Drugs in other sports and the media.

Dolan DriverDolan Driver Posts: 836
edited 24 October in Pro race
The issues raised about the use of caffeine and sleeping tablets by the England soccer team is worthy of note, but the media seem to be more concerned that the use of these pills might have impacted adversly on the performance of the team and resulted in a stale performance on the pitch rather than whether or not the use of these pills constitutes a mild form of doping.

http://www1.skysports.com/football/news ... ping-pills

Hopefully the USADA/Lance expose will call into question the use of performance-enhancing drugs across the board, in all sports. It is not unreasonable to assume all these sports that receive favourable coverage in the general sporting press, like soccer, rugby, tennis, swimming, track and field and rowing, are tainted to some degree by performance-enhancing drugs. Does anyone know what type or scale of anti-drug test programmes are in place in any of these sports and how do they compare with the level of testing that takes place in cycling?

Even the great Usain Bolt has come under a little suspicion.

http://www.muscleweek.com/is-usain-bolt-on-steroids

I read somewhere that quite a few current Premier League soccer players haven't undergone any type of drug-testing in over three years! Didn't Michael Ballack (before retiring) refuse to sign up to an anti-drugs programme because he felt the "tell-them-where-I-am-at-all-times" clause wasn't to his liking? Rasmussen got the door for this infringement (quite rightly) but Ballack doesn't sign up and gets a free ride from the media. If this link below is any kind of an indication as to how serious the English FA is taking drug-testing, there have to be some doubt about the integrity of the participants in that league. If anything, the parallels between the attitude of the FA and the UCI is uncanny.

http://www.espnstar.com/football/premie ... stalemate/

The double-standard in the approach of the media is plain to see here:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-1 ... st-1-.html

The media are hammering cycling at the moment and God knows the cycling world is providing them with an endless supply of ammunition, but the media need to widen the net and start to look at all sports and see how they are tackling and preventing drug-taking. The ironic thing is that cycling might be one of the cleanest sports nowadays (I hope) but it is portrayed as the dirtiest by a biased media. Given that ours is a minority sport in the english-speaking world, it has become the scape-goat to a certain degree for the sports media who chose to hold one sport up as being dirty while all the other sports are protrayed as being almost spotlessly clean. I am probably being a bit naive in thinking the media would ever report on anything in an impartial and fair manner.

Let's hope that the sport of cycling can come out the far end of this dark tunnel at some point, stronger and cleaner than ever before.

Dolan Driver.
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Posts

  • Trev The RevTrev The Rev Posts: 1,040
    Footballers do everything cyclists do, they just dont get tested as much.
  • Let's not neglect tennis. BIG exposure there...
  • ProssPross Posts: 21,075
    I've seen that Bolt article several times now. Talk about throwing unfounded allegations around, even the articles 'evidence' seems to be based on he is the quickest there's ever been but since 'injury' he hasn't been as fast. Now obviously that screams PED use but maybe there's a less likely explanation such as, he was genuinely injured and as a result has lost some form which he is gradually recovering with improving times again and he is the fastest ever because, well he's just got the best physiology and training of all times. That sort of attitude really annoys me.

    I'm not suggesting Bolt is clean but I haven't seen anything remotely suspicious from him other than him being extremely fast. Even if he is taking anything he doesn't show what I think of as the characteristics of a steroid user, by sprinting standards he is quite slightly built and he doesn't have that aggressive persona and appearance of the likes of Ben Johnson, Christie or Chambers - maybe they are just cliches but I see the similarities in people at the gym or low level rugby players who are rumoured to be on 'roids.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Cycling could really do with an expose of drugs in another big sport. It looks like its the dirtiest sport out there - but I can't believe that. Look at the amount of money in other sports. Cycling is a fools game.
  • Pross wrote:
    I've seen that Bolt article several times now. Talk about throwing unfounded allegations around, even the articles 'evidence' seems to be based on he is the quickest there's ever been but since 'injury' he hasn't been as fast. Now obviously that screams PED use but maybe there's a less likely explanation such as, he was genuinely injured and as a result has lost some form which he is gradually recovering with improving times again and he is the fastest ever because, well he's just got the best physiology and training of all times. That sort of attitude really annoys me.

