm's way (sometimes having little to do with their actual behavior under the influence). That's a BIG problem to me.
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Postby Powell » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:11 am

tandfman wrote:
Powell wrote:- Get rid of random testing. Test all top athletes at defined intervals - say every month. You could require them all to show up in the lab on a prearranged date - it would substantially reduce the cost of administering the program compared to what we have now.

Do that and nobody who is properly advised will ever test positive, even those who have been training with the use of PED's.


You missed the whole point of me scheme: the aim is not to eliminate all use of PEDs. It's to make sure the athletes limit their use to reasonable quantities.

Most people seem to think there are only two options: either no-tolerance and treating PED users as criminals or a complete free-for all. I believe the latter is a terrible idea (as I explained earlier), and the former is too expensive and leads to T&F losing popularity.
Last edited by Powell on Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MJD » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:12 am

I read Kate Smith. That would be quite the trick.
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Postby Mats Nilsson » Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:30 pm

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Postby Swoosher » Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:56 pm

Powell wrote:
tandfman wrote:
Powell wrote:- Get rid of random testing. Test all top athletes at defined intervals - say every month. You could require them all to show up in the lab on a prearranged date - it would substantially reduce the cost of administering the program compared to what we have now.

Do that and nobody who is properly advised will ever test positive, even those who have been training with the use of PED's.


You missed the whole point of me scheme: the aim is not to eliminate all use of PEDs. It's to make sure the athletes limit their use to reasonable quantities.

Most people seem to think there are only two options: either no-tolerance and treating PED users as criminals or a complete free-for all. I believe the latter is a terrible idea (as I explained earlier), and the former is too expensive and leads to T&F losing popularity.


In a way you can already see you plan put in place in a limited way in sports like cycling and skiing. They have the "no-start rule" used in conjuction with blood parameters. In effect they are saying "ok we know we can't really catch you cheating, but as long as you keep your levels below this 'safe' figure then we will allow you to compete. If you are above you can't compete for the next 7 days". In fairness it seems to work to me and not many people seem to have complaints

I guess what you are advocating is that this is extended to all drugs and with more regular testing (not just before a competition). I have to give merit to any ideas as the current sytem isn't working - although I still maintain that greedy athletes will find ways around any system that is put in place.

So the question becomes how often would you do the regular testing in order to be sure they are not abusing the drugs? 6 times a year, once a month, once a week., twice a week?...in the end I think it becomes nearly as time consuming and nearly as expensive as the current system and we are back at the start again!
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Postby eldrick » Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:03 am

i think cycling had to go that route because epo test only works for a few days after administration & therefore chances of getting a +ve epo test is low

however, it's effects of a high haematocrit last for a few weeks - which is what the auhorities can pick up, but without an epo +ve, there is no viable case for doping to be made ( cyclist can claim high haematocrit was due to training at altitude )

if/when thy develop an epo test which can detect drug use for maybe a few weeks after admin, maybe they may change the high haematocrit rule
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Postby EPelle » Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:14 am

The IAAF, taking a similar approach whereby individuals demonstrating inexplicably high blood levels marked against their own profiles would, as is the case with cycling mentioned above, be subject to a “no-start rule”.

The “no-start rule” would not be a banning for suspicion of drugs usage, rather would be a signal that medical grounds call for further sample investigation from the athlete. The athlete would be inactivated from competitions pending the analysis of the new testing against the individual stored profile.
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Postby eldrick » Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:42 am

have they formally set up profiles ?

even if so, it's a trcky call - you'd need to unequivocally demonstrate haemotricits can only push well over 50 with epo & not altitude training alone, otherwise innocent athletes will be prevented from competing
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Postby EPelle » Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:55 am

Moreover, the introduction of the urinary EPO test pushed also the athletes to return to old techniques such as blood transfusions. The hematological follow up of the athletes, particularly some blood parameters such as hemoglobin, hematocrit and reticulocytes indicated abnormal blood profiles for many endurance sportspeople who did transfuse blood. If homologous, but not autologous, the transfusion could be detected by examining the different populations of red blood cells present in the blood sample. This is achieved by specifically labeling some of the membrane proteins, defining notably the blood groups and subgroups, in combination with the use of flow cytometry measurements.

