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Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Posted by jodik 5 (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 30, 12 at 5:14

I ran into this opinion piece while checking out various sources online...

Is it time to consider this practice from a different angle? Maybe. What many people do not know is that using performance enhancing drugs in sports is incredibly widespread. The public practically demands it. We expect our sports figures to be super stars, super heroes. We expect them to perform at levels that are not humanly possible.

From the piece: "The Lance Armstrong case forces us to consider a philosophical problem that has tormented sport since 1988 when Ben Johnson was disqualified from the Olympics after testing positive for drugs.

Not 'How we can improve detection and make punishment serve as both deterrent and restitution,' but 'Should we allow athletes to use drugs?' My answer is yes.

Were we to treat athletes as mature adults capable of making informed decisions based on scientific information, we could permit the use of performance enhancing substances, monitor the results and make the whole process transparent.

Instead we continue to demonize those found guilty of doping violations, willing ourselves into ignorance."

And: "Athletes take unknown substances, procured from unknown sources and with uncertain results. Permitting the use of doping would rescue sport from this clandestine state, creating an environment that would be not only safer, but more congruent with the reality of professional sport in the 21st century.

Twenty-four years after the Johnson scandal, performance-enhancing drugs are as abundant as ever and, as the Armstrong experience reminds us, the testers remain embarrassingly behind the curve. Despite the major advances since 1988, several athletes have evaded detection not just for the odd competition, but for entire careers."

"The objections are predictable:

This is cheating. In a technical sense, perhaps; but that could be fixed by changing the rules. In a moral sense, it is unfair on those competitors who do not wish to use drugs. The evidence of the Armstrong investigation suggests that many other cyclists were habitual dopers, anyway. We can't say the same for other sports, though we can remind competitors that among the array of performance enhancing aids which are available to them, such as acupuncture, hypnotism, hypoxic tents (that simulate high altitude) and the countless other perfectly legal performance enhancements are some that are probably more dangerous than drugs.

Taking drugs is wrong. Maybe, but how many of us get through a day without taking a pharmaceutical product, such as statins, antidepressants, painkillers and so on? By an accident of language we use the same term for these products and performance enhancing materials as we do for illicit drugs like crack cocaine and heroin. This misleads us into imagining related objections.

There are too many dangers. Of course there are -- as the situation is now. By inviting athletes to declare with impunity what they are using, we encourage and open discourse and promote research so we'd be in a position to advise on the relative values and risks of different substances. This openness isn't possible while we continue to force drug-taking underground. Opening up sport in the way I'm advocating would render it a safer, more secure environment.

Sports stars are role models. Possibly. But they are not paragons of virtue, and even if they were, young people who follow them and organize their own naive ambitions around theirs will eventually run into the rock hard reality that drugs are to sport what Twitter is to celebrities -- not exactly essential, but a valuable resource when used strategically."

Fans would turn off sport. Ask yourself this: Did you feel a thrill when you saw the imperious Armstrong cross the line at the 2002 Tour de France seven minutes ahead of his nearest rival? Or when you watched Marion Jones surge to victory at the Olympic 100m final in 2000? At the time, we didn't realize they or, for that matter, any of their rivals had doped. And it didn't affect our enjoyment of their performances any more than if we'd known they were wearing aerodynamically designed clothing.

The argument in favour of permitting drugs in sport is not popular at a time when the world is busy annihilating Lance Armstrong. But it is rational, sound and in harmony with sport, not as it was in the days of "Chariots of Fire," but as it is in the twenty first century: Unrelenting, mercilessly competitive and unsparingly achievement-oriented."

Every competitive sport has its share of performance enhancing drug users. The sports and the fans practically demand it, even if unknowingly.

If so many athletes can use steroids and other drugs or procedures during training, then clean their systems for testing prior to competing, test clean before competition... how can we hold them culpable for those clean test results, based solely upon rumors or stories after the fact?

In a recent thread, we talked about this "witch hunt", stripping athletes of titles, compensation, sponsors, and their reputations... not based upon dirty test results, but upon stories told years after the fact. Is all that really fair, or necessary?

If the fans demand superhuman strength, above average performance, and the competition is so strong that the average athlete cannot make the cut, can't compete without an edge, wouldn't it be more advantageous to legalize and regulate performance enhancing substances? I'm starting to think so.

Instead of forcing our athletes to go underground, to hide their usage and obtain questionable product, or to use in an unsafe way, why not encourage transparency and bring a level of safety and better health to our sports and the players we all admire so much?

To me, punishment after the fact, when test results don't prove a thing, is a bit hypocritical.

Here is a link that might be useful: Should we allow athletes to use PED's?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

What kind of message would you be sending to kids by saying doping is OK?


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

" What many people do not know is that using performance enhancing drugs in sports is incredibly widespread"

Many wrongs do not make a right.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

"In a recent thread, we talked about this "witch hunt", stripping athletes of titles, compensation, sponsors, and their reputations..."
____________________________________________________

If memory serves, you were the only one who felt this was a witch hunt, the rest of us felt the investigation was warranted and Armstrong got what he deserved. I don't understand how someone who is constantly touting their moral code can support cheating.