    I'm not suggesting Bolt is clean but I haven't seen anything remotely suspicious from him other than him being extremely fast. Even if he is taking anything he doesn't show what I think of as the characteristics of a steroid user, by sprinting standards he is quite slightly built and he doesn't have that aggressive persona and appearance of the likes of Ben Johnson, Christie or Chambers - maybe they are just cliches but I see the similarities in people at the gym or low level rugby players who are rumoured to be on 'roids.


    Well, the fact that his stride is about about 50% longer than other peeps might have something to do with his times and general thrashing of opponents.

    From what I've read there seems to be a little more behind the suspicion than just his times. The AD agencies seem to struggle with easy access at any time to Jamaican sprinters for testing, apparently. Another thing that raises eyebrows is that Bolt seems to be working in some way with some dodgy geezer who was a bad egg from the Balco scandal. Then Bolt's had training partners who've failed tests including Blake.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 43,856 Lives Here


    Well, the fact that his stride is about about 50% longer than other peeps might have something to do with his times and general thrashing of opponents.

    Bollocks.

    If that was the case, why wouldn't all 100m sprinters be big giants?

    That's as big a red herring as Lance's cadence is.


  • Well, the fact that his stride is about about 50% longer than other peeps might have something to do with his times and general thrashing of opponents.

    Bollocks.

    If that was the case, why wouldn't all 100m sprinters be big giants?

    That's as big a red herring as Lance's cadence is.


    WTF? Are you suggesting that it WASNT his cadence?
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,766
    I think Ashenden saying on the R5 thing that he can't watch things like the olympics because he knows how its done tells you all you need to know
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • deejaydeejay Posts: 3,138
    iainf72 wrote:
    I think Ashenden saying on the R5 thing that he can't watch things like the olympics because he knows how its done tells you all you need to know
    Also saying "you won't get me in another boat for another race in 4 years time".
    Well he did and now he is a so called "Sir".
    Organiser, National Championship 50 mile Time Trial 1972
  • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
    iainf72 wrote:
    I think Ashenden saying on the R5 thing that he can't watch things like the olympics because he knows how its done tells you all you need to know

    Don't want to sound like someone from the clinic, but, until other sports sign up to a blood passport type scheme, I'm going to have to remain dubious of them. Passing an EPO test really means very little.
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    Lots of stuff on the Internet about tennis in general and nadal and Williams in particular. It seems as though testing in tennis has been low key although Murray has complained about inconvenient out of competition testing ...

    The references are easy to find

    Did anyone notice how quickly murray's body bulked up...
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,562
    I tell you what. If my hockey club get promoted (currently top of the league) they enter UK Sport's testing pool. I am not looking forward to teaching a load of boneheaded horny 19 year old students about TUEs and ADAMS.

    I once knew a team that had a brilliantly talented player who really couldn't handle authority in any form and used get sent off a lot. While they were warming up, his team used to send him off to find somewhere to smoke a spliff just to calm him down a bit.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 43,856 Lives Here
    Doping innit?
  • gpreevesgpreeves Posts: 454
    I read an article the otherweek linking Real Madrid and Barcelona to del Moral. Obviously working with him isn't proof of doping, but I remember thinking at the time that there would be an awful lot more scrutiny for a cycling team working with a doctor with a chequered past, viz: Sky and Leinders.

