T Nation

Let the Games Be Doped

Go here and read this:

LittleRunt

It’s nice to see that at least some people are open to the idea that performance enhancing drugs are not the work of the devil. It brings to mind Bigger, Stronger, Faster. Maybe we’re seeing the start of a shift in opinion on the matter.

Great read, lr, and I fully agree with the author (a rare thing, when the subject is steroids and such!). I doubt we are going to see the IOC bring us an non-drug-tested Olympics anytime soon, unfortunately.

I think they should rename it, “The Human Genetic Experimentation Games”… It always humored me that people have no idea or just live in plain ignorance to the fact there will never be a level playing field.

“Testing” in sports is a self serving process that gives a false sense of integrity. When records are being broken (don’t care what the sport) from athletes that have failed tests, then broken again and again ie 100 meter dash, how can anyone expect to believe it was done without performance enhancing drugs?

There are ALWAYS going to be drugs designed to get around the tests, especially when they give the list on what is banned! Regardless of the supplements, people need to realize the dedication and desire needed to excel to elite status regardless of what they take. You still need to have off the scale “talent and athletic ability” coupled with the mental side in order to win in any sport. So, IMHO testing is a joke, it’s basically for the uninformed masses or better known as sheeple. Just my two cents.

lol @ sheeple

I’m stealing that one.

I disagree.

Athletes should not be forced by game theory to use drugs in order to win.

When they do use and are caught, they should be publicly humiliated and disgraced.

No non-dietary performance enhancers in sport.

That is a prety good article, but this struck me as funny-

Who does he think designs and advises the drug protocols for elite atheletes? Some schmoe with a gym bag full of random ampules?
[/incredulous rhetoric]

[quote]Mack wrote:
I think they should rename it, “The Human Genetic Experimentation Games”… It always humored me that people have no idea or just live in plain ignorance to the fact there will never be a level playing field.

“Testing” in sports is a self serving process that gives a false sense of integrity. When records are being broken (don’t care what the sport) from athletes that have failed tests, then broken again and again ie 100 meter dash, how can anyone expect to believe it was done without performance enhancing drugs?

There are ALWAYS going to be drugs designed to get around the tests, especially when they give the list on what is banned! Regardless of the supplements, people need to realize the dedication and desire needed to excel to elite status regardless of what they take. You still need to have off the scale “talent and athletic ability” coupled with the mental side in order to win in any sport. So, IMHO testing is a joke, it’s basically for the uninformed masses or better known as sheeple. Just my two cents.[/quote]

The playing field IS level because everyone has access to the same shit.

I like your point in paragraph two though. Never thought of it that way before.

[quote]ElbowStrike wrote:
I disagree.

Athletes should not be forced by game theory to use drugs in order to win.

When they do use and are caught, they should be publicly humiliated and disgraced.

No non-dietary performance enhancers in sport.[/quote]

Then get rid of the carbon fiber frames in biking. Get rid of the lazer suits in swimming. Outlaw the use of computer technology in coaching. Make weight training illegal. Practices should be closely monitored so that no trainee is allowed to improve his performance from them.

High five, Rainjack!

[quote]ElbowStrike wrote:
I disagree.

Athletes should not be forced by game theory to use drugs in order to win.[/quote]

I really doubt you’re on the side of the athletes here. Athletes/ Citizens of free societies should not be forced by “game theory” to treat innocent people(this is now including high school KIDS btw) as though they were criminal. The aim of WADA is "zero-tolerance"and “strict liability” for doping while maintaining “acceptable levels” of false positives and no-fault incidents. I’m sorry but this is such an ass-backward view how could anyone agree with it…are you a politician ? [quote]

When they do use and are caught, they should be publicly humiliated and disgraced.[/quote]

Would you also agree when athletes are wrongly labeled with the scarlet D, that WADA, IOC officials, lab scientists and newspaper reporters should similarly be “publicly humiliated and disgraced” ?

[quote]rainjack wrote:
ElbowStrike wrote:
I disagree.

Athletes should not be forced by game theory to use drugs in order to win.

When they do use and are caught, they should be publicly humiliated and disgraced.

No non-dietary performance enhancers in sport.

Then get rid of the carbon fiber frames in biking. Get rid of the lazer suits in swimming. Outlaw the use of computer technology in coaching. Make weight training illegal. Practices should be closely monitored so that no trainee is allowed to improve his performance from them.

[/quote]

Carbon fiber frames, swimming suits, and other pieces of sporting equipment do nothing to enhance the natural abilities or force production of the athletes, they only allow them to transfer that force more efficiently.

Computer technology does not directly do anything to enhace an athlete’s abilities. It is merely a source of knowledge.

We are left with weight training. An act, in itself, that can be considered as “unnatural” as taking drugs. However, if we are going to call weight training unnatural, we should also consider any training with the sole intent to better oneself at sport to be unnatural. These arguments quickly fall apart, as it is plain to see that there is no comparison between the time and effort of physical training to that of injecting a drug.

