AIBU to wonder about who and how many in Rio Olympics are doping?

(31 Posts)
Pangurban1 Sat 20-Aug-16 19:43:28

The Olympics is great viewing. If you can discount the judging that seemed a bit dodgy and wonder who is getting a backhander.

I suppose Jamaica has the most notoriety (medal wise) because it is such a tiny place and has so many top athletes. The Russians were outed (by a whistle blower) for tampering with samples for drug testing, but still had some athletes competing.

It does raise some issues wrt national testing. Prior to the London Olympics, Jamaica had only one out of competition national testing in six months. None at all in the 3 months prior to the Olympics.

They wouldn't have been caught for tampering. They simply didn't test. Now they have had a fair few athletes testing positive.

chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/08/12/bernstein-usain-bolt-is-probably-doping-and-you-know-it/

This is interesting because even it says it was not just national testing. International testing was difficult to do in Jamaica, too.

Testing clean is no guarantee of innocence either. Take American Marion Jones. IAAF president Lamine Diack , said, “Marion Jones will be remembered as one of the biggest frauds in sporting history.”
She always tested clean but was outed and ended up admitting she had lied under oath about her cheating. EPO and steroids.

It raises questions wrt the fact there doesn't seem to be a universal standard all countries have to adhere to for national testing. Some test more diligently than others. It is not really a level pitch for athletes who are training if some can dope during training without fear of being caught. It may not be still be detectable at competition time.

Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin (who Usain Bolt sails past, despite Gatlin being a doper). Carl Lewis raised eyebrows at Bolt's 100M final at 10.03 one year coming down to 9.69 the next year.

After Lance Armstrong's so earnest claims he never cheated, it illustrates that cheaters won't usually come clean voluntarily. Also whatever method Armstrong was using wasn't being detected. If the guy he made an enemy of hadn't squealed, he might never have been properly brought to book.

So, does anyone just hope clean athletes aren't being robbed? Is it a case that most of the top athletes are using artificial performance enhancers in some shape or form and it is only a case of who is still best out of that bunch of dopers?

I know Mo Farah has distanced himself from his coach when the coach was arrested on doping charges. And the fact he missed some testing was explained to the satisfaction of uk anti doping as negligence rather than evasion. If he had missed a third he would have been on a ban 'cos of the 3 strikes system.

Even drug testing doesn't stop all doping. Michelle Smith set Irish womens records that might be impossible to beat for clean swimmers. Got through the net. However, without the testing, people doping can waltz right on.

I know it is a ramble, would it really be an absolute shock if it was revealed further on if some great names, although testing clean (when being tested at all), were revealed to be doping, like Marion Jones. Sad certainly, but a shock? And of course, one does hope some very inspirational sports people are the real McCoy.

I think Lance Armstrong did a lot of damage.

Purplepicnic Sat 20-Aug-16 19:49:30

I think it's rife in athletics, cycling and possibly swimming. The doping authorities do their best but it's hard for them to keep up.

Other sports such as rowing, diving and stuff like last night's hockey you can enjoy with a lot of confidence that it's clean.

So I adjust my expectations/enjoyment depending on what I'm watching.

WannaBe Sat 20-Aug-16 19:49:41

I like to hope that they're not but I take the view that all the top athletes are. A few years ago there were calls to make drug taking in sport legal in order to enable everyone to be on a level playing field. At the time I disagreed because I felt that drug taking is cheating, however years on I think that all the top athletes are taking drugs anyway, so if everyone did then there would be no question over who was the best athletes - they would all have got there by the same means.

wowfudge Sat 20-Aug-16 19:50:27

If Gatlin was all that, he wouldn't have needed/wanted to cheat? Just a different perspective. I think it's off to cast aspersions on the achievements of phenomenal athletes.

megletthesecond Sat 20-Aug-16 19:53:11

Yanbu. It's never far from my mind when I'm watching.

Pangurban1 Sat 20-Aug-16 23:41:47

Not to do with the doping, but the judging.

Olympic Boxing - Foil Arms and Hog. Russian guy gets knocked out, but wins anyway.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y2foXKEnMY

SalemSaberhagen Sat 20-Aug-16 23:50:27

I just can't let myself believe Bolt would be anything but clean. I'm probably being stupid, but I don't see him as a doper.

Quimby Sat 20-Aug-16 23:53:30

"I know Mo Farah has distanced himself from his coach when the coach was arrested on doping charges. "
gringrin
Has he fuck the dodgy bastard.

PitchFork Sun 21-Aug-16 00:01:52

yanbu
it would be great if no one was cheating, but realistically...I think many of the top athletes are enhancing their performance in some way.

manicinsomniac Sun 21-Aug-16 00:08:25

I must be really naïve but I just assumed that everyone who had passed to the Olympics had been tested within an inch of their lives and that they were all clean.

What can you take that doesn't show up in urine/blood or whatever it is they test?

leccybill Sun 21-Aug-16 00:16:27

Doesn't Mo Farah sleep under an oxygen tent?

DrinkMilkAndKickAss Sun 21-Aug-16 00:22:39

I think for athletes such as Bolt and Phelps who have been consistent over a long period of time there is little chance of cheating however I am always wary of athletes who come out of nowhere and do amazingly well. Every generation does have its amazing athletes though and it's a shame that the current climate makes us question their successes rather than congratulating them for them.