    Regarding tennis,the "tennis has a steroidproblem" blog is worth checking out. Can be a bit Clinic-al with some of its accusations,but the stats it published concernig out of competition testing are genuinely shocking.
  • I've read few posts from cyclists recently along the lines of "everyone else is at it, why does cycling get all the blame", and this has finallly persuaded me to stop lurking and write a post of my very own. I'm afraid that despite being a keen cyclist I don't think that many sports get remotely close to cycling in terms of their levels of dirtiness. The conditions for cheating being widespread are:

    1. Lots of money. This immediately counts out most Olympic sports, as there just isn't enough money to pay for a doping programme in most sports. GB were very successful this summer, and although some of the sports are very well funded, they have to account for where all that money goes which counts out spending it on the likes of Ferrari and Del Moral. A handful of Olympians do very well financially, but UK sport funding is about subsistence (£12-25k per year for a medallist), rather than the gravy train. For doping to be widespread you need professional athletes earning a mint. This points towards:

    Athletics.
    Cycling.
    "American sports" - football, baseball.

    All of which have had their drug scandals, some of them absolutely huge.

    2. Effectiveness. The equation "oxygen uptake = success" is nowhere more applicable than cycling. In many sports PEDs are much less relevant just because they don't have the spectacular impact that Lance's special cocktail has on one's cycling ability. However, you can see the appeal of PEDs in a sport like weightlifting, which also has its share of doping scandals, but as much as it is popular in large parts of the world it just isn't massive global sport, so it's never going to take the glare of publicity away from cycling.

    3. Ineffective testing. If you are a british athlete (I can't speak for other nations), then the whereabouts system would make life very hard as a doper. 3 missed tests and you are banned, and the testers don't give advance warning as they evidently did for USPS. You can also be tested any other time of the day or night if they can find you. Now obviously other nations might be going at it hammer and tongs, but one would think this would militate against the success that GB had at the Olympics this year.

    4. An Omerta. This is much easier to impose in a professional sport where livelihoods are on the line - if you're doing it for the love of the sport then forget it. Are there any other sports in which the law of silence is as notorious as in cycling? Even with the omerta, the leaks and rumours were going about Lance for many years. No other sport has the constant whispers. In an open Olympic squad system literally hundreds of athletes and support staff will pass through in the course of an olympiad, and yet the rumours just refuse to circulate. The most obvious reason for this is just that there are no rumours.

    Now I'm not saying that there is no doping elsewhere, that would just be daft. The documents on the WADA website conclusively prove that there is doping elsewhere. I just don't believe that the four conditions above are satisfied and maintained (and supported by the governing body) as effectively in any other sport than cycling, and that's why you shouldn't hope for any 'relief' from another sport in a hurry.
  • TheBlueBeanTheBlueBean Posts: 8,268
    In short:
    1. Most sports have more money in them than cycling. If a cyclist who earns €50k a year can afford to dope then so too can many people. Whilst you are right that some sports are even poorer than cycling, I think most people's focus for accusations of doping is on the considerable number of sports with more money: football, tennis etc
    2. Cyclists use oxygen doping and recovery. Other sports focus on what is effective for them. This may be building muscles and recovery.
    3. As Hamilton said, failing a drugs test is failing an IQ test.
    4. But there are whispers. The majority of customers of El Fuentes were not cyclists - the others were just not named. Have you read the extract of Neville's autobiography about England at 1998 World Cup? People just don't care in other sports.
  • Fair points, but my point is not that none of these conditions hold in other sports, but that ALL of them hold strongly in cycling, and this is what leads to the well documented culture.

    Despite this I still disagree on your first three responses, mainly in that while your points hold they do so to a lesser extent and so swing the risk/reward equation away from doping toward being clean.

    1. Very few sports have more money that cycling. Some do, and sure enough these are the ones with more doping issues. Football is the big exception (lots of money, few scandals), but maybe this is because doping isn't as effective in football (again, before anyone misinterprets this, I'm not saying it has no effect).

    2. Yes, doping can help in other sports. But it appears to be MOST EFFECTIVE in cycling. If the effects are more limited elsewhere (or evading detection is harder) it just swings the balance away from taking the risk.

    3. I was pretty horrified to hear what Hamilton had to say about passing dope tests in his day. It is nothing like this in the UK these days. If you miss one test (i.e. hide from the testers like he did) you can expect to be hauled up in front of the head of your sport and given a massive b*llocking. Miss two tests and your selection is in serious jeopardy as the sports just can't suffer the reputational damage if you miss a third. You have no idea when it is going to happen and if you miss one you'll be targetted for more in the future. As I said in my original post, the system was subverted in cycling.

