This is the one topic that could make me turn away from the Olympics forever. It's so sad to think of all those wonderful, inspiring athletes faking it. Being the hopeful person I am (like you, Emma), I like to think that there isn't any benefit to doping in skating, though of course someone who wants to cheat can always find some way to get an advantage over someone else with the same goal. In a sport like skating or gymnastics, the real effort comes from skill, finesse, and (in the case of women's gymnastics especially) sheer bravery. All the banned substances in the world can't give you the sense of balance to do double flips backward to a blind landing on a four-inch beam, for instance. The same is true of something like synchronized diving. While I love track and field, especially running, I can see that this category is the one that is most vulnerable to the temptation of some kind of doping, because speed and/or muscle mass are the most important factors in shaving seconds off a record or adding millimeters to a distance. In sports where artistry and beauty of line have some importance, I tell myself that there hasn't been a substance invented to endow a person with those traits. So, as frustrating as judging can be, at least the scandals in those sports have been mostly the fault of people other than the athletes themselves.
I do remember the documentary done about East German swimmers, which was heartbreaking. The athletes in that case had little or nothing to do with the doping. The scheme came from the top down. The athletes just did as they were told. They were the ones who suffered afterward, with strange ailments, children born with health problems, and so on. One young woman was so damaged by the drugging that eventually she had sex reassignment surgery and became a man. She felt there was nothing left of her womanhood. All that for a few discs of gold or silver and a name in the record books.
Good post and I agree with most of it.
Originally Posted by emma
For the record, I apologize to mathman if it feels like I took his comments out of context.
But I still felt it was important to offer a different POV regarding universal use of drugs at the Olympics.
If I am Jesse Owens fan (old school ) it doesn't necessarily follow that i want Usain Bolt to lose the 200. In fact I hope he can make monumental history and win it. My worst thought is that he might fail a drug test.
Since I am not an Olympic athlete or Olympic team doctor I could never feel right about suggesting that ALL of them are cheaters as was suggested.
Perhaps he is rght.......or maybe the truth lies somewhere in between.
But if that were the case (which I seriously doubt!!) then what interest would there be to follow the Olympics?
To Olympia....you comments about the E German swimmers are mild.....most of them were permanently hospitalized or died before age 40.
Just tragic since as you mentioned they simply followed ( and ingested) what their team trainers gave them.
Last edited by janetfan; 08-07-2012 at 02:05 PM.
And remember how people called American Shirley Babashoff a sore loser because she said that the East Germans were using something? If ever a person was entitled to say "I told you so"....Here's a sobering article from Swimming World Magazine about what Babashoff did at the time, and what she said decades later.
And here's a Christine Brennan article on the situation.
Last edited by Olympia; 08-07-2012 at 02:08 PM.
I must make a correction. It wasn't a swimmer who changed genders surgically, it was a shot-putter, Andrea Krieger, now Andreas Krieger. Silly me...of course it wasn't just swimmers the East Germans interfered with. Anyone who would benefit from additional muscle mass or other effects of pharmaceuticals was part of their heinous program.
LOL, what? Why do you think there is no doping control in NHL but in every European league there is. And what about american football? That is a classic example of a sport where doping is more of a rule than an exception. What about Marion Jones and all the other famous american athletes who were customers of Balco?
Originally Posted by janetfan