Here are the examples I referenced in my previous post:
Here are a few examples:
Example #1: The college freshman.
When I transferred to an NCAA DI school, there was another transfer student who was a sophomore. He was transferring from another, smaller, NCAA DI school.He was an excellent runner and the state cross country champion in a large, competitive state with only one division. During his freshman year at his previous school, he contracted mono near the end of indoor season and missed a large block of training during the late winter and early spring. His previous coach thought the team was in the running to win a conference title, so he put my teammates on steroids to help get them back in time for the conference meet. They worked, of course, and he won the conference title despite missing a large block of training at a crucial time. He described the effect of the steroids with almost hushed reverence about how sudden and dramatic the impact was. He went off to steroids after the conference meet, never used them again and transferred.
The moral of this parable is that a college coach in a non-revenue sport was motivated to put a college freshman with mono on steroids to get him to perform at the conference meet. If the motivation is sufficient to cheat for a college freshmen in a nonrevenue sport to win the conference title in a mid-major conference, one can only imagine how great the motivation to cheat is for athlete on the verge of making a national team, moving from the minor leagues to the major leagues, setting a record, getting a contract, getting a medal or winning a real championship.
Example #2: The highest placing non-American
In 1987, a good friend of mine, himself a former national-class runner who raced "B" meets in Europe, was coaching at a JUCO. Also at this JUCO was a coach from the former Soviet Union. My friend called me one night in 1987 to tell me that the Soviet coach told him that there had been a rampant rumor in Europe before he left that, due to public perceptions about drug use in sport, an edict had been sent out by a governing body that the "highest-placing non-American in the 100 meters" was to fail his drug test at the upcoming Olympics in Seoul to send a signal.
We laughed about it at the time and said, "well, we'll find out in about a year if it's true."
At the 1988 Olympics, Ben Johnson, "the highest-placing non-American in the 100 meters" failed his drug test.
The moral of this parable is an illustration of the amount of complicity which exists with coaches, governing bodies, sponsors and the like. The US is a major part of the television market for the Olympics so throwing an American under the bus would be bad publicity and bad for business. However, growing public suspicion over the use of drugs in sports demanded that a major figure be thrown under the bus to create the false impression that testing actually "works" thereby restoring some public confidence and keeping them watching, which in turn keeps the advertising rates up.
Example #3: The drug test results reveal, uh, an "injury", yeah, that's it, an injury!
In the 1990s, a popular and well-known US athlete just missed making a national team by one place. The winner of that selection race was tearing up the track and setting records all over the place. The individual who missed making the team by one place went to Europe, ran a few PR's then returned home during the break in competition while the international championship was conducted.
Only a couple of days before the international championship was to begin, the athlete who just missed making the team by one place got an urgent call from our governing body.
"We need you on a plane to [name of city were championship is being conducted] immediately. [Name of winner of the selection race] isn't going to be able to compete and we need you to take their place." Surprised and delighted at being able to compete, the athletes who missed making the team by one place finally asked why the winner wasn't going to be able to compete. The response by the governing body official was as direct and blunt as can be: "He/she can't compete because they tested positive for [name of a major PED] at the selection race and we don't want to take a chance on them testing positive during the [name of international championships]. We just got the B sample back confirming it."
Of course, this positive test result never saw the light of day.
The moral of this parable is that even when athletes do test positive, governing bodies are not above covering up those results in order to protect the image of the sport and its stars.
The second moral of this parable is that when athletes suddenly perform poorly or withdraw from major championships, the reasons given may, or may not, be true. The increased frequency and sophistication of testing at events like the WCs and Olympics just as often result in withdraws or poor performances (because the athlete is off the substance earlier to avoid detection) as do injuries or inability to handle the pressure on such a large stage.