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Doping question (Read 1684 times)

    So if it were proven safe do you think blood doping should be legal in athletics?  I don't at all.

    Runners run.

      So if it were proven safe do you think blood doping should be legal in athletics?  I don't at all.

       

      I guess that was my original question.  The item I picked out was #3 of 3 that Spaniel listed (I think the other 2 were examples of other ways to dope, but I don't remember exactly).

       

      It seemed like #3 was more in the gray area than #1 and #2, and that's what lead to my original question.

       

      ---

      However, to answer your question, knowing that I'm likely wrong since I've only thought about this for the past 2 hours and 10 minutes....

       

      If it's impossible to detect whether somebody did this type of doping, and if it's harmless medically (neither of which I know to be true or false), then it seems as if you can't police the athletes.  As such, let them do it.

      Obviously, there's a monetary cost to have this technology, and it would leave non-sponsored amateurs at a disadvantage.

      That's unfortunate.

       

      But, obviously, those 2 IF statements aren't all true, so the answer would change.

       

      ---

      2014 Goals:

      #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

      #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

       

        Interesting article.

         

        It's actually harder to make a clear and decisive argument against doping in sport than it seems like it should be, but the best argument, seems to me, is that athletics is a celebration of 2 things. First, (1) it celebrates the natural body. It's not about changing the body into something else, but showing what can be done with the bodies we've been given. That argument sounds quaint and conservative in the 'age of enhancement' but hey. Second (2) athletics celebrates fair competition. The rules that decide what is 'fair' and what is not, what is 'doping' and what is not can seem somewhat arbitrary, but they have a long and established tradition that allows us to compare performances across space and time. Doping doesn't work because it disrupts fair competition, making it about scientists in lab and access to drugs--it makes it a different game, one that doesn't work.

        In the end, from the spectator's perspective, it is probably more enjoyable to watch doped up athletes do superhuman things (cf. the NBA and NFL), and probably spectator sports will become more and more 'transhuman' and enhanced. But from the athlete's perspective, all of this detracts from what we love about the sport--coming to terms with the bodies we've been given and competing on a fair and even playing field.


        just a simple cat

          If Lance Armstrong gets to take synthetic testosterone to make up for his ravaged irradiated testes, is there an advantage to him to get to ingest the optimal maximum that a male would have, when he might have only had a medium level as a natural athlete (before cancer therapy)?

           

          purely hypothetical, I have no idea if he takes hormonal supplements.

           

          Running is stupid

          JPF


            This thread brings up a question I had lately:

             

            Is it illegitimate for a 50 year old to take enough steroids/testosterone to bring his levels back up to those of someone in his early 20s?  If so, why? 

             

            (Putting any health issues aside.)


            Feeling the growl again

              of course I see a difference, Mike.

              I just think that the medical risk is more important reason.

               

              But, up until a couple hours ago, I hadn't spent 2 hours in my life thinking about it.  Now I've spent 2 hours in my life thinking about it.

               

              Blood doping achieves completely unnatural outcomes.  I just don't understand how you think this is "fair", even if it is safe.  Why would I want to watch a sport where who wins and loses is largely determined by who has the best doctor to manipulate their chemistry?

               

              This is why myself...and many others...quit watching cycling years ago.  I regret every Tour I watched with rapt attention, thinking I was following a real athletic endeavor.

               

              As for people taking hormones etc....there are some rules about people taking stuff for legitimate medical reasons.  I don't know the details.  But there is nothing natural about a 50-yr-old having the testosterone level of a 20-yr-old.  If they are able to do that, shouldn't every 20-yr-old be able to dope up to the level of the highest competiing 20-yr-old?  

               

              Athletes have differences, THAT is natural.  It is not unfair that every person cannot compete in the Olympic 5000m.  

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               


              Interval Junkie --Nobby

                Would anyone be interested in flipping the question around to see if reveals anything about how we think of sports?

                 

                What if there were a doping drug to make everyone physically equal?  (We can assume a) lowest common denominator (not very exciting), b) average (again, not very exciting) or c) some optimal for humans at that event).  let's go with c).  

                 

                In this scenario the drug is taken before the training period begins and resets everyone to a common baseline w/o any genetic or past training advantage.

                 

                Would that be a more or less interesting sport to watch/follow?  Or is the interesting thing of the sport somehow tied to exceptional genetics?

                2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                Current Status 11/10: Back to building up miles.  Junk feels mostly okay.  Kinda.


                Feeling the growl again

                  Would anyone be interested in flipping the question around to see if reveals anything about how we think of sports?