There is no comparison to be made between prescriptive medicine and illegal performance enhancers.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

But there is a strong similarity between the 2, lavender...it just depends on the circumstances. any form of prescription Speed, used to enhance energy levels, for example, is no different from other performance enhancers. But you are absolutely right about condoning cheating. On that, I fully agree!


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

I understand the argument. If performance enhancing drugs are made legal, then ALL athletes can use them, use them under doctor's supervision, and everyone will be back on equal footing. The audience will still want to watch feats of strength, so the money will still be there. In theory, it makes sense.

But what sport is really all about is watching man vs man, a contest of strength, endurance, skill. If jacking up those athletes becomes allowable, then why don't we just build robot men and let them battle it out? Just think of it as the ultimate form of "performance enhancing".

Or if we INSIST on keeping organic lifeforms in sport, then we pump them full of performance enhancing drugs, then the sport can switch sponsors from Nike and Adidas to Novartis, Pfizer, and Astra Zeneca. Big Pharma already squeezes every other aspect of our lives, let's have our teenagers watching commercials from Roche telling them to buy the latest EPO formulation if they want to be like their basketball hero or make it to the NFL.

Yay! Awesome idea!


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

When I was in high school many student athletes were stacking numerous steroids.

This was at a time when most people didn't know about proper dosing, nor pre-cycle, on-cycle and post cycle therapy. Some of these students were popping orals like candy.

One of our friends, a dealer at the time used to supply many high school students, college students, athletes, cops, firemen, bodybuilders, powerlifters, gym rats etc.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

That's the contention, HG... and it seems you are the only one who read it in its entirety with comprehension and objectivity. Transparency will breed safety.

Anyone who thinks the Lance Armstrong episode will put an end to what some people call "doping" is sadly mistaken. It will simply usher in a new era of stealth and secrecy. But it will make it no more safe than it is now.

Overturn Roe vs. Wade, and what will happen? Will abortions stop? No! They will commence under the radar, underground. Make penalties harsher for the use of performance enhancing methods in sports, and they will dig in deeper under that same type of radar.

Performance enhancing methods are here to stay. What do people propose we do about them, if not make them transparent and safe, under supervision of doctors?

Athletes only use enhancements while in training, if they use any methods, at all.

The types and methods are so various and widespread, they cannot all be accounted for or lumped under one umbrella. So, instead of simply denigrating those who want or need that edge, give up a solution to the issue. What would you do?


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

The types and methods are so various and widespread, they cannot all be accounted for or lumped under one umbrella. So, instead of simply denigrating those who want or need that edge, give up a solution to the issue. What would you do?

Completely disagree for the same reasons as I stated above.

First of all, no athlete "needs" to use PEDs. They "want" to use them so they can beat their opponents with a doping advantage.

Second, PED use should never become mandatory... which in effect it would under what you are proposing... especially in light of the feeder organizations for pro-sports teams. In other words, teenage sports teams.

Again, do we really want to allow Big Pharma that kind of access to our teenagers in sports? Do we want our children growing up with PED use as just another part of sports the way that practicing or staying hydrated is?

If children aren't getting enough exercise already, just wait until responsible parents start yanking their kids out of organized sports in order to steer them away from steroid and other PED use. Like they don't have to fight that enough with it being illegal...just make them legal seems like a solution to you?


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Re the recent 'steroid era' of professional football, baseball, cycling, track, etc. - its a good idea to recall what these guys were going through and what it did to their bodies. I remember reading about the doping in the Tour de France where the guys would get so hopped up on whatever they were taking that they couldn't sleep at night, they'd be doing pushups and pumping way on exercise bicycles all night long. Look at the baseball players now - seen any pics of a recent Mark McGuire? And how many football players are out there talking about how that stuff destroyed them?

The gym I use is a fascinating place to 'people watch' and yesterday, there were a couple of guys in there with such absurd, steroid bodies that they looked like cartoon characters. You wonder how long they'll be alive.

Keep in mind that if you're a new-born fish like a tilapia, if you are fed a diet with 50 mg methyltestosterone / kg of feed for a month, it won't matter if you are genetically a female - that tiny dose will turn you into a boy fish.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

So once doping is 'legalised' won't that mean these athletes didn't win anything, the dope did. So what's the point.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Many people think I've used steroids since I'm a Mesomorph with good genetics and have been training since I was 12.

I know many local athletes running steroid cycles for and training for strength, speed, endurance, recovery, cutting - not bulk , so you can't tell they're running gear by looking at them.

Many people, even those that have run numerous cycles of steroids for many years don't have good, genetics, don't work hard, or they're not freakishly big, strong or fast, so few would suspect they're running gear.

Many people running gear are also overweight, or obese like many linemen and powerlifters, so they don't look like bodybuilders.

The fact that many people don't have good genetics is why they run gear. Time is another issue. It takes many many years of hard work to gain muscle and strength gains you can make in months with steroid cycles, growth hormone, insulin etc.

Many hit a plateau when training naturally as well. Many with poor genetics have a problem gaining 20 pounds of muscle in a lifetime.

Much of the younger generation are running pro-hormone orals they can buy cheaply off the internet.