The most basic factor in sport is to determine who has the best given skill or skill set. By definition, a skill can be both congenital and trained or learned. It is also fact that sports were created to see who could combine their natural talents with training to be the best at said skill. So it should be assumed, and has been, that a competition involving such skill should logically allow for the training of said skill. In other words, training is inherent to sport and athletic competition. Artificial enhancement is not, at least not in sport as we know it today. Non-drug tested competitions may have there place, but that place is not in today’s sporting competitions.

[quote]tedro wrote:
Carbon fiber frames, swimming suits, and other pieces of sporting equipment do nothing to enhance the natural abilities or force production of the athletes, they only allow them to transfer that force more efficiently.[/quote]

And steroids allow for faster recovery to achieve the exact same thing - more efficiency.

You are very subjective in your definitions. If a piece of equipment - let’s say a carbon fiber vaulting pole will allow a pole vaulter to go from 17’ to 20’ - is that not an enhancement of performance?

But it is used to make people bigger, stronger and faster. It enhances performance. Application of knowledge of the endocrine system is the exact same thing.

You have a faulty definition of “drugs”. They are injecting hormones - hormones found naturally in the body.

I’m sorry, but the only argument that falls apart is that of one born of hypocrisy. That would be your argument.

PED’s don’t create the athlete - they allow them to train harder, recover faster, and be better than they would without them. Kinda sounds like carbon fibers, and computer assisted coaching.

[quote]The most basic factor in sport is to determine who has the best given skill or skill set. By definition, a skill can be both congenital and trained or learned. It is also fact that sports were created to see who could combine their natural talents with training to be the best at said skill. So it should be assumed, and has been, that a competition involving such skill should logically allow for the training of said skill. In other words, training is inherent to sport and athletic competition. Artificial enhancement is not, at least not in sport as we know it today. Non-drug tested competitions may have there place, but that place is not in today’s sporting competitions.
[/quote]

Artificial enhancement? What the fuck does that even mean?

Your hypocrisy is leaking through. You can’t have a set of rules for external, mechanical enhancers - and then act holier-than-thou when internal enhancers are discussed.

Make PED’s available to all Olympic athletes. It’s what the Greeks would have done.

What I will never understand is how something like cortisone shots, which artificially allow an athlete to play when they ordinarily wouldn’t, are fine while other steroids are not. Either make all performance enhancing substances illegal, or make them all legal. The completely arbitrary nature by which these decisions are made makes no sense

[quote]tedro wrote:
rainjack wrote:
ElbowStrike wrote:
I disagree.

Athletes should not be forced by game theory to use drugs in order to win.

When they do use and are caught, they should be publicly humiliated and disgraced.

No non-dietary performance enhancers in sport.

Then get rid of the carbon fiber frames in biking. Get rid of the lazer suits in swimming. Outlaw the use of computer technology in coaching. Make weight training illegal. Practices should be closely monitored so that no trainee is allowed to improve his performance from them.

Carbon fiber frames, swimming suits, and other pieces of sporting equipment do nothing to enhance the natural abilities or force production of the athletes, they only allow them to transfer that force more efficiently.

Computer technology does not directly do anything to enhace an athlete’s abilities. It is merely a source of knowledge.

We are left with weight training. An act, in itself, that can be considered as “unnatural” as taking drugs. However, if we are going to call weight training unnatural, we should also consider any training with the sole intent to better oneself at sport to be unnatural. These arguments quickly fall apart, as it is plain to see that there is no comparison between the time and effort of physical training to that of injecting a drug.

The most basic factor in sport is to determine who has the best given skill or skill set. By definition, a skill can be both congenital and trained or learned. It is also fact that sports were created to see who could combine their natural talents with training to be the best at said skill. So it should be assumed, and has been, that a competition involving such skill should logically allow for the training of said skill. In other words, training is inherent to sport and athletic competition. Artificial enhancement is not, at least not in sport as we know it today. Non-drug tested competitions may have there place, but that place is not in today’s sporting competitions.

[/quote]

Actually I think this could make the Olympics be more entertained if training were outlawed. Just think of all the overweight, untrained couch potatoes trying to run the marathon or swim the 1500. Classic television. We’d have to get the MXC announcers though. And a good bloopers sound FX team.

Although seriously I do think there should be more standardization of equipment. Money is a serious advantage currently.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
And steroids allow for faster recovery to achieve the exact same thing - more efficiency.
[/quote]

As well as greater force production. Is the body able to exert more force with the steroids than it is without, on the given day that the quick recovery is needed? Yes, and equipment does not.

The pole doesn’t give the athlete the ability to exert more force than they otherwise would be able to. Steroids do.

No it’s not. Computer technology is used to make a training program more effective, find faults in technique, etc. In no way does it increase the force production that the athlete is capable of exerting.

