I thought this list was going to be topical, but there's nothing about Carl Lewis and his failed drugs test. Seems to me it would be a story that would get a lot of play in the USA.
I'd also like to know if the supplement Lewis says he was taking did contain those three stimulants. What was it Goldfinger said to James Bond?
"One stimulant is happenstance, two stimulants is coincidence... but three stimulants..."
Can't remember the last bit.
15 years old or 5 years old, teh "allegations" are beginning to come to light as reality ... And that should be big news ... More and more the drug issue keeps comign to the fore in this sport and it needs to be dealth with ... It is a sore spot for the sport and as names such as Lewis' become linked to the issue so goes the sports credibility ...
The powers that be should be huddled as we speak with the goal of trying to define a policy that is going to work ... OR abandon the attenmpt altogether ...
As for the Lewis issue, it is a big deal on several fronts as the dominoe effect on the history of the sport is immense ... His place in the sport ... The place of those such as Calvin Smith (quite possibly the only clean finalist in 88) ... Edwin MOses place in history ...
And I won't even get started on what this does to the credibility of the UNited States and its track and field program ... Especially on the heels of the past year or more's allegations of coverups via USATF !!!!
To put heads in teh sand on this one is merely to prolong the agony ...
Randall old buddy old pal... welcome to GH's shit list! You and Wilmar Kortleever are the charter members. Interesting that you're both European sportswriters.
While I appreciate (and applaud) your journalistic bent, another poster just up the board there probably got it right when he said perhaps people would rather talk about actual track & field; to talk about GOOD things in the sport (you remember those, right?).
Wilmar felt quite aggrieved yesterday at "name calling" after his drug post; wondered when the list moderators would take action. Sorry for the inaction--I'm still trying to figure out what kind of medal to pin on the name caller, actually.
And for a moment there yesterday when somebody suggested the 11th Commandment of the board should be no-drugs, I considered it.
I'm very much of the mind that incessant drug talk is what turned Darkwing's t-and-f list from a thing of glory into the low-traffic site it has become today. I don't want that to happen here. So my personal choice is not to contribute to this line of thought
But, it is real news, to be sure. And if people want to talk about it fine (and it certainly will be covered in the next issue of T&FN), I'll not censor it. Just don't expect me to participate.
At a time when I can't pick up a newspaper or turn on the telly without being bombarbed by the unremittingly bleak, allow me to stick my head in the sand--if that's how one wants to view it --and come to this board to revel in the beauty of the sport. I'll leave the warts to others.
A. No profanity, please. If you can't get your point across without resorting to 12-year old scatolological references (gh is an exception, cuz his are actually kinda funny) then get into virtually every other board on the net, which thinks mf is the only adjective in existence.
B. Drug talk is pointless. Until we institute blood tests, assume everyone is dirty and there's your level playing field. You can pop positive for talking cold medicine, for crissakes.
I thought this list was going to be
>but there's nothing about Carl Lewis and
>failed drugs test.<
Maybe that's because the
>people on this Message Board think that the topic
>is track and field, not fifteen-year old doping
and yet, fifteen-year old doping allegations - rather, recent confirmation of those allegations - indicate the systemic hypocrisy coming out of the governing bodies. improvement cannot come about if the problems are not brought to light. if they are going to bother devoting any of their budget to doping controls, then give them teeth. smoke-screens are not a useful expenditure of funds, and there are indeed legitimate reasons to maintain genuine doping controls.
1. for the health of the athletes.
2. for the integrity, image, and accountability of the sport and its sanctioning bodies.
3. (most importantly) to send the right message to the youth.
While I appreciate (and
>applaud) your journalistic bent, another poster
>just up the board there probably got it right
>when he said perhaps people would rather talk
>about actual track & field; to talk about GOOD
>things in the sport (you remember those,
I agree with you Garry. We ought to remember the GOOD things. One of the good things I remember was Carl Lewis looking at Ben Johnson when talking to Jim Rosenthal of ITV about drugs at the 1987 Rome World Championships. He as good as said Johnson was on drugs and we all applauded him for coming out on the side of the right and the good.
Yet when he got caught the next year we didn't hear about it for 15 years! Us sportswriters in Europe have long had suspicions of the USA's attitude to drugs in track and field, while trying to name and shame other nations. We knew about stuff about USA athletes we couldn't (just as we knew stuff about East German and Soviet athletes,although we did voice our suspicions in this case because they weren't as likely to sue), and still can't, print because of the arcane libel laws on this side of the pond. And I think it's self defeating to pretend they aren't important.