Many of these pro-hormones give them incredible gains in size and strength, but they're very toxic on the liver.

Many don't use proper pre-cycle/on-cycle/post-cycle support, due to expense, or use online research chemical suppliers for support supplements, many of which are bunk, under-dosed or tainted.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Here's the thing- 'Doctors' and 'Scientists' don't know all the long term dangers. And younger bodies of children athletes are affected differently - but they, their coaches, etc will still be willing to 'cheat' like adults- and these adults are really young men and women still wet behind the ears- and motivated towards results.

I have a cycling friend who has suffered many and various repercussions over the years from performance drugs in the 1980's.

While I believe testing needs to get better, and there will always be cheats, the idea is to make the sport safer. Legalizing drugs will not do that. Tighter tests will help.

I'm not sure I agree or disagree with retroactively taking away Lance Armstrong's Tour wins. I think he passed most of the drug tests at the time. Cheated yes, avoided tests, diluted his blood with saline, yes, but it did not showed up at the time-although maybe it did once and there was a bribe involved.

And many of the riders were taking drugs, and many have been caught or admitted to it. All the more reason to get better testing.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

I am a very big sports fan. We as a family watch all major professional sports -- baseball, football, basketball, hockey.

I am interested in watching the athletes compete with their natural ability.

I am not interested in watching competitions of who can take the best drug to enhance their performance.

I honestly cannot understand how anyone can think legalizing doping in sports can possibly be good.

I've also mentioned before -- I am a parent of a almost 12 year old son who plays baseball. He lives and breathes baseball. He thinks he will play professionaly when he grows up (I don't think that!). Right now, he is usually the best player on every team he's played on. So, right now he can't imagine why anyone would put that stuff in their body. One day -- high school, college -- that will no longer be the case. He will not be the best player on his team. Will he think that taking a PED drug will help him? I sure hope not, but I don't know. Legalizing it in sports is the absolute worst thing that can happen. Why in the world would we want to encourage our youth to put this stuff in their body?

The argument that they are all doing it so make it legal, in my opinion is totally wrong headed. There will always be cheats. The testing will continue to improve. The ways of avoiding the tests will improve. It will be a never ending game, but it doesn't mean it is one that should not happen.

I do not understand, jodi, for someone that talks a lot about what we eat and what we put in our body, how can you think it's ok to encourage our youth to put drugs in their bodies to give them an advantage at a sport while hurting their long term health? It really makes no sense to me at all.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

First of all, where, exactly, am I encouraging children to take performance enhancing drugs? I don't recall saying that, and in fact, in rereading what I wrote, I didn't say that. We're talking about adults, professional athletes... not little kids.

What I said is... and PED's are a huge part of many, many professional sports, and we should all know this if we follow any sports or read the news... what I said is, "Instead of forcing our athletes to go underground, to hide their usage and obtain questionable product, or to use in an unsafe way, why not encourage transparency and bring a level of safety and better health to our sports and the players we all admire so much?" That's what I said.

However, since professional sports test their athletes for performance enhancing drugs, we have to assume that a clean test means that athlete is not using any performance enhancing methods, correct? No, not correct. Unfortunately, that's something we can't assume. Tests are too easy to pass.

Steroids, as we think of them, are not the only performance enhancing procedures or methods being employed by today's athletes.

My contention is... how can we hold tested athletes culpable AFTER the fact without evidence? They've already passed the necessary testing to engage in whatever sport they're in.

My fear is that all the greats, ensconced within halls of fame, holding belts and trophies and awards, paid well for their efforts and entertainment value given to fans, will be stripped of everything including their reputations because of suspected steroid use. How would people feel if Babe Ruth were accused, or Hank Aaron, or any of the other great sports heroes, and consequently stripped of everything on a mere suspicion or rumors of use?

When it comes to injuries and recovery, or other issues, yes, sometimes steroids ARE needed.

Take testosterone, as example. An 18 year old male should have an average testosterone count of well over 400 ng/dl according to most doctors. Average levels are around 700-800 ng/dl. If an 18 year old has a pituitary issue and shows a count of 200, should he be condemned to a life without playing professional sports because he can't correct it without testing positive? If he wants to be on any kind of level playing field with others that have a normal physiology, then yes, he needs that testosterone, commonly called a PED.

The article above in the very first post is an opinion piece. It has to do with adult individuals within professional sports, not children. And it has to do with a wide variety of products and methodology all referred to as PEDs.

What does my diet and opinion on foods have to do with PED use in adults, engaging in professional sports? Not a thing.

Where does anyone get the impression I'm talking about children? Where did I write that? I'm still trying to figure that out.

Read the opinion piece in the OP again, if you must, to gain insight into what I'm actually talking about. Then, perhaps, we can have a conversation about what should be done. It appears we have two main choices... we can either ramp up testing, or we can figure out a way to bring transparency to PED use so it's safer, not relegated to the underground, and not fodder for outrage decades after the fact.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Where does anyone get the impression I'm talking about children? Where did I write that? I'm still trying to figure that out.

You are ignoring the fact that if it's acceptable and legal for professional athletes to use PED, that will encourage children and young adults (high school) to do so.

