Drugs in sports

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  • Salaman 24 Jul 2013 13:20:26 18,242 posts
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    For grey_matters. ;-)

    The French senate commission has presented their 800 page document after an investigation in drug testing in various sports and interviews with people from various sports.


    They basically concluded that it's present in almost all sports (not just restricted to cycling, which always comes up first when doping is mentioned) but I think that's obvious to most people.

    They also have a list of some 60 recommendations which they deem to be realistic, concrete and budgetary feasible. I'd be interested to see what they came up with.

    As part of their investigation they re-tested samples of the 1998 and 1999 Tour de France with modern EPO tests. Samples from 44 riders were positive. As journalists are going through the massive documents, the list of names is being compiled. So far:
    Andrea Tafi (Ita)
    Mario Cipollini (Ita)
    Bo Hamburger (Den)
    Udo Bölts (Dui)
    Marco Pantani (Ita)
    Jan Ullrich (Dui)
    Erik Zabel (Dui)
    Abraham Olano (Spa)
    Nicola Minali (Ita)
    Fabio Sacchi (Ita)
    Marcos Serrano (Spa)
    Manuel Beltran (Spa)
    Jens Heppner (Dui)
    Jeroen Blijlevens (Ned)
    Kevin Livingstone (VS)
    Laurent Desbiens (Fra)
    Laurent Jalabert (Fra)
    Jacky Durand (Fra)

    Together with Lance's confessions, the recent findings in athletics and the ongoing debate during the recent Tdf (is Froome doped or not?) the issue is quite topical at the moment.
  • Chopsen 24 Jul 2013 13:23:55 15,178 posts
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    Fuck it, I say. Let them take whatever performance enhancing stuff they want. The more experimental the better.
  • Mr_Sleep 24 Jul 2013 13:24:43 16,257 posts
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    I still think the idea of having a doping and non-doping competition is the best solution. Let people go wild with whatever drugs they want, I want to see someone running the 100 metres in 2 seconds.

    Surely this is reaching a point where it's so endemic that there is little point in trying to stamp it out?

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  • neilka 24 Jul 2013 13:29:04 14,942 posts
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    They haven't got a leg to stand on.
  • PazJohnMitch 24 Jul 2013 13:30:21 7,267 posts
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    Must be really depressing to be a clean athlete when everyone around you is cheating.

    There is probably someone that finished around 50th in the Tour de France one year that will be hailed the winner a few years after they die because everyone in front was cheating.

    Also someone that never made an athletics sprint final but was actually the fastest non-doped runner in their event.
  • grey_matters 24 Jul 2013 13:41:50 3,382 posts
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    Great idea for a thread!
    :p


    For me, the whole let-them-take-whatever-they-want angle would be very interesting initially but would tail off as all freak shows do. It wouldn't feel like sport after a while.

    With cycling, the blood passport has reduced doping to saner levels than it was for, say, Pantani and Armstrong, but it is still there. The lines are getting blurred though. Do "natural" boosters like altitude training and sleeping in oxygen tents etc have a higher moral position than micro-dosing EPO, AICAR, or GAS6 (undetectable EPO booster) when the suspicious limits are effectively capped?

    What are peoples's thoughts on transfusions? They are still widely used in cycling, and probably a lot of other sports. I'd imagine some athletes don't even feel that it's that bad. It was generated by their own bodies, right? It's natural. Everyone else is doing it too. Etc.
  • Salaman 24 Jul 2013 13:41:58 18,242 posts
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    You often hear "They're all on it" but they're not. I hope the minority is. So the problem is to somehow reduce or completely eliminate the % of cheaters to level the playing field and to make sure young athletes starting out don't feel like they have to dope in order to be able to compete at the highest level.
  • Salaman 24 Jul 2013 13:43:16 18,242 posts
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    Aren't transfusions illegal now, hence the blood passport.
  • DaM 24 Jul 2013 13:48:26 12,611 posts
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    grey_matters wrote:

    What are peoples's thoughts on transfusions? They are still widely used in cycling, and probably a lot of other sports. I'd imagine some athletes don't even feel that it's that bad. It was generated by their own bodies, right? It's natural. Everyone else is doing it too. Etc.
    Are you sure? I heard someone talking the other day about how cycling is now very anti-needle - even rejecting some legitimate stuff that comes via a syringe. Such as rehydrating - it was the done thing to rehydrate with a drip in your arm, that doesn't happen anymore.
  • wogsy81 24 Jul 2013 13:49:05 599 posts
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    There is a guy on that list called "Bo Hamburger".
    That's a belting name if ever Ive seen one.
  • Salaman 24 Jul 2013 13:52:38 18,242 posts
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    Yeah, fat lot of good the epo did him. Even with that name I don't remember him at all. You'd think if he ever even got close to a possible victory you'd recall the name.
  • grey_matters 24 Jul 2013 13:53:51 3,382 posts
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    Salaman wrote:
    Aren't transfusions illegal now, hence the blood passport.
    Always were, as far as I know. They are still done though. There are difficulties in monitoring the data sometimes that, from a legal standpoint, make it less likely that many cases will be brought up with that as sole evidence.

    Edited by grey_matters at 14:01:57 24-07-2013
  • grey_matters 24 Jul 2013 14:01:14 3,382 posts
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    DaM wrote:
    grey_matters wrote:

    What are peoples's thoughts on transfusions? They are still widely used in cycling, and probably a lot of other sports. I'd imagine some athletes don't even feel that it's that bad. It was generated by their own bodies, right? It's natural. Everyone else is doing it too. Etc.
    Are you sure? I heard someone talking the other day about how cycling is now very anti-needle - even rejecting some legitimate stuff that comes via a syringe. Such as rehydrating - it was the done thing to rehydrate with a drip in your arm, that doesn't happen anymore.
    No, I'm not sure. It is strongly rumored though.

    Weren't there twitter pictures of Wiggins last year with plasters on his inside forearms? The people who wish he was doping went ballistic but it was explained away as a standard drip/injection of some sort do I doubt that it is completely anti-needle.
  • Trafford 24 Jul 2013 15:21:43 5,270 posts
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    If I'm going out all day on my bike, I'll always take a couple of ready rolled joints.
  • grey_matters 24 Jul 2013 15:23:50 3,382 posts
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    Trafford wrote:
    If I'm going out all day on my bike, I'll always take a couple of ready rolled joints.
    :)
    I bet those energy gels never taste better than post-spliff.
  • Salaman 24 Jul 2013 15:24:37 18,242 posts
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    I think it's clear grey_matters does doping. He seems a little too knowledgeable.
  • pistol 24 Jul 2013 15:27:43 13,019 posts
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    Salaman wrote:
    Aren't transfusions illegal now, hence the blood passport.
    Transfusions took over once they started getting closer to a test for EPO. Whether it be the athlete's own blood or someone elses and it's still very difficult to test for. The passport is definately moving in the right direction but there are still drugs and methods out there that the passport can't detect.

    Cycling is probably the most well known sport for doping but they are trying to do a lot more than a lot of other sports but it'll take time.

    Tennis is one example where there is hardly any blood testing, just urine. Athletics is still pretty rife, case in point the Jamaican sprinters who are currently being investigated after failing tests and the Russians are still putting doped up athletes into competition. Big article in Times the other week about Russian athletes blowing the lid about the pressure they are put under by team management.

    If you take the cycling Grand Tours, back in 90's when EPO was at it's most rife, you'd probably have 150 riders out of 200 doping, now my guess is it's something like 5-10 riders.



    Edited by pistol at 15:29:50 24-07-2013

    Edited by pistol at 15:31:52 24-07-2013
  • elstoof 24 Jul 2013 18:08:34 6,140 posts
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    grey_matters wrote:

    Weren't there twitter pictures of Wiggins last year with plasters on his inside forearms? The people who wish he was doping went ballistic but it was explained away as a standard drip/injection of some sort do I doubt that it is completely anti-needle.
    Pretty hard to take a blood test without a needle.
  • CosmicFuzz 24 Jul 2013 18:24:43 21,243 posts
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    The whole point of sports is surely human endurance/skill etc. Drugs add an artificial layer to it that's not really fair, especially if only a few take them. I agree that the only real way to get round it is probably to have separate events for drug and non-drug. That way people at least know where they stand.