    4. On this on you may have me. I haven't read the book. I'm willing to bet that cyclists were disproportionately represented in El Fuentes books. It's the cumulative effect of all these factors, not just one.
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    @bp good points well argued

    I must say I was heartened to hear andy murray's rather immature rants about the inconvenience of out of competition testing. It proves it is going on and it is effective
  • wilo13wilo13 Posts: 242
    I've read few posts from cyclists recently along the lines of "everyone else is at it, why does cycling get all the blame", and this has finallly persuaded me to stop lurking and write a post of my very own. I'm afraid that despite being a keen cyclist I don't think that many sports get remotely close to cycling in terms of their levels of dirtiness. The conditions for cheating being widespread are:

    1. Lots of money. This immediately counts out most Olympic sports, as there just isn't enough money to pay for a doping programme in most sports. GB were very successful this summer, and although some of the sports are very well funded, they have to account for where all that money goes which counts out spending it on the likes of Ferrari and Del Moral. A handful of Olympians do very well financially, but UK sport funding is about subsistence (£12-25k per year for a medallist), rather than the gravy train. For doping to be widespread you need professional athletes earning a mint. This points towards:

    Athletics.
    Cycling.
    "American sports" - football, baseball.

    All of which have had their drug scandals, some of them absolutely huge.

    2. Effectiveness. The equation "oxygen uptake = success" is nowhere more applicable than cycling. In many sports PEDs are much less relevant just because they don't have the spectacular impact that Lance's special cocktail has on one's cycling ability. However, you can see the appeal of PEDs in a sport like weightlifting, which also has its share of doping scandals, but as much as it is popular in large parts of the world it just isn't massive global sport, so it's never going to take the glare of publicity away from cycling.

    3. Ineffective testing. If you are a british athlete (I can't speak for other nations), then the whereabouts system would make life very hard as a doper. 3 missed tests and you are banned, and the testers don't give advance warning as they evidently did for USPS. You can also be tested any other time of the day or night if they can find you. Now obviously other nations might be going at it hammer and tongs, but one would think this would militate against the success that GB had at the Olympics this year.

    4. An Omerta. This is much easier to impose in a professional sport where livelihoods are on the line - if you're doing it for the love of the sport then forget it. Are there any other sports in which the law of silence is as notorious as in cycling? Even with the omerta, the leaks and rumours were going about Lance for many years. No other sport has the constant whispers. In an open Olympic squad system literally hundreds of athletes and support staff will pass through in the course of an olympiad, and yet the rumours just refuse to circulate. The most obvious reason for this is just that there are no rumours.

    Now I'm not saying that there is no doping elsewhere, that would just be daft. The documents on the WADA website conclusively prove that there is doping elsewhere. I just don't believe that the four conditions above are satisfied and maintained (and supported by the governing body) as effectively in any other sport than cycling, and that's why you shouldn't hope for any 'relief' from another sport in a hurry.

    Best post I have read in a while, totally agree.
    Carrot cake or Flapjack?
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    So good that you have to repeat it... And add a line at the bottom ;-)
  • BracePosition: you mention the whereabouts system. Pro cyclists, and not just GB ones, have to use it - in fact Alex Rassmussen is currently serving an 18 month ban for missing 3 tests.
  • symosymo Posts: 1,743
    Amazing how the media never notice how many professional multi millionaire footballers with a lot to lose if caught doping pick up mysterious training injuries.

    Football is the elephant in the room; huge sums of money at stake, and a players who are vocally anti-testing. Why are Walsh and Kimmage not more critical of football?
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    we are the proud, the few, Descendents.

    Panama - finally putting a nail in the economic theory of the trickle down effect.
  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    symo wrote:
    Amazing how the media never notice how many professional multi millionaire footballers with a lot to lose if caught doping pick up mysterious training injuries.