My point about your position on healthy food was that I always took that to mean that you were against putting things that are bad for your body in your body. That is certainly why I eat all natural, organic when I can, food. I believe that all the artificial ingredients and preservatives in our food causes lots of health issues for adults, but mostly for children. Based on that assumption, I couldn't understand why you think it's ok to put PEDs in one's body when they've also been proven to do long term harm. Maybe I misunderstood your stance on natural foods. If so, then forget what I said as it would not follow.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Take testosterone, as example. An 18 year old male should have an average testosterone count of well over 400 ng/dl according to most doctors. Average levels are around 700-800 ng/dl. If an 18 year old has a pituitary issue and shows a count of 200, should he be condemned to a life without playing professional sports because he can't correct it without testing positive? If he wants to be on any kind of level playing field with others that have a normal physiology, then yes, he needs that testosterone, commonly called a PED.

If someone is on TRT due to abnormally low testosterone levels, the correct dose of legally prescribed testosterone shouldn't bring their "ratio" to "questionable levels", so they shouldn't be flagged for IRMS testing.

Even many guys that illegally run large doses of testosterone until days before an event have acceptable ratios at the time of testing.

The TRT exemption is just a way for cheaters to run testosterone at higher than needed doses legally.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Point well made jmc01.

As jillinnj has touched on, health and healthy eating is a priority for pro athletes - their bodies are their livlihood. Most, if not all, are strongly against any performance enhancers. Dopers need not apply.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

I believe lavendar has hit on a good point. I do think it's true that most pro athletes would prefer the playing field is leveled and it not be necessary to take PEDs to be able to compete at the professional level. There are, of course, exceptions to this.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

First of all, where, exactly, am I encouraging children to take performance enhancing drugs? I don't recall saying that, and in fact, in rereading what I wrote, I didn't say that. We're talking about adults, professional athletes... not little kids.

Jodi, think carefully about this.

You are proposing making PEDs legal in professional sports, meaning the only way to be competitive in professional sports is for everyone to openly take PEDs. Anyone who wants to compete "clean" will probably not make the cut.

This means that anyone expecting to compete at any level accepts PED use as mandatory... kids will grow up knowing that pro players take PEDs and it's not bad...it's necessary and acceptable.

They want that college scholarship...PEDs. They want a shot at the big time...PEDs. They just want to be like their hero...PEDs.

Yes, of course it would encourage children to take PEDs... it not only makes it acceptable, it makes it mandatory if they have dreams of doing any higher level of competition.

And as I said earlier...at that point, any responsible parent would keep their kids as far away from that kind of influence as possible... expect less kids playing less sports... don't want to encourage kids toward that direction.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Thanks, HG. Yes, my point exactly. How much longer can I expect that my husband and I will be the biggest influence on our 12 year old son? He listens and believes us now, but what about when he gets to high school? If all pros are doing it and it's now expected, and he thinks he has a future playing baseball professionally, what do you think he'll do? Even if his dad and I think it's wrong and bad for his health? He's not going to listen.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

He listens and believes us now, but what about when he gets to high school? If all pros are doing it and it's now expected, and he thinks he has a future playing baseball professionally, what do you think he'll do? Even if his dad and I think it's wrong and bad for his health? He's not going to listen.

Your son...almost any kid in high school, really.

You know how many kids rely on some kind of sports scholarship in order to go to college? My nephew has a rowing scholarship... my stepson is wrangling a hockey scholarship for next year. What if he were competing against other kids who were all doping? He'd either have to start a doping program or lose the scholarship to someone else. We're lucky in that we can still send him to college if he doesn't get it but some kids aren't so lucky.

We're not talking about smoking a joint here. We are talking about a myriad of drugs and procedures with short and long term effects that are as bad or worse than the usual rants about chemical fertilizers or GM grains. Genetically modified corn--bad, performance enhancing drugs--no probs?


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

I have seen one too many guys who graduate from high school weighing 180 lbs in the spring, then show up for college football 3 months later weighing 225.

And look at all those foot ball announcers - Howie Long, Mark Schlerth, etc, who drop 150 lbs when they quit playing.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

As jillinnj has touched on, health and healthy eating is a priority for pro athletes - their bodies are their livlihood. Most, if not all, are strongly against any performance enhancers. Dopers need not apply.

Also, the doctors.

A doctor's job is to help keep a body healthy, try to keep someone from damaging their body. A sports doctor would be coaching healthy diets and safe exercise... not pumping performance enhancing drugs into the athletes, causing damage for the sake of trying to create short term superstrength.

Of course, there are the obvious morally bankrupt exceptions who will do anything for the extra buck, as is happening in sports now.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

We are not counting on our son getting a scholarship for college for baseball. We'd be very happy if that happened. There are some very good colleges that have very good baseball programs. I wouldn't want him to go to a school that does not offer a good education just because they gave him money. But, if he can get some money to help with college to a good school, that would be awesome! He'd get to play baseball in college, he'd get a good education and we'd get help with the costs. Nothing could be better than that.