Knowledge of the endocrine system is one thing. It can allow athletes to learn how to maximize their natural testosterone production, minimize cortisol, and in some cases even maximize adrenaline. Steroids adds another factor. It is an exogenous substance being used to increase the force production of the athlete beyond what they would normally be able to produce with congenital skills and training alone.

First, this discussion is not limited to steroids, but other PED’s and doping methods as well. Second, the fact that the hormones naturally occur in the body is irrelevant. It is not natural to inject them, and it goes against the intrinsic values of sport, as I have already shown.

I’d also like to point out, as I’m sure you already know, that many, if not most of these hormones are not naturally occuring, but are in fact derivatives of the hormones naturally found in the body. That test wouldn’t work so well without all those esters, now would it?

Show me the hypocrisy in the argument. Merely calling an argument hypocritical without specifying why is both worthless and a lazy method of not actually examining the argument.

I never said they did.

Yep, exactly.

If you think it sounds the same, you need to examine these things in slightly more detail. I already addressed some basic differences for you.

Semantics, you know very well what I mean. No need to try and change the discussion.

You can if the rules are consistant, which mine are. None of the mechanical enhancers you have mentioned actually increase the force production of the athlete, they simply let them transfer the force better. Steroids not only increase the force potential of the athlete, but also increase the force production on a given day, given their abilities to help recovery.

I would make the same arguments against any mechanical enhancement that has the ability to increase the force production of the athlete, and I do. (See powerlifting equipment)

And watch the popularity of the sports, and the number of athletes, greatly decline.

[quote]throwloud wrote:
What I will never understand is how something like cortisone shots, which artificially allow an athlete to play when they ordinarily wouldn’t, are fine while other steroids are not. Either make all performance enhancing substances illegal, or make them all legal. The completely arbitrary nature by which these decisions are made makes no sense[/quote]

Theres a difference between performance enhancement and performance maintainance. It’s like comparing pads in football, to a bench suit. A football player can hit you just as hard with the pad, he just may never be able to do it again. The lifter on the other hand just isn’t lifting that weight without the suit(given he’s a properly trained powerlifter).

As in the case of the new razor speedos, they are much faster than older swimwear, but at the same time theres no telling if the athlete swim faster butt naked. In otherwords the old gear held the athlete back more than enhancing his performance, and the new gear is closer to having nothing at all.

The pole is part of the sport, not the athlete you can’t compare that to roids. Steroids and illegal ways of enhancing performance will always be around, it doesn’t make sense to allw them because everybody is doing it. What happens when people move on to other ways of cheating are you going to allow it because everybody is cheating?

The only question with roids is where do you draw the supplement line at? Theres a huge difference right now with steroids, but I’m sure some pharmacutical company can come up with a chemical that is half way between creatine and roids. Are you going to ban that too? How come your allowed to overdose yourself with creatine but not roids. I’m not sure but maybe the answer lies somewhere in the fact that current legal supplements allows your body to operate in an optimal state compared to steroids which is beyond optimal.

Rainjack,

Don’t forget to eliminate medical advancements along with the other performance enhancement.

Let’s face it, the laser eye surgery Mark McGuire had increased his home run total a hell of a lot more than steroids (allegedly) could have.

Although, I would point out that steroids are useful in recovering from injury to, and that does blur the line a little in my book.

[quote]tedro wrote:
rainjack wrote:
And steroids allow for faster recovery to achieve the exact same thing - more efficiency.

As well as greater force production. Is the body able to exert more force with the steroids than it is without, on the given day that the quick recovery is needed? Yes, and equipment does not.[/quote]

The equipment allows for better conversion of an input. You seem stuck on using the word “force”, so let’s go with that. If I can lean harder, push harder on a piece of equipment because of an increase in efficiency of energy transferance - that enhances performance.

It’s really simple. You are trying to draw a line between external enhancers and internal enhancers.

All Olympic sports have had records broken because of the use of improved technology. All of them. And you are going to sit there and tell me that the equipment isn’t the same thing as PED’s?

If you can’t see the hypocrisy in that, me explaining it further would be a waste of time.

I’ll let the late George Carlin explain my position better than I can:

[i] It annoys me when people complain about athletes taking steroids to improve athletic performance. It’s a phony argument, because over the years every single piece of sports equipment used by athletes has been improved many times over. Golf balls and clubs; tennis balls, racquets; baseball gloves and bats; football pads and helmets and so on through every sport. Each time technology has found a way to improve equipment it has done so. So why shouldn’t a person treat his body the same way? In the context of sports, the body is nothing more than one more piece of equipment, anyway. So why not improve it with new technology? Athletes use weights, why shouldn’t they use chemicals?

Consider the Greek Phidippides, a professional runner who, in 490 B.C., ran from Athens to Sparta and back (280 miles) to ask the Spartans for help against the Persians in an upcoming battle that threatened Athens. Don't you think his generals would have been happy to give him amphetamines if they had been available? And a nice pair of New Balance high-performance running shoes while they were at it? Grow up, purists. The body is not a sacred vessel, it's a tool.[/i]