Monday 20 October 2003

Doping Scandal Yes well maybe

Depends what you want to call a scandal.

It has been reported by Sky News Sports of Britain that 350 US Athletes have tested positive for a designer steroid. Sky News is part of the Rupurt Murdoch empire who also owns drum roll please..... Fox News.

Well that is just so much BS. Yes there are some positive samples in the 350 collected at the US Outdoor Track and Field Championships held in June but not all 350 samples tested were positive. The numbers are not given in the USADA report. Sources (unnamed) indicate several athletes tested positive. Read on for the facts as I understand them right now and a whole bunch of opinion. Hopefully you will know the difference.

The US Outdoor Track and Field Championships feature 20 disciplines for both men and women meaning there are 40 "winners" crowned during the championships. Each winner is required to give a sample of urine after they compete. In addition to these samples a random number of participants are required to provide a urine sample, in the case of the US Champinionships this was 310 plus 40 out of close to 850 participants in the "open" division some 40% of the athletes there.

In addition to these samples there were a number of international events hosted in the US where some number of samples were collected (perhaps 400 more samples in total). Some of these samples are also positive. Anonymous sources (again) say that this includes some international athletes in addition to US athletes.

There is currently a grand jury investigation of BALCO industries of San Francisco in regards to the distribution of a designer steroid like substance. I say steroid like because it is a steroid in every sense of the word except it has been altered chemically so that it does not have the steroid fingerprint looked for in the doping tests used by the USADA. I might add that no one else in the world WAS looking for this particular steroid like substance.They are now. 40 athletes from the US and elsewhere have been asked to testify before the grand jury, most of these athletes have or had an association with BALCO industries. BALCO has been indicated as the source for this designer steroid by an unamed American coach. This coach also provided a sample of the substance for analysis which led to a test for the substance. Because 40 athletes are called to testify does not mean all these athletes were competitors in the US Outdoor Track and Field Championship, nor does it mean that these fourty athletes gave a dirty UA it is just the number reported to be giving testimony in front of a grand jury investigating the alleged source of the illicit chemical substance.

Performance enhancing chemicals are not allowed by the USOC USTFF IATF or any other body that oversees amateur sports. Most of these substances are also banned by the professional organizations and leauges where these athletes compete. Most human beings play by the rules, other human beings cheat. Some of those that cheat are caught.

In the general population there are some number of people who use illicit drugs. The demographic of users looks very much like the demographic of athletes in so far as age sex and race goes. Young people do stupid things. They most likely would stick to pot and booze if it wasn't for the gods and goddesses we make of the best of the breed.

Sport is entertainment for the masses it is no longer the pursuit of gentlemen where the idea of sportsmanship arose. Now it is win at all cost, for to the victor go the spoils. This is the Coliseum, the bread and Circus.

The scandal is how the media corporations who rely on the entertainment value of these pieces of beef can demonize them for trying to be the best they can be, sacrificing their health and sanity in pursuit of fame doled out by these same media entities.

How is this funded? Developing designer steroids isn't a cheap undertaking. It could be that BALCO has made enough money off of selling nutritional supplements that it can afford to fund the research and development of stealth steroids. This requires a good deal of money, there was only one lab in the country with the equipment and technology/expertise to reverse engineer this substance. Where was this substance created and who was funding it?
Who was paying for this substance? Track clubs? Coaches? Athletes? I don't know. A top athlete can make a living at their game as a pro but as an amateur there are limits to the prize money you can accept over and above your training/living costs.

Screw it amateur status provides the entertainment industry with cheap beef. By the time you make it to an international venue to compete you are a professional athlete. Dedicated amateurs may compete in Archery or bowling or some other sports but by and large if you are at the top of your game you are living your sport and being paid to train.

This is a sexy story. Nobody likes cheaters and cheaters who get caught deserve our ridicule. The cheaters who don't get caught well they get the big bucks and all our cheers.

Yes there are American athletes who cheat. Big whoop. It is a small percentage of athletes who fail as roll models. Trouble is I think when we look at the top we will find feet of clay. These are the monsters we created. These are the monsters we asked for.

Want to clean up amateur sports? Quit televising them. You make it big business and you corrupt it.

Posted by Philip at Monday 20 October 2003 | TrackBack

i'm college athlete and i'm wondering how much does balco cost

Posted by: robert at November 14, 2003 06:38 PM