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  • elstoof 24 Jul 2013 18:56:59 6,140 posts
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    Who'd watch the clean stuff though?

    All the famous body builders are the monsters with necks like pyramids, 6 biceps and a tan that glows like plutonium. Can you name single one of those puny fucks posing it out for Mr Clean trophies?
  • bitch_tits_zero_nine 24 Jul 2013 18:59:02 6,654 posts
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    People that like their women without big beards.
  • Khanivor 24 Jul 2013 19:25:48 39,891 posts
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    The whole point of sports is money. And ego. You'd have to be of exceptional moral character to pass up a million dollar endorsement deal as your times were getting beaten by craters but you wanted to stay clean.
  • pistol 24 Jul 2013 20:56:09 13,019 posts
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    mazty wrote:
    Mr_Sleep wrote:
    I still think the idea of having a doping and non-doping competition is the best solution. Let people go wild with whatever drugs they want, I want to see someone running the 100 metres in 2 seconds.

    Surely this is reaching a point where it's so endemic that there is little point in trying to stamp it out?
    This. Drug use is clearly rampant in all sports, so why not acknowledge this and split it up, just as is done in bodybuilding?
    Sorry but this is a ridiculous comment.

    How to we encourage our kids to take part in sport or even do it for a living if we are also going to let athletes take all the drugs they want?
  • pistol 24 Jul 2013 20:59:24 13,019 posts
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    CosmicFuzz wrote:
    The whole point of sports is surely human endurance/skill etc. Drugs add an artificial layer to it that's not really fair, especially if only a few take them. I agree that the only real way to get round it is probably to have separate events for drug and non-drug. That way people at least know where they stand.
    No, the only way to tackle it is to make the punishments so severe that athletes will just lose too much if they are caught. Nothing else will work. At the moment lifetime bans are rare, if around at all. Some if not most of these athletes have spent their whole life training and I'd bet a lot have no other career to fall back on. Make life bans a real possibility and I'm sure we'll see less doping.
  • elstoof 24 Jul 2013 21:38:52 6,140 posts
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    Kind of puts these people in a rough spot when there's a lifetime ban waiting if you dope, but your team will drop you if you don't dope.

    Some sort ban for the entire team - all the way up to the owner - if any member gets caught would soon get the guys in charge to keep their houses in order.
  • Salaman 24 Jul 2013 22:16:53 18,242 posts
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    Or stop anyone from bothering. Why invest millions if some joker messing about outside your supervision could ruin you completely.
  • elstoof 24 Jul 2013 22:23:41 6,140 posts
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    Supervise them better. Build a better team environment where you trust the people you work alongside. And many other ways.

    I mean, where do you think these riders are getting there supplies from? You don't go to the chemist and ask for EPO. It's a bit rich that rider can have drugs pushed under his nose and be banned while the DS who passed them to him gets to carry on as usual.

    Anyway, if no one wanted to invest as much as they do now, will sport disappear? No, all sports started out as an amateur pursuit and they would continue as such. Would that be a bad thing? I don't know. Professionalism in sport doesn't make it better, just raises the stakes.
  • pistol 25 Jul 2013 09:47:02 13,019 posts
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    elstoof wrote:
    Kind of puts these people in a rough spot when there's a lifetime ban waiting if you dope, but your team will drop you if you don't dope.

    Some sort ban for the entire team - all the way up to the owner - if any member gets caught would soon get the guys in charge to keep their houses in order.
    I don't think teams will be able to put that sort of pressure on the athletes if life bans were commonplace. The people pushing the athletes to dope will also get life bans. Everyone will just have too much to lose.
  • Kosmoz 25 Jul 2013 10:30:23 7,509 posts
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    @pistol I dunno, its hard to think of a punishment severe enough given that study from a while back that found that a massive percentage of athletes would take untraceable performance enhancing drugs if it meant that they would win an Olympic medal, but would die 5 years later.

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