Shot Put: what happened after 1988?


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Shot Put: what happened after 1988?

Postby mikli » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:27 am

Examination of top20 yearly averages of men’s shot put http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/5816/shotpt.png) reveals that something devastating happened after the 1988 Olympic year, wiping out elite athletes even more destructively than either of the World Wars.

But were there any individuals who remained unaffected by the destruction? To shed light on the question, I compiled top10 averages for each elite athlete (top10 average > 20.50) for the period of a quadrennium both before (1985-1988) and after (1989-1992) the destruction:

(Arranged in decreasing order based on 1985-1988 top10 averages, age of the athlete at the transition (1.1.1989) is given in parantheses. Ancillary marks are omitted)

Name 1985-1988/1989-1992
Ulf Timmermann (26) 22.53/21.96 -
Werner Günthör (27) 22.31/21.83 -
Udo Beyer (33) 22.10/20.20 -
Alessandro Andrei (29) 22.04/< limit (20.50) -
Sergey Smirnov (28) 21.93/20.90 -
Randy Barnes (22) 21.88/22.25 +, tested positive
Remigius Machura (28) 21.69/<limit -
John Brenner (27) 21.67/<limit -
Sergey Gavryushin (29) 21.45/< limit -
Mikhail Kostin (29) 21.31/< limit -
Gregg Tafralis (30) 21.29/21.11 -
Kevin Akins (28) 21.10/< limit -
Janis Bojars (32) 21.04/< limit -
Helmut Krieger (30) 21.03/< limit -
Dave Laut (32) 20.87/< limit -
Georgi Todorov (28) 20.84/< limit -
Ron Backes (25) 20.84/<20.61 -
Vyacheslav Lykho (21) 20.83/20.88 +, tested positive
Brian Oldfield (43) 20.79/< limit -
Jim Doehring (26) 20.68/<21.20 +, tested positive
Marco Montelatici (35) 20.63/< limit -
Klaus Görmer (25) 20.62/< limit -
Lars Arvid Nilsen (23) 20.62/20.67 +, tested positive
Karsten Stolz (24) 20.59/< limit -
Nikolay Borodkin (33) 20.59/< limit -
Erik de Bruin (25) 20.56/< limit -
Donatas Stukonis (31) 20.54/< limit -
Gert Weil (28) 20.54/< limit -
Augie Wolf (27) 20.52/20.59 +, tested positive
Edward Sarul (30) 20.50/< limit -
Mike Stulce (19) < limit/21.17 +, tested positive
Aleksandr Bagach (22) < limit/20.95 +, tested positive
Georg Andersen (25) < limit/20.69 +, tested positive
Sergey Nikolayev (22) < limit/20.53 +
Klaus Bodenmüller (26) < limit/20.52 +
Oliver-Sven Buder (22) < limit/20.50 +

There were 30 athletes with +20.50 top10 average in 1985-1988. Of those 30, eleven managed to repeat +20.50 in 1989-1992, of those eleven, five managed to improve from 1985-1988, and five out of those five who managed to improve, tested positive. Six new athletes joined the +20.50 club in 1989-1992. Of those six, top three tested positive.

So, who were the survivors? Of the “big boys”, Timmermann, perhaps? Not necessarily, Timmermann’s collapse came a year late: all his top10 marks for 1989-1992 are from 1989. I would say Günthör is a better pick.
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Re: Shot Put: what happened after 1988?

Postby Pego » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:46 am

Of the top guys, Machura and Tafralis also tested +.
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Re: Shot Put: what happened after 1988?

Postby mump boy » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:11 am

What is the point of this thread ?? We all know what happened

You could do the same for all the throws and the majority of womens events !!
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Re: Shot Put: what happened after 1988?

Postby mikli » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:20 am

mump boy, there is a point. I am pretty sure most of us can find it by reading what I wrote.
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Re: Shot Put: what happened after 1988?

Postby Marlow » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:51 am

mikli wrote:mump boy, there is a point. I am pretty sure most of us can find it by reading what I wrote.

I'm as confused as mump boy. I read it and this sentence is all I came up with as a clue:

mikli wrote:But were there any individuals who remained unaffected by the destruction?

