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Thread: Alex Schwazer, Carolina Kostner's boyfriend, disqualified

  1. #16
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    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.

  2. #17
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emma View Post
    I'm pretty sure MM can defend himself, but it is a widely held perception that doping is widespread in a number of sports including track and field - this perception is discussed at length often around big events, such as the olympics. just google doping and sports and you will find endless discussion about it - and many people on the inside, former and current coaches for example, are often among the first to say it is so. A current debate seems to suggest it is so wide spread and testing is so unable to 'catch' people in a timely fashion if at all that perhaps doping should be leaglized and regulated.

    I'm not advocating the latter point; nor am I saying all or even most athletes dope; but that there is a widespread perception that it is occurring and a ongoing and robust discussion about it, yes there is. I, although aware of all of the financial pressures and ever increasing use of 'acceptable' technologies to enhance performance, remain something of a purist and