But, if he has to take PEDs to compete for that scholarship, I am not interested! We are also lucky enough that we will figure out a way to pay for it and we'd tell him it's not worth his long term health.

I hope it wouldn't come to that. But, if pro sports allow it, it most certainly would come to that.

The stress at that time is going to be very high. I've been at the Jack Cust baseball facility while they were having show cases for colleges. My son's team was playing the winter league there. The tension among those parents was amazing. You could feel it walking thru them as they watched their kids compete for the college recruiters. I am really not looking forward to that whole scene, and adding PEDs into that mix would just make it that much worse.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

I've been at the Jack Cust baseball facility while they were having show cases for colleges. My son's team was playing the winter league there. The tension among those parents was amazing. You could feel it walking thru them as they watched their kids compete for the college recruiters. I am really not looking forward to that whole scene, and adding PEDs into that mix would just make it that much worse.

In a situation like we are discussing, I think there would be a lot less of a crowd there. Not many parents will steer their kids toward sports if doping becomes legal.

Well, there will be some. Heck, even with it being illegal, there are some parents who procure the drugs for their child just to make their child the BEST... but again, I'm talking about responsible parents... not the kind who think there's nothing wrong with it.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Hamilton, jill and lavender, you have all made excellent points and I'm with you...doping should not be made legal. Funny, how the subject of this thread was crafted to use the word 'doping'. That word alone says alot to me about this subject.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

You're right, HG. There will be less. The ones that will be there will be the worst kind! I've witnessed the worst of sport's parents. They take all the fun out of playing sports for their kids and everyone around them.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

When I played little league, I was the best catcher and hitter in the school, so I made the "traveling team".

One of the parents of players on an opposing team offered me $500 to throw a playoff game. That was a lot of money back then.

Another time some parents and an umpire were literally wrestling on the ground after an argument over a very bad call.

Parents used to yell all sorts of nasty comments about members of the opposing teams.

When parents thought I was crowding the plate, some of them would say things like "knock his fuc%ing block off".

Many umpires were obviously either biased, or clueless, so coaches, players, parents and spectators would get all worked up.

More than one parent instructed their sons to purposely try to take out opposing players either with a pitch, or a hard slide.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Ah, travel team / elite team youth sports - see parental sportsmanship at its finest.

In this low-density, low income population, I see the same short-sighted idiocy with this again and again. Say baseball. When the kids are 10 yrs old, all kinds of kids are playing ball, enough for 4 teams. Some parent who thinks his kid is destined to play for the Red Sox gets the idea of cherry picking the best players from the four teams and traveling around playing the other select teams. They pick their players, and everybody else on the 4 teams quit, because the message sent is pretty clear: you're no good at baseball.

And then the select kids grow up and get burned out on the sport, find they like mountain biking a lot better, move out of town, etc, and suddenly, around age 14, you don't have enough kids left to field a team, any team, unless you start moving younger kids up - which repeats the cycle since the younger kids you pick are the best players, leaving the dregs behind. We see the same thing with soccer, soft ball, volleyball, and so on.

On the bright side, the local little league football program does things differently. The first thing they do is call all the parents for a meeting, and explain the odds of their kid ever playing professional football, and what kind of extraordinary skills that would take - like a 30 inch vertical jump when you're 11 years old. This calms the parents down. And then they strive for parity on the teams and mix up the players every season. The end result is that by the time they get to high school, they can get 20-30 boys in each age grade to go out for the team. Where as with soccer or the other sports, they're now lucky if they can find enough kids willing to play.

And, of course, the kid who was out in left field picking dandelions and daydreaming when the ball lands at his feet when he was 10 turns out to be the star line backer in high school. Seriously, one of my daughter's age mates was just this shudder-inducing, intentionally drooling to gross out the girls, effeminate, thick-spectacled definition of a wimp, and now looks like Sylvester Stallone - deep voice, no-nonsense, great athlete. I strongly suspect that his dad, a MD, might have mixed a little something in with his morning oatmeal.......


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

There are some pretty bad parents in hockey too. Stepson plays hockey and hubby played Jr B when he was young. They've also seen some pretty bad parents. Ones who berate their child for not being the best, scream at opposing players, and even attack coaches (opposing coaches and their own!)

Their one goal is for their kid to be the BEST player on the team... and I have no doubt some of them would willingly plunge a needle into their own kid if it would give them an edge.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

The sad thing is young people who depend on sports scholarships for their higher education.

My daughter knew a young man that was attending her school on a sports scholarship. He was injured and then lost his scholarship.

He didn't have the money to stay at school--it was heartbreaking. I asked if donations would help and she said no, it was just too expensive for him to stay at that school unless a lot of money was raised, and for several years.

I see where Jerry Brown signed legislation in California preventing this cruel practice.

On the one hand, I understand that the student can't deliver what the university thought it was getting for the free education.

But for some students that truly want an education, it's a heartbreaking situation.

*

I don't think we'll have a totally fair system or playing field as far as performance enhancing substances relate to athletes.

I believe in drug testing and think that performance enhancing drugs as defined now by sports organizations that are prohibited should remain so.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Jill... PROPER use, PROPER cycling, of PROPER steroids is not harmful, and hasn't been proven to be harmful, and many quite aged persons out there, some athletes and some not, are living proof of this. Do you have any idea how many patients with injuries are prescribed steroids? Do you have any idea the great help they are when utilized properly, under a doctor's care?

