Let me provide a counterpoint to Mats' post, which I genuinely appreciated reading.
The choice of conditions under which athletes compete fairly is entirely arbitrary. The point has been set, and is clear enough that, without too much diligence, it is easy to satisfy.
As in anything, a certain percentage of participants will follow the rules, and a certain percentage will break the rules. Any ordered system requires regularity and consistency to maintain itself, and needs the power to penalize and/or exclude those who break the rules, for a variety of good reasons that relate to the very maintenance of the endeavor itself.
There are those of us who have the maturity to recognize this, and apart from not wanting to suffer individual sanction, see the broader picture and want the endeavor to survive. Some idiot driving while high is, all other things being equal, a threat to society. The fact that he didn't run anybody over while dreaming up PCR is merely a result of luck. If he admitted wrongdoing, officials charged with the task of deciding whether or not to penalize his conduct have a job to do, regardless of whether or not he did concurrent good. Guilty verdict, with leniency in sentencing.
So, because we recognize that both our personal situation and the very endeavor are at stake, and have decided that the endeavor is worthwhile, we look upon the rule-breakers with disfavor. For obvious reasons--they are working at cross-purposes to our own.
The fact that you don't mind that you may have lost out to some doper points not to your resiliency, but to either your ignorance, your juvenile ambivalence, or to the fact that you don't see sufficient worth in the endeavor to make you feel otherwise. The first two of these are certainly nothing to which to aspire; if it is the third, you seem to have wasted a lot of your time involved in the system. In any case, the outcome is disappointing.
If you don't care, fine--but don't come in here and present yourself as someone who is an honorable part of the system. Competing clean yourself just is not enough to satisfy adult requirements--you must go farther in order to make a meaningful adult contribution to the dialogue.
If you are unwilling or unable to do so, that's fine. But don't waste our time in a failed attempt to appropriate the moral high ground.
Let me provide a counterpoint to Mats' post, which I genuinely appreciated reading.
Thanks for posting and everything, but your post is total bullcrap. Especially that bit at the end in which you somehow tried to make a connection between trying to keep sport drug free and famine and Africa. Seriously, that makes no sense at all. I mean I obviously don't like famine in Africa either, and think that perhaps financial resources should be contributed towards it but there are a tonne of better places where those finances can be obtained from other than anti-doping investigations.
Also, don't pretend that there is some kind of moral equivalence between Joe Schmoe taking a steroid injection and Marta "EPO" Dominguez cheating in long distance running. Joe Schmoe is not participating in sport while Marta Dominguez is. A sport is a competitive physical activity with rules. A sport isn't meant to be a level playing field in every respect. The rules, administered by the governing bodies, say don't dope, and with good reason: most people involved in the sport want it to stay like that. I actually don't care how much Marta wants to drug herself up just as long as she doesn't then compete in a sport which has rules against doping.
Why can't she just start her own drugged up running Olympics and run in those with Rashid Ramzi and Carmelita Jeter?
Mats Nilsson wrote:
I truly don't care if he did steroids or not. I really don't care if I lost my NCAA championship in 1996, 1998, and 2000 or an Olympic spot to drug-abusing competitors. We are talking about very small matters on a grand scale. Can I be so bold and say that we probably should set doping free and the money that are being spent on doping prevention (tests and education) should be allocated to starved Africans so they can eat? Sports on a level playing field is a myth anyway.
So what if someone cuts a course short? What if, instead of running 12 1/2 laps for a 5k, they only run 12, and win? You don't care that they won by cheating?
Yours is a truly depressing post.
Dopers effectively 'cut the course' whenever they run.
If I'd lost a major meet because someone else cut the course, and ran less than the required distance, I'd feel pretty upset about it. That's cheating. That's doping.
Hell, why not just give them a bicycle? Would you be upset if someone beat you on a bicycle? You know, because 'a level playing field is a myth'?
Using global inequality as an excuse for doping is silly.
Brit's response was much more succinct than mine, and I echo it here:
"Your post is total bullcrap."
For every adolescent doofus like Mats, there is a justifiably pissed-off adult like Christine Arron.
I'll take Arron over Mats any day.
Mats probably wouldn't even be fun to beat the crap out of--he'd probably just lie there and take it.
You make some good points, but overall there is a competition with certain parameters set for fairness and the chemically enhanced results are uninteresting, because they represent a small fraction of what humans could do with technology. Why be impressed by a doped athlete running 9.79 when an astronaut can do 100m in a fraction of a second in a rocket ship? The whole point is to see what people can do without prostheses or drugs. It's true that we are given different advantages but at the elite level virtually everyone has access to similar technology for training. And many of them are doping and we will never stop it. So, why try? Because it discourages some from doping, the winners JUST might be clean, and the suspension of disbelief is essential to all good fiction. Remove the doping rules and we lose any justification to believe that the results are 'natural.'
I think a larger part of anti-doping programs is not so much to hurt athletes, in that we are punishing them for taking unfair advantage of science, but to protect athletes.
If there were no drug rules, athletes would be absolutely forced to attempt every latest blood-boosting drug on the market in order to be competitive. This would not be healthy. Athletes would be trying drugs before they had been approved healthy and not causing long-term unhealthful effects.
Now, does WADA successfully prevent athletes from attempting risky drug procedures? Not entirely. You might argue that WADA drives drugging further underground, and makes it more unhealthy. I would argue that because there is a limit to what athletes can put in their body before setting off alarms, they are forced to limit what they attempt.