                   

                  What if there were a doping drug to make everyone physically equal?  (We can assume a) lowest common denominator (not very exciting), b) average (again, not very exciting) or c) some optimal for humans at that event).  let's go with c).  

                   

                  In this scenario the drug is taken before the training period begins and resets everyone to a common baseline w/o any genetic or past training advantage.

                   

                  Would that be a more or less interesting sport to watch/follow?  Or is the interesting thing of the sport somehow tied to exceptional genetics?

                   

                  Hopelessly hypothetical.  Such a drug would have to create an entire population of identical twins.

                   

                  There are a decent number of examples of identical twins pursuing the same athletic endeavor.  The result is typically that they inhabit the same general performance range, but genetics take them only so far.  One usually significantly out-performs the other, despite their genetic identity.

                   

                  Besides, most if not all medical interventions have risks/trade-offs.  To say you're going to have a performance enhancing technique with absolutely no side effects/risks is not at all realistic.

                  "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                   


                  HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                    Well, if all the competitors take the drug, then they all run 19.38 on the 200, it's gonna be entertaining, but probably boring after a couple passes.

                     

                    If they don't all run the same, then you send the scientists back to fix whatever is wrong with the drug, right? Smile

                    It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                       I just don't understand how you think this is "fair", even if it is safe.  

                       

                       

                      Spaniel, 

                      I'm not sure that I think it's fair (or said that I thought it was fair)... maybe I did though. 

                      There are a couple of "IF" clauses within my line of thinking. 

                      IF it's impossible to detect the blood doping AND IF it's medically safe, then why would it be fair for the CLEAN athletes to compete against UNCLEAN athletes and be unable to compete at the same level?

                      The ability of a sanctioning body to police the athletes would be impossible, and would cause an imbalance in performance (think baseball, cycling).

                      The sanctioning body, could, therefore, permit it.

                       

                      However, as I now understand it, it isn't safe.  Therefore, the sanctioning bodies MUST prevent it.  The problem still arises when trying to figure out how to detect it.

                       

                      ---

                      Regarding the TdF, clean or unclean, the ability to do that type of event is quite impressive.  Winning / Losing, Clean / Unclean, Hero / Villain.  Those guys can do amazing things with their bikes.

                      ---

                       

                      Jeff, in response to your good post regarding "celebrating the natural body" and "long and established tradition that allows us to compare performances across space and time"

                      Sounds good, but come on...

                      Most sports have varying classes (recreation, local, regional, national, international).  In order to become "elite", the amount of time and effort to get to that level is hard to imagine.  Often times (some times, or better yet possibly), the best athletes in a given sport are not competing at the "elite" level because of other factors (distance from Nike lab, focus competition in another sport, live in different country with limited resources, ...).  Those that get the opportunity to attempt to become the best of the "elite" in the 2010s are given lab rat technology and information regarding their body and their performance that other aspiring "elite" athletes today, or the "elite" athletes of yesteryear may or may not have access to.  As such, the game changes over time.

                       

                      By way of example.... as you all know.... up until 1954, the 4 minute mile was the barrier.  Since then numerous runners have surpassed that mark (including high schoolers).  Why? 

                      Bannister did it in 1954.

                      Some Morrocan has the record now in 3:43.

                      In 1997, a Kenyan did a 2 mile run in under 8 minutes. 

                      Who's the better runner?

                      With the "time and space" mention by Jeff, it seems like the best time is the best athlete.  I'm not convinced that is true due to technological advances over time.

                       

                      (Good morning everybody!)

                      Cheers,
                      Brian

                      2014 Goals:

                      #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                      #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

                       

                        I think that you guys are looking at the sport from the perspective of the spectator. I think if you look at it from the perspective of the athlete, and perhaps if you had experience racing in track and field as an athlete, certain things that perhaps seem arbitrary to you would seem more central.

                         

                        The norms and values of track and field are well established through a long history of practice that works to bring out the qualities of individuals that make the sport interesting. In order to be successful in track you have to have [in no particular order] a) talent b) dedication c) heart d) concentration e) courage f) intelligence, etc. These are necessary (but not sufficient conditions) of the successful track athlete. The rules and norms of track and field have been arrived at through trial and error to select for these capacities. They are what makes the sport interesting as an athlete, then secondarily as a spectator.

                         

                        Why would we risk all that by changing the rules, norms and practices to include doping as a part of the practice? Since our sport is working well, why would we risk the change? Seems to me that the burden of proof is on those who want to change the existing practice and show how it might be improved by including the use of performance enhancing drugs as one of the essential elements of track and field and road racing.