Unfortunately, the only steroid use we ever hear about is through a media intent upon reporting the dirt... sensationalized dirt... so as to demonize any subject matter for higher ratings. If it bleeds, it leads... or, dirty laundry... you know the sayings.

So, we hear about steroids obtained through black market sources, the vials containing who knows what, and the end user using them in ways that aren't proper, and ARE harmful.

We see this in athletes who have such over sized muscular features as to be unnatural. Athletes stack, and pump weight, often neglecting cardio. And we see this in the many other symptoms that go along with improper use of questionable steroids, such as horrible acne, anger issues, and the list is long.

As these over blown athletes age, we see the results of poor steroid use... and sometimes we see it way before they age... some men having breasts as large as mine, excess body fat, everything sagging, female athletes with facial hair and unnaturally large muscles, and a plethora of other unpleasant side effects of improper steroid use.

There are decidedly two sides to this coin, though.

When we, as parents, speak to our kids about drugs, I should hope these talks include steroids in sports, and what's contained in the home medicine cabinet. I have to think, however, that they don't... judging by what I'm hearing and seeing on the news... more's the pity.

So, if your children are "doping" in high school, perhaps something was missed when you spoke about illicit drugs. Any steroid an underage child could get would be illicit, and very questionable. Until children are legally adults, they're under parental supervision.

But even kids aren't stupid... well, many of them... they listen and watch. They know what's going on out there. And hopefully, they're smart enough, and have been taught well enough and supervised well enough, that they know using any substances that aren't medically prescribed is not a good thing to do.

You've given scenarios that only take into account what you've seen in the news. And you're telling me that kids are stupid... that they're all going to follow their sports heroes into steroid use.

What you haven't said a word about are all the athletes who obtain pharmaceutical grade steroids from medical sources, cycle them properly, never test positive for anything, and never show any outward sign of any use.

The truth is, there are more athletes out there that fit this scenario than there are that fit the media scenario. If children don't know an athlete is using steroids, how would he know to follow that athlete into steroid use?

But since the media has made such a mountain out of this issue, we're stuck with created stereotypes.

I know a little something about steroids because I have a husband with massive back injury. Without certain steroids, he'd never have been able to build his back to carry himself upright. But it's not something one does without a doctor's supervision, without knowledge, and without the right steroids.

Let's get back to the original piece, shall we?

"Were we to treat athletes as mature adults capable of making informed decisions based on scientific information, we could permit the use of performance enhancing substances, monitor the results and make the whole process transparent."

Now, we can either demonize all the methods athletes use to help them perform at fan expected levels, and we can keep it all underground... and we already know that laws are only as good as those people who follow them... or, we can figure out a way to make it work in sports.

The truth is... you're never going to eradicate PEDs from sports. Athletes will always find a way to beat testing, as they have been, and keeping it illicit only encourages the sales and improper use of black market junk.

Solution, people... we're looking for solutions.

It's not demonize Jodi time... I'm just the messenger. It's find a solution to the PED issue time. Can I get some ideas?



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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

The truth is... you're never going to eradicate PEDs from sports. Athletes will always find a way to beat testing, as they have been, and keeping it illicit only encourages the sales and improper use of black market junk.

True that.

But so will junkies, alcoholics...etc.

What legalising it will do is lowering the bars. Literally.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

And hopefully, they're smart enough, and have been taught well enough and supervised well enough, that they know using any substances that aren't medically prescribed is not a good thing to do.

So....

If people's teens start using PEDs then maybe they're not smart enough, or supervised well enough, or the parents should have talked to them about not using PEDs...nice.

So, um, does that work the same way with sex? Maybe parents should just "talk" to the kids about not having sex? Or start supervising them properly? Or maybe the kids just aren't smart enough to avoid pregnancy or STD's, by that logic.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Their one goal is for their kid to be the BEST player on the team... and I have no doubt some of them would willingly plunge a needle into their own kid if it would give them an edge.

Some high school and college students with no jobs, or low paying part-time jobs are running some very expensive cycles stacking multiple steroids, plus running multiple support drugs, so they must be getting financial support from parents whether the parents know it or not.

It's not hard to notice when your kid gains 10 to 20 plus pounds in several weeks and/or has numerous on-cycle/post-cycle side-effects.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

so they must be getting financial support from parents whether the parents know it or not.

Or the college team is somehow paying for/supplying it.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

The testing has to get much better as users are getting much better at cheating, plus many drugs aren't detectable, or within acceptable limits shortly after use.

We know athletes and their advisors/mentors that are masters of staying within acceptable testosterone ratio limits.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

The point being lost, in my opinion, from those who would like to see the currently illegal application of drugs applied by atheletes in a legal and medically supervised way, is that by approving the practice of doping for athletes, cheating would then become a completely approved practice and would then simply be called by another name.