The time window for the detection of homologous blood transfusion being relatively large, the autologous transfusion is generally the most common blood manipulation abused today. The only indirect mode of detection, which can be applied currently by the anti-doping authorities, is still to use the classical blood parameters and to perform a follow up of the suspicious individuals. This needs to obtain reliable values on correctly collected samples. The pre-analytical work and a good coordination between the laboratories and the medical commission in charge of the hematological program are necessary in order to rely the adequate longitudinal view of the biological parameters. Already in place in some federations, applying the «no start» philosophy for the «outliers» during the competitions now completes this approach. Because of the serious impact on the career of the athletes and on its important deterrent effect on doping abusers, this policy still needs to be strongly structured on the legal side.

http://www.iaaf.org/newsfiles/36362.pdf (both quotes excerpted from a 53-page document)

The conduction of EPO urine tests too close to competition, the change of strategies by cheating athletes (low EPO doses), or the use of different methods (i.e. autologous blood transfusions), are further causes of negative urine tests.

Moreover, the adoption of absolute threshold blood values is not easily adaptable to a real multiethnic population of athletes, due to many extreme physiological differences; athletes born and living at altitude might often be borderline or over Hb or Ht threshold values; and similarly sometimes athletes training at altitude. On the other hand, high thresholds will undervalue athletes, usually with normal-low basic values, but, for this reason, will permit possible cheating.

Start/competition rules are good deterrent methods to “lower”, but also to “level” the Hb mean values of athletes cheating with blood manipulation.

For this reason, a “no start rule”, should take into account both:

- the “ethical problem” of absolute very high values (independently normal or artificial), that are medically dangerous for the health of the athlete, due to the physiologic haemoconcentration during training or competition, mainly in difficult environmental conditions;

- the “individual within-subject variability”, that might be helpful not only for urine target tests but also for immediate suspension, when an established and agreed threshold of change is surpassed (third generation approach ?).
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Postby Thor » Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:55 am

Keep a list of banned substances, stop all testing. Keeps things simple, cheap and humane. Spend some money on educating people instead, but no "steroids shrank my balls" campaigns please.
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Postby tafnut » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:11 am

Thor wrote:Keep a list of banned substances, stop all testing. Keeps things simple, cheap and humane. Spend some money on educating people

Libertarians Paradise.
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Postby Powell » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:36 am

Thor wrote:Keep a list of banned substances, stop all testing.


In what sense can they be considered 'banned' if there is no enforcement?
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Postby tafnut » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:40 am

Powell wrote:In what sense can they be considered 'banned' if there is no enforcement?

People are inherently good. If you just ask them nicely not to do bad things, they won't. Everyone is altruistic first, knowing that if everyone takes care of everyone else, they won't have to take care of themselves.
or so I wish
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Postby Thor » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:50 pm

Powell wrote:In what sense can they be considered 'banned' if there is no enforcement?

The situation wouldn't be much different than it is today, but with much less pressure on the athletes.

It's all a game anyway. To much rules ruins any game. I'm calling for less pedantry and more honesty.
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Postby Thor » Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:13 pm

tafnut wrote:
Powell wrote:In what sense can they be considered 'banned' if there is no enforcement?

People are inherently good. If you just ask them nicely not to do bad things, they won't. Everyone is altruistic first, knowing that if everyone takes care of everyone else, they won't have to take care of themselves.
or so I wish

This is foremost about how organizations and over-zealous fans wants to rule the athletes lifes. Some do it by lobbying for a position in an organization, other, less shrewd ones, do it by having their say on message boards.

It always surprises me how the fans call on the organizations to protect them from "bad athletes". As if these organizations have their mandate directly from the gods. Of course, the over-zealous fan wants to play god himself, so I guess you could say he knows what he is doing.
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Postby EPelle » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:07 am

Sergey Bubka, a fan of the sport, called on the IAAF -- an organisation -- to save the sport from "bad athletes".
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