                         

                        MTA: To address your criticism Brian, I said that these norms and values allow us to compare PERFORMANCES across space and time. If you want to reduce the value of performance to a time to make your point, go ahead, but I would claim that the quality of a performance has to do with a lot more than time--see for example the values I mentioned above.


                        Feeling the growl again

                          The ability of a sanctioning body to police the athletes would be impossible, and would cause an imbalance in performance (think baseball, cycling).

                          The sanctioning body, could, therefore, permit it.

                           

                          However, as I now understand it, it isn't safe.  Therefore, the sanctioning bodies MUST prevent it.  The problem still arises when trying to figure out how to detect it.

                           

                          With the "time and space" mention by Jeff, it seems like the best time is the best athlete.  I'm not convinced that is true due to technological advances over time.

                           

                           

                           

                          Even if the cheating is hard to detect, accepting it requires a fundamental shift in the attitude and beliefs towards the sport.  Policing will never be 100%, therefore the imbalance will always exist.  This does not mean everything should be allowed that cannot be 100% detected, IMHO.  I have an issue with essentially requiring athletes to undertake medical malfaesance as a price to play the game.

                           

                          Regarding technology...in running, IMHO you have overstated the impact.  Sure, many groups have TRIED to use all of the technological advances, but what has it done for them?  Despite all Nike has done, we must now be happy that we have a small handful of athletes that the Africans don't lap in the 10,000m.  Only in the past few years has our US 10,000m record become appreciably faster than it was 30 years ago.  Running is probably one of the purest sports out there, in terms of remaining natural and pitting athlete vs athlete.

                           

                          However, in other sports, I am in 100% agreement with you.  One of the major reasons I did not go into triathlons after college is that you simply CANNOT be competitive without dropping $3K-$5K on a bike.  I tried some nordic ski racing in college, but you could not be competitive in that unless you could afford ~6-8 pairs of skis to cover all possible conditions...I could afford ONE.  Swimming is one of the worst; they allowed that speed suit in the last Olympics, and it seemed like almost all the records fell.  Once they disallowed the suit, those same athletes could not even approach their former marks.  Who knows when we will see those kinds of performances without such artificial assistance.

                           

                          While the TdF remains an amazing display of athleticism, I think the draw to such events (for many of us, anyways) remains the allure of athlete-vs-athlete, pitting their tactics and training against one another.  With the realization that it's more about who is best at keeping their drug cocktail hidden from view....I'm back to searching out T+F on TV.

                          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                           

                            It has apparently been said in cycling "We ride by day to win, we ride by night to live."

                             

                            This means their blood is so thick there is a danger of heart failure- apparently heart rate monitors with alarms are used to wake up when the heart rate drops below a certain level. A few minutes on a stationary bike then raises the rate to a safe level.

                             

                            Seeing the amazing ability to recover shown by Vinokorov, Landis and others now leads immediately to suspicion rather than admiration.

                            Certainly damages the sport and cheats clean athletes who might have won.

                            Bjarne Riis, Mr. 60% (heamatocrit) is apparently contrite and forgiven, but his continued involvement in professional cycling must make the average fan wonder if the sport will ever be clean.

                            PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                                10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

                             


                            Feeling the growl again

                              It has apparently been said in cycling "We ride by day to win, we ride by night to live."

                               

                              This means their blood is so thick there is a danger of heart failure- apparently heart rate monitors with alarms are used to wake up when the heart rate drops below a certain level. A few minutes on a stationary bike then raises the rate to a safe level.

                               

                               

                               

                              This was the case back before they tested for EPO, and when the drug was new and the athletes/docs did not know how to manage it.  Several cyclist deaths were attributed to sky-high hematocrits, ie thick blood. 

                               

                              It is not accurate anymore.  Dosing has become more sophisticated, primarily to avoid detection by anti-doping authorities.  The threshhold of 50ish that is now set serves two purposes:

                              1:  It has been determined that it is nearly, if not, impossible to acheive this level through natural means.  Therefore, any sample that goes over this level is automatically tested for EPO.  (Not every sample it tested for EPO.  If hematocrit is normal they may save the urine but not test it.  The test is expensive and takes about 3 days, I know as I had to sit through observing one).

                               

                              2:  High hematocrit can be dangerous, especially during intense exercise, as you pointed out.  Therefore, the TdF will not let riders with such high hematocrits ride the next stage for "the safety of the rider".

                               

                              In other words, the rider is at high suspcion of doping and the safety rationale provides a convenient way to boot them from the race prior to obtaining a positive drug test.  Wink

                              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                               


                              No more marathons

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