However, it would still be cheating. Or, by another definition: deception.
The natural body of the athelete would no longer be the only winner, a gold medal would then have to be awarded to the drugs and their application because without them, the person would not have won.
In order to level the playing field, ALL players would have to dope up. And then, all players would be right back where they started from. One would be better than another because of natural ability.
Cheating is cheating. Deception is deception. It can be wrapped up in a pretty package of explainations and justifications but remove all of the wrappings and you are still looking at a person who is a cheater and deceiver - and worse? After all the explainations and justifications, one who is also without any remorse.
-I believe that in this society, a problem we have to face is that we keep trying to find a way to call cheating/deception something else, in order to remove moral accountability from the equation.
Those who engaged in the process also often wants blame to seep onto the bystanders who did not reap the rewards that the cheaters were able to enjoy if they were successful in the cheat.

Cheating on taxes is cheating, cheating on a test is cheating, cheating the body with drugs if an athelete is cheating, cheating on one's spouse is cheating, cheating by presenting yourself to be someone you are not (always for a personal gain) - with all of the above (and all that hasn't been mentioned) the REASON for the cheating does not, in any way, make the cheating anything other than what the cheating was: deception for gain.
-The woman tells the man, "I cheated because you weren't paying attention to me" or "because you cheated" or "because I felt unappreciated", or "because I stopped loving you years ago" or, even "because you abuse me".
-The athelete tells the board "I cheated because everyone else cheated and if I didn't I wouldn't win."
-The college kid tells the professor "Everyone in your class cheats so the curve is now so great that my great grade is not so great when compared with the perfect scores so many in your class get, which hurts my class standing, which is why I cheated."
-The person who presents him/herself as someone they are not, ALWAYS has a host of explainations they feel is justifying, for the personal gain of the deception.
-All those responses are EXPLAINATIONS for the cheating, but it still does not change the fact that a human moral clause to qualify for good character was broken, and that the cheater is as guilty of cheating even if none of those explainations applied to their specific case.

-Cheating is cheating.

The problem with Lance Armstrong is that not only did he cheat, he pressured others on his team to cheat and he continuously lied about his cheating. Only the cheaters (and certainly him personally) had something to gain. Those he cheated against only had something to lose: what he himself gained.
-Which is the bottom line of the behavior of cheating: Personal gain.
A gain usually only enjoyed by the cheater.
-I don't think that there is an easy answer to athlete doping.
-I do think that the consequence is obvious.

Look at Lance Armstrong. If you get caught, all that he is now living is the fair consequence of the choice to cheat.
The continual lie about the cheat is demanding of consequence apart from the cheat (the lie was for personal gain, also a cheat) and his consequence for the lies will also be fair.
-He knowingly created his own possible future outcome when he cheated. He weighed the odds and went in with the understanding of the pros and cons.
-He won, won continuously, gained enormously in name recognition, name value, respect and great financial security for years, all by the cheat and the lies surrounding the cheat.
-But he also ended up paying the price he knew would be waiting if all of this sordid history was uncovered and disclosed. He accepted the odds on the solid chance he would win - and he lived them all. He won what he badly wanted but lost when the odds turned away from his favor.

Karma! ;)

It doesn't always happen, but when it does on such a grand scale as Lance Armstrong, it becomes a good teachable moment. He can continue to lie and bluff but only a very few who will NEED to believe him will ever believe him, because he is now a man who's character is that of being a liar of enormous magnitude.
He told and showed the world who he is - and now the world believes him.

-My opinion only, there are interesting responses to the interesting premise of topic for debate.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

I agree with your post, mylab.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Mylab, an important facet to the discussion and beautifully explained.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Performance of athletes cheating with PEDs is enjoyed by the athlete, teammates, coaches, owners, investors, fans etc.

It's enjoyed by the sponsors "until" an athlete gets caught, and even then many have made millions, or will continue to make millions.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

There is a documentary out about East German female atheletes and the terrible price they paid for winning. Do you treat human atheletes like farm animals enhansed for maximum effect? I can easily see a system like East Germany had where young kids were selected out early and farmed for their potential-and tossed when they did not live up to it. The real problem here is giving people 'what they want' Gladiators anyone? Do we set standards for atheletes for maximum showtime effect? Arent fights to the death next because when all atheletes are superior it will get so boring?


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

There will always be liars and cheats (really, the same thing) who benefit without cost MJ. Always. That is the way the world turns, karma doesn't always "play fair" in any situation.
But when it does, it does. When people cheat, they know that there are very bad consequences if they are caught by someone who has the power to apply consequences. Those are the odds being accepted when someone cheats.