I also agree with you about darkwing... but there people were accusing people of taking drugs without proof and without much sense.
Any way it's not so much that Lewis got caught (although that's significant enough) it's that the IOC let him off and covered it up.
Yeah, the Carl thing is news, but it's OLD news that has no relevance to today's testing system in the U.S. and internationally. The stimulants found in Lewis's sample were and are banned, but do you really think they gave him an advantage 2 months later in Seoul? He would have won at the Trials with or without them in his system, if you ask me. Those substances are not steroids. There is a difference, and people need to recognize that, particularly since the net now is tighter and the athletes know it.
>Yeah, the Carl thing is news, but it's OLD news
>that has no relevance to today's testing system
>in the U.S. and internationally. The stimulants
>found in Lewis's sample were and are banned, but
>do you really think they gave him an advantage 2
>months later in Seoul? He would have won at the
>Trials with or without them in his system, if you
>ask me. Those substances are not steroids. There
>is a difference, and people need to recognize
>that, particularly since the net now is tighter
>and the athletes know it.
"Those substances are not steroids"...but those substances can be used to MASK steroid use, and therein lies the BIG story.
Question. I've only skimmed the reports and have not read the SI article. How effective are/were these over the counter medicatons at masking steroids?
If there are any biochemists out there, how does this work?
"Under the current rules, the levels the two athletes recorded are so minimal they would not even qualify to be reported as a doping offense under what the IOC calls its "strict liability" system — meaning that if it's in your body, you're liable. Those rules rely on threshold levels, with different thresholds for different chemical substances; the levels at issue for Lewis and DeLoach are well below the thresholds."
With regard to this masking agents, ephedrine, psyeudoephedrine, and the other are classified as STIMULANTS not masking agents. These CHEMICALS are considered enhancers illiegal by that which USOC states yet turns a blind eye to. Carl Lewis is a well educated man then as well now and he stated that he INADVERTANTLY took these medications. Isn't it interesting that his training partner and another athlete happened to have colds prior to the Olympic trials? Coinicidence? I think not. The takiing of these drugs had no means of prepping for the Olympic games but rather what was more immediate the Olympic trials. Based on Exum statements and the testing results Lewis should not have qualified for the 88 team and thus not make the 100 finals at Seoul. The testing was effective the enforcement wasn't there,casting another blow to the inept USOC.
-- Carl reportedly tended to embrace the "health food" lifestyle at some points in his career, using herbal supplements. It's entirely possible that inadvertent use of a stimulant was the result. If it was cold medicine, then it must not have been more than a normal dose based on the low levels in his system.
-- More important question? How on earth did Wade Exum walk away from his USOC job with all those files, or copies thereof? At the very least, this was unethical on his part and it backs up why they canned him. How many of you in "sensitive" positions (if there are any of you) can just waltz out the door with thousands of pages of supposedly confidential documents?
"-- More important question? How on
>earth did Wade Exum walk away from his USOC job
>with all those files, or copies thereof? At the
>very least, this was unethical on his part and it
>backs up why they canned him. How many of you in
>"sensitive" positions (if there are any of you)
>can just waltz out the door with thousands of
>pages of supposedly confidential documents?"
Deny. Appeal. Rationalize. If none of that works, then shoot the messenger. That's hilarious.
Originally "messenger" posted an entire Irish Times article titled, "We owe Lewis and athletics a full investigation." This is not fair use under copyright law and we've removed it. Irish Times requires a subscription of view articles online at http://www.irishtimes.com.
Trackrat - Sorry for the long post, but you asked a complex question.
Masking agents work by having absorption spectra in the same wavelength as the doping agent. Because the spectra overlap, the output from the spectrophotometer is the sum of the doping agent and the masking agent. Simplistically, if the doping agent spectrum is red - green - blue, and there is a masking agent with a spectrum of yellow - green - blue, then it is difficult to be certain what is in the sample.
Then there is the issue of titer, or the AMOUNT of agent in the sample. Not all regulated / banned substances are banned at any (i.e., trace) amounts. For instance, caffeine is not illegal; caffeine in high titer is illegal. So if a runner has a cup of Starbucks, caffeine will be present in the sample, but one cup won't go over the limit.