For instance, cyclists are allowed to have say 50 parts per million of a certain hormone. The average human has 10 parts per million, every cyclist will have 49 parts per million to be as competitive as possible. But at least we have limited cyclists from having 99 parts per million of a drug, which might cross into a border of lethally dangerous.
WADA protects athletes. If WADA were to be perfect, then no athlete would have to take risks with their health in terms of chemicals to compete with the best.
Maybe Pablo Sierra was right all those years ago. But it was easier for the Spanish Athelteics Federation to suspend him rather than investigate their own house.
Alemayehu Bezabeh, current European Cross Country champion, came last night at the RFEA to explain his version of the facts and the federation issued a statement. The note explained that the words of the athlete, had decided to withdraw from European competition in Portugal this weekend. "The RFEA has taken, in agreement with him, the decision to withdraw from the Spanish team had to compete on Sunday in the European Championship Cross Country, which was hot favorite to win."
The note continued: "The reason for this decision is to prevent its participation in a competition, when his statement could be involved in an alleged doping case."
These suspicions are confirmed. The Ethiopian athlete Spanish citizen and Nuria Fernandez acknowledged during his testimony before the Civil Guard have been doped.
As Bezabeh, Fernandez, European champion of 1,500 this summer in Barcelona, as published by the Cadena Cope, depart from the competition of Albufeira.
Bezabeh and Fernandez are both trained by the same coach, Manuel Easter, arrested yesterday in connection with the operation Greyhound, along with the best athlete in history, Marta Domínguez, and released with charges. La Guardia Civil manage a list of at least 15 elite athletes linked to the plot, which tries to call to check their blood samples found in the records.
The RFEA has issued a statement which calls to announce the name of all athletes involved, and even demand respect for the presumption of innocence, has assured that there will be punishment for offenders. "We must respect the presumption of innocence of persons, but that would punish those who cheated if proven guilty."
Wow, I bet Lisa Dobriskey and Mo Farah, among others, are pretty pissed off waking up to this news. Mo was beaten by Bezabeh to Euro xc title in dublin last year, while Dobriskey was beaten into fourth be rodriguez, fernandez and that other epo cheat from france, hind dehiba. THIS is the price of doping, honest athletes being conned out of titles they should legitimately have won. Spanish athletics is a total disgrace.
Just wow. Yesterday I still thought this investigation will be as successful as Operación Puerto, i.e. not lead anywhere. Now, two top-tier athletes admit doping. Sounds like some dirty secrets are going to be revealed eventually.
Here's another AW article on Bezabeh and Fernandez pulling out of this weekend's Euro Cross. http://www.athletics-weekly.com/article.php?id=1678
It does not surprise if any international athlete is caught for doping these days.
That being said why are the Spanish police beating up on their own athletes? I would have guessed that if Spain has athletes on podiums winning medals for Spain then this is a good thing for Spain.
not surprised wrote:
That being said why are the Spanish police beating up on their own athletes?
There have been similar comments on these boards about how the US government shouldn't waste money investigating Lance. Many countries are learning that it is bad for their image to have athletes test positive or to be seen to condone cheating by their athletes. Better to catch them yourselves that to have them test positive at the Olympics, or after the games and then see them being forced to return medals.
Manuel Easter LOL It's Manuel Pascua, of course!
Mats Nilsson wrote:
Let me break it to you: Whether you are talking about academics/research, sports, or rocket science, there is no level playing field to begin with. Just being born in a different social setting/culture puts us at a distinct advantage or disadvantage. You guys (and I) got nice scholarships, free food, athletic clothing, and medical backup in the US. In 3rd world countries they don't even have tracks to run on! This is an unfair advantage to say the least. Fair sports is a myth to begin with. But, if we want to throw blame somewhere, you have to agree that the most immoral people surely must be the privileged American (or Swede) that gets caught for doping. I don't know about the GDP of Spain, but my point is that the general population (and athletes) care way too much about small matters and are too quick to point fingers and fellow sportsmen/sportswomen.
In what planet do you live ? Most americans are poor than Spain.
Same US they think they are teh center of the world and goes around them. Go to Spain and see for yourself.
Spain professional athletes are the european best paid with best support and best training conditions than in the US.
shutup. us runners don't race that much either. don't tell anyone we're like them half-moorocan-blooded spaniards and portugese.
Hey gringo !
whats is portugese ? lliteracy !
Portuguese is what they are gringo !
Hello Renato Canova.
Where are you ?
The world´s best, the european´s best, and what they did ?
This are facts, not supositions !
Of course you are not responsible for what the other people do, but anyhow, ther´s drug at the top level.
We will see in the next episodes....
Hello Renato. Where are you ?
long sox wrote:
Many countries are learning that it is bad for their image to have athletes test positive or to be seen to condone cheating by their athletes.
OK, this is quite a good argument.
Nevertheless, I imagine that the Spanish police have many more powers than an international antidoping organization to uncover evidence of doping. For example, in terms of being able to just turn up and raid through an athlete's personal effects. By probability they are far more likely to uncover more athletes using PEDs than say, WADA.
What has happened now reinforces the people's opinion that all Spanish international athletes are cheating. This opinion could be weaker if there was just one or two positive tests at international meets. I could be wrong but as far as I know, Alberto Garcia is the only Spanish distance runner in the last decade who has tested positive for PEDs.
Anyone still believe Contador is clean now?