It's my own personal opinion that the old excuse "everybody does it" to be sniveling, elementary school sort of self-excusing after getting caught.
The continuing lie being worn as the cover up (I did not dope!) when the pants are so VERY clearly on the ground (the lie Lance indulges himself with, to this day) sets the cheater up for far, far more time with public distaste and repulsed reaction from the public.
-Lance keeps adding to his own time of consequence. His bank account already reflects it, he has lost future millions. As he should. Because he didn't win those races by his own work and his own talent and he knows we all know it. But he continues the "innocent!" lie - for hopeful personal gain to be gotten from somewhere, probably in his personal life (kids, parents, siblings, close friends)

And this is what happens if cheaters get caught.
(Add laughter at him to top it all off, I've heard some 'Lance jokes' already)
-I do think that in the future, it's entirely possible that he will write a 'book of confession' with just enough sniveling to keep it not quite entirely his fault for his own personal choices in his cheating for his own gain and glory.
Who knows, he might even decide he, himself is the REAL victim in the whole "athlete doping" industry! It wouldn't surprise me at all if that sort of book hit the shelves in about five or so years.
-I would look for it when his bank account is in very serious trouble and he needs a big cash influx. I"m sure it would be mostly about an expose about the underworld of athlete doping but - how much could be believed?
-He is, after all, a practiced, professional liar - Lance was better, more accomplished at lying than he ever was as an athlete, by a wide margin.
However, he ended up a failure at both.
Which, to me, makes Lance Armstrong a total loser.


Will the advertisers and all those behind-the scene- big-boys - all those who stood to gain while backing Lance when they knew and approved of his doping for win -will they ever have to pay a real consequence?

Probably not.

Even if they do, it's unlikely they will ever have to pay the heavy price Lance himself will pay. That is also how this world turns and always has turned, not everyone is punished equally for gaining when being part of a lie and cheat.
-But Lance knew THAT too when he played the odds - and lost.

Again, from my perspective only


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

The other issue is the money - if a professional athlete can make a few million dollars a year, thats a heckuva incentive to enhance your performance.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Jodi - I'm not understanding your logic. If my kid (or any kid) starts using PEDs in high school because he thinks it will give him an edge you're saying that's my fault for not talking to him about it? Are you kidding? Did you read my post? I explained that his dad and I do talk to him about this. Kids do things they shouldn't do all the time. Kids experiment with alcohol and drugs and sex even though their parents talked to them about all those things. Like I said, I hope he won't. But, if professional sports makes it legal, it will be that much harder to convince him not to.

Of course there are valid reasons for doctors to prescribe steriods. My brother is a doctor. Both my parents have been prescribed steroids for various things. Athletes are allowed to take them for valid reasons under doctor's supervision. That does not mean that it is ok for it to be made legal in professional sports, in my opionion.

Like I said, I am not interested in watching athletes complete to see who can use drugs to the best effect. I want to watch athletes display their talents, and only their talents. Not their talents trumped up by PEDs.

We're going to have to agree to disagree. You'll never convince me it's the right thing to do. You'll never convince me it can be done long term without it being bad for your body. You'll never convince me that if it's legal in professional sports that parents can easily convince their kids to not do it. And, like I said, it would ruin the fun of watching sports for me.

Mylab said it well. Cheating is cheating is cheating.

---

As far as sports parents go -- I do not understand why but it just brings out the absolute worst in parents. The things I have seen still astound me. The dads (mostly dads, but also a few moms) think that if their kid makes a mistake on the baseball field it reflects badly on them, or something. They get so upset and often yell at the kid. I mean really? They are children! Last fall we were on a team that was comprised of a bunch of crazy parents. At one game, one of the kids made an error. The parents started yelling at the kid -- "what are you doing?" I just looked at them and said "do you think he tried to make an error? do you think he didn't want to make that play? do you think he did that on purpose?" They just looked at me like I was crazy. But, they did quiet down for the rest of the game, at least. I mean, what is wrong with these people? They are adults! They are yelling at kids for making a physical error on a baseball field. Sickening.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

It doesn't matter what sport it is - there are always parents living out their dream through their children, doesn't matter how miserable it makes the kids. I am opposed to any PEDs being allowed in any sports. I think anyone who uses should be kicked out of their sport for life. So why has Lance Armstrong been banned from cycling but Alex Rodreigez is still playing baseball? He shouldn't be allowed near a baseball field.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Because when A-Rod tested positive for steroids, there were no penalties in MLB for testing positive. His tests were during the survey period -- they did testing to see if they should do league wide testing with penalties. It was a deal with the players' association. If the positive tests were above a certain percent, they would begin testing league wide with penalties for positive tests. Before that, there were no penalties.

There were over 100 players that tested positive during that survey test period. That list was supposed to remain private, but of course, names have leaked out including Alex Rodriguez.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

"Solution, people... we're looking for solutions."
___________________________________________________

Who's the "we"?, it appears you're the only one looking for a solution to enable the cheaters. The 'problem' is a handful of pro athletes look to gain the upper hand by abusing drugs. The solution is, if one is found to be guilty of this, they are penalized. 'Problem' solved.

There will never be a level playing field with cheaters, because they are always looking for the edge, whether PE are permitted and regulated or not.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

There will also never be a level playing field for people who think they are "different/unique/more special" than others. And whether it's parents or kids, that sense of uniqueness will continue to apply and folks will look for that edge. And it will never be right or justified IMO.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

There will also never be a level playing field for people who think they are "different/unique/more special" than others. And whether it's parents or kids, that sense of uniqueness will continue to apply and folks will look for that edge. And it will never be right or justified IMO.


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

Absolutely ;)


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RE: Doping in Sports - Making Sense of it All.

I have found in life that the only people that champion cheating are the ones that can't win without doing so.


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