The reason for this is that stimulants occur in a wide range of things (like coffee), and that synthetic stimulants are not ergogenic in low titers (in doctor's parlance, subtherapeutic doses). If a runner has a cold, and wants relief of symptoms the day before a competition (or to get a good night's sleep before an event), it is not unreasonable to let them do that. YOU can do that, why can't an athlete, as long as the amount of stimulant in their system is at a sub-therapeutic level at the time of competition?
The LA Times article is basically saying that Carl had very low levels, trace levels, that could not have been ergogenic at the time of his competition. That FACT, combined with Carl's statement that it was an inadvertent, unwitting, error on his part (i.e., not an act of intent to cheat), is why he was let off the hook. According to the data presented in the article, Carl tested QUALITATIVELY positive, but not QUANTITATIVELY positive at a level sufficient to suggest he was cheating. If the LA Times facts are correct, my interpretation is that he was clean and not a cheater, and by the rules in effect he was therefore appropriately allowed to go to Seoul.
If the USOC made a mistake here, it would seem to me that the mistake is in assuming that the public isn't smart enough to comprehend all of this. Or at least it would appear that they did, since they chose not to say:
Carl Lewis had trace amounts of cold medications in his sample, but the amounts were not sufficient to boost his performance. He said that he took an herbal supplement that, he presumes, was the source of these medications. Therefore, there is no reason to disqualify Mr. Lewis, since he didn't have an amount sufficient to cheat and we have no reason to believe he was trying to cheat. He is on the team bound for Seoul.
While I am sorry for not coming up with as thoughtful, informative and interesting a post as you did(and I mean that), IMHO, while I certainly agree that someone should get to the bottom of how
he managed to get a hold of all those documents, I just don't happen to agree that is a more
important issue than all of those raised by the papers. I just didn't express that as politely as I should have and for that I apologize. If gh agrees with you that since this and the previous post does not advance the discussion according to whatever guidelines he is enforcing than he can delete away.
Just as importan as HOW Exum got away with all the paper is WHY he has released. Let's not forget that he was embroiled in a nasty lawsuit w/ the USOC. No wait, make that was POTENTIALLY involved in such a suit.
The courts, however, decided his suit had no merit and threw it out. His reaction: try to sink the USOC ship in revenge.
I'm by no means suggesting that the USOC hasn't been complicit in some nasty shit, but if Exum didn't have the goods even to get his day in court, let's not have a rush to judgment that the material he has provided is being viewed in the proper light.
By the way-----Carl was, and remains, a total weenie. He's not worth defending, but the shame this is bringing on the sport needs to be fought if and when there is justification for doing so.
The Wade Exum thing and USOC's imperfections are separate issues from whether or not Carl Lewis was doping.
There is another matter that I neglected to bring up that probably gives the USOC some defense for not disclosing this matter at the time, and that is medical confidentiality.
If, in the end, the USOC goes through a process like I outlined, and comes to the conclusion that the positive test is a non-issue (vis-a-vis eligibility), then for the sake of confidentiality of medical issues one might choose to not disclose the information. One is, after all, disclosing medical information that US laws regard as private.
Respecting those laws is important because it is a slippery slope once one discloses medical information - what OTHER information could be disclosed that might have no bearing on doping? To some degree, people in the public eye are forced to give up those rights to privacy (e.g., politicians running for office giving up information about their health as an issue in an election). High-profile athletes are forced into this situation when they undergo public doping-control tests and other disclosures of their health problems.
I think one can readily invoke this line of ethics as a defence for the course chosen by the USOC. In retrospect, after adding in an unpredictable event like the Wade Exum thing, it looks like might have been more prudent to make a statement like I outlined in my prior post. But in so doing, one must acknowledge that one is stepping close to the edge of a slippery slope where we disclose private information that could be of a more personal nature (i.e., something unrelated to sports and none-of-your-business).
>The Wade Exum thing and USOC's imperfections are
>separate issues from whether or not Carl Lewis
>was doping. >>
Well, sort of. The point I was trying to make is that it seems--if yesterday's LA Times article is to be believed--that Carl wasn't doping. And that the "evidence" that he was came from somebody with an axe to grind, and who may well have misrepresented what the documents said in the first place. Or maybe he didn't understand waht the documents said and that's why the USOC no longer employs him in the firs tplace.