Are you asking who was best at beating the tests? Otherwise, I have no idea what this thread is about.
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Re: Shot Put: what happened after 1988?

Postby mikli » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:12 am

Marlow wrote:
mikli wrote:mump boy, there is a point. I am pretty sure most of us can find it by reading what I wrote.

I'm as confused as mump boy. I read it and this sentence is all I came up with as a clue:

mikli wrote:But were there any individuals who remained unaffected by the destruction?

Are you asking who was best at beating the tests? Otherwise, I have no idea what this thread is about.


No, you are confused only because you are making it so complicated. I asked myself a very simple question: was there anyone who was not affected? To get an answer, I collected data, analyzed it, and got an answer which is:
NO, but Günthör was affected the least.

Then I shared the result. Hopefully someone finds it useful. I did. It was actually the result I expected and it confirmed my expectation.
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Re: Shot Put: what happened after 1988?

Postby mump boy » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:16 am

For anyone who is still confused (all of us) the simple answer is Random Out of Competition Testing

I'm not sure there's anything else to discuss

Also without any analysis the i could have come up with Gunthor !!
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Re: Shot Put: what happened after 1988?

Postby mikli » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:42 am

mump boy wrote:For anyone who is still confused (all of us) the simple answer is Random Out of Competition Testing

I'm not sure there's anything else to discuss

Also without any analysis the i could have come up with Gunthor !!


Question: Was there anyone who was not affected?
Answer (by mump boy): Random out of Competition Testing

Now I am confused! I am also sure there is nothing else to discuss.
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Re: Shot Put: what happened after 1988?

Postby bushop » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:02 am

mikli wrote:But were there any individuals who remained unaffected by the destruction?
Excellent question.

mikli wrote:Ancillary marks are omitted
How come?
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Re: Shot Put: what happened after 1988?

Postby Marlow » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:26 am

mikli wrote:No, you are confused only because you are making it so complicated. I asked myself a very simple question: was there anyone who was not affected?

Yikes! I tried to SIMPLIFY it to its most elemental factor and remain thoroughly confused . . . oh well, it's good to come to grips with my intellectual limitations! :wink:
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Re: Shot Put: what happened after 1988?

Postby mikli » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:57 am

bushop wrote:
mikli wrote:But were there any individuals who remained unaffected by the destruction?
Excellent question.

mikli wrote:Ancillary marks are omitted
How come?

Two reasons:
1. One result per competition better represent overall level of the athlete, ancillary marks would overemphasize one night stars (e.g. Alessandro Andrei's WR series).
2. It is difficult compose deep list of ancillary marks (e.g. pela's list are deep but not deep enough)
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Re: Shot Put: what happened after 1988?

Postby mikli » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:01 am

Marlow wrote:
mikli wrote:No, you are confused only because you are making it so complicated. I asked myself a very simple question: was there anyone who was not affected?

Yikes! I tried to SIMPLIFY it to its most elemental factor and remain thoroughly confused . . . oh well, it's good to come to grips with my intellectual limitations! :wink:

OK, sorry Marlow, I will explain:

One first needs to make a distinction between assumption, evidence and proof. The general assumption, perhaps rightly so, is that everybody back then used drugs. For the athletes having tested positive, we do not have to rely on assumption, because we have the proof. For others, we cannot say for sure, we assume also they have used because "everyone used", but we do not have the proof. They may have just been able to beat the tests, as you said.

This is where evidence comes in: We do not have the proof, but can we have evidence? Evidence is better than assumption, after all. Of course we have some evidence from knowing what has happened (e.g. mump boy’s answer to the rhetorical question of the topic title, not to the question I seriously asked) and having lived through the times following the sports. But it is not easy to quantify the evidence, and that is where statistics come in.

My assumption before I carried out the analysis was that most if not all of the elite shot putters were using back then. But I challenged my assumption and asked myself the (criticized) question, "could it be possible that somebody was not". To answer that, I made the reported analysis, providing evidence that "NO! It sure seems like everyone was affected by the changed environment. But if I have to pick one, Günthör is my pick!"

But still, it is only evidence, not proof. Proof would require positive test or confession, and even confession can be a lie.
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