What I've always wondered however is why people are allowed to compete again after serving doping bans - surely the effects of illegal performance enhancing drugs like steroids will last years?

panegyricS1 Sun 21-Aug-16 00:33:10

It irritates me when I see Eastern European "records" from the 1980s still standing. Koch and Kratochvílova etc. Given what we now know about state doping in those territories.

Whether modern athletes are any cleaner, who knows. I think that if the globally adored and superfamous Bolt is ever exposed as a cheat, athletics will struggle to recover, it'd be that serious.

Pangurban1 Sun 21-Aug-16 00:39:42

www.wada-ama.org/en/what-we-do
Prohibited list on left side

www.wada-ama.org/en/questions-answers/epo-detection

EPO tests were introduced in 2000, 33 labs do it, but seemingly detection can be quite poor. Moreso in some labs than others. They did some experiments on epo detection and the resulting "implication-- if applied to athletes -- is that there is only a small "risk" of being tested positive for rHuEpo doping while athletic performance is greatly enhanced."

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080626100921.htm

Don't forget there was no test before 2000. Of course, you can only try to detect things you are looking for and they have to detectable in your body at that specific time. Some performance enhancing substances are used out of competition and maybe times less likely to be detected but the benefits are still there.

Wada do talk about the development of new EPO's and biosimilar EPO's and say it is an expanding market. These people involved in doping are probably sometimes ahead of tests for their detection.

NewNameFriday Sun 21-Aug-16 00:52:56

I think that all the top athletes are taking drugs anyway, so if everyone did then there would be no question over who was the best athletes - they would all have got there by the same means.

But then you'd effectively be saying to young athletes 'you have to take drugs if you want a chance of winning'. What sort of message is that to give to young people? What age would you start giving the drugs? Eighteen? Sixteen? Younger?

What about the potential for long term damage?

There'll always be less scrupulous athletes and coaches willing to take risks with their health for the chance of a big win, and everyone else will still be left with the choice of doing the same, or not winning.

I am always wary of athletes who come out of nowhere and do amazingly well.

Wasn't there a Chinese swimmer whose times were considered questionable in 2012? Is she still around?

Quimby Sun 21-Aug-16 01:00:14

"Wasn't there a Chinese swimmer whose times were considered questionable in 2012? Is she still around?"

Yep and her times have fallen off a cliff.

panegyricS1 Sun 21-Aug-16 01:04:31

The teenage Chinese swimmer's sudden success in 2012 was put down to a 12cm growth spurt - people like Adrian Moorhouse backed up this theory at the time. She never improved on London which kind of implies that she isn't a doper...?

But....I remember loads of Chinese distance athletes who came and went in an earlier Olympics.

lljkk Sun 21-Aug-16 06:35:56

Bolt and Phelps who have been consistent over a long period of time there is little chance of cheating

I think the opposite way; no one is superman. So athletes who are constantly amazing make me most suspicious. I learnt that watching Virenque in the TdF (V was a doper). People who kill themselves one day to achieve, but struggle another, that's quite human and biologically normal.

I couldn't watch if I thought they were mostly all cheating.

The testing regime is very onerous and intrusive at elite level in some sports, the ones that have the most history of doping.

Advicepls7080 Sun 21-Aug-16 07:01:33

The thing with Phelps is his wing span and his ankles can rotate more than 'the average human' he is at an advance when swimming from them alone. Isn't he also currently the most tested athlete in the world?

They used to be tested after every gold, not sure if this is still the case?

splendide Sun 21-Aug-16 07:07:50

Dunno about Phelps (just haven't read much about it) but people are kidding themselves if they think Bolt is clean.

SalemSaberhagen Sun 21-Aug-16 08:23:28

Why do you say that splendide?

megletthesecond Sun 21-Aug-16 08:44:42

With both Bolt and Phelps they look like they both have a physical advantage that keeps them winning, leg length and arm length. However if anything is powering them remains to be seen. Don't they keep current blood and urine samples for several years and retest with new technology in 5/10yrs or did I misunderstand?

panegyricS1 Sun 21-Aug-16 09:55:07

I think you're right megle. I read a few days ago that Nesta Carter's 2008 Beijing sample was later retested and found to questionable. Then, there's the Russian London 800m winner's dodgy sample too - Caster Semenya may now be upgraded to gold as a result.

specialsubject Sun 21-Aug-16 10:08:37

There are strong suspicions about one of the gb cyclists too.

Pangurban1 Sun 21-Aug-16 10:19:17

Megle, " It is important to remember that samples can be stored and later re-analysed as science advances. (The statute of limitations set forth in the World Anti-Doping Code is 8 years)." From Wada.

They don't say they always do test later or if they test all samples.

Carl Lewis was sceptical about Bolt bringing his time down from 10.03 to 9.69 seconds the next year on the 100M. There was a feeble national testing system in Jamaica for ages. Almost no national testing and even international testers complained about trying to test athletes there as well. A fair few have been caught this Olympics.

"Jamaica 'has never carried out a blood test', says island's former anti-doping chief " This was from 2013. I think it is being overhauled now.

www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/athletics/10384300/Jamaica-has-never-carried-out-a-blood-test-says-islands-former-anti-doping-chief.html

And what can you say about the Russians. Watching handball last night. They won against France, but should they even have been there considering the alleged state sanctioned doping.

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