    Football is the elephant in the room; huge sums of money at stake, and a players who are vocally anti-testing. Why are Walsh and Kimmage not more critical of football?

    Because their personal backgrounds are very steeped in cycling? There are dozens if not hundreds of footie journo's - why wouldn't one of them take up the cudgel of anti-doping in their own writing?. It isn't up to Walsh and Kimamge to fix everyone elses problems.
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • TheBlueBeanTheBlueBean Posts: 8,268
    Doping appears to be most effective in sports that don't involve a ball: cycling, swimming, cross-country skiing, weight-lifting etc. Presumably this is because oxygen boosting / muscle building / recovery drugs are easier to develop than some magic concentration or eye sight improving drug. In this regard, I agree with you.

    I also agree that cycling's long history of doping (most of last century) makes it more ingrained in the culture.
    3. I was pretty horrified to hear what Hamilton had to say about passing dope tests in his day. It is nothing like this in the UK these days. If you miss one test (i.e. hide from the testers like he did) you can expect to be hauled up in front of the head of your sport and given a massive b*llocking. Miss two tests and your selection is in serious jeopardy as the sports just can't suffer the reputational damage if you miss a third. You have no idea when it is going to happen and if you miss one you'll be targetted for more in the future. As I said in my original post, the system was subverted in cycling.

    Missing a test doesn't go down well, but I think athletes aim to ensure that they are never "glowing" during their hourly window i.e. the drug clears out in less than 24 hours. Outside of the hourly window Hamilton's hiding tactics still apply.

    Also still applicable are the training camps in obscure locations where the arrival of a tester would be quite obvious giving advanced notice to the athletes.

    I don't think any of these techniques can be exclusively applied to cyclists although they would need a specialist to explain how long they are "glowing" for, but that is where Ferrari et al come in, and in this sense cycling is more advanced.
    4. On this on you may have me. I haven't read the book. I'm willing to bet that cyclists were disproportionately represented in El Fuentes books. It's the cumulative effect of all these factors, not just one.

    My reference was to this

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/1998 ... ry.sport40

    The England players received energy boosting injections which they were subsequently told were vitamins and minerals. The only scandal to emerge from this was Alex Ferguson was worried that the health of his players had been affected - not that there was potential for systematic doping. People consider that football is a game of skill so simply don't care whether they are doping or not. It is this apathetic approach that I find frustrating.
  • andyracandyrac Posts: 428
    It's the naivety of football, tennis, rugby fans - drugs can't make you a better player......

    No, but they sure as hell can make you fitter and last longer than the opposition. What football teams are able to run, chase for the whole 90 minutes without seemigly tiring after 70 mins....??? Funnily enough, they're from the same country...
    Why does a tennis player get injured and go missing for months....

    And why does Baseball hand out meagre 50 game bans for a positive test? Less than a third of a 162 game season?
    " He's flown down the Mountain like a missile...."



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  • andyrac wrote:
    Why does a tennis player get injured and go missing for months....

    Not totally missing - he's been playing golf, despite his "injured" knee.
  • Tom BBTom BB Posts: 1,001
    Rugby always looks dodgy to me. 17 stone blokes running 100m sub eleven seconds and weedy teenagers like James Hook and Toby Flood etc gaining the physique of a body builder by the age of 22.
  • andyrac wrote:
    Why does a tennis player get injured and go missing for months....

    Not totally missing - he's been playing golf, despite his "injured" knee.


    Very loud suspicion that he pulled out of the Olympics because of the testing
  • jawoogajawooga Posts: 530
    I have not been able to find corroborating articles online, but I seem to remember a couple of un-named club English (not Beckham) footballers about 8-9 years ago going to Eastern Europe for foot injury treatments. I'm not saying there is anything untoward, but I thought it odd at the time that, with the money and sports injury specialists involved in English football, players need to go and see a doctor in say Poland or Serbia - the one doctor in Europe who is able to fix a metatarsal in 4 weeks rather than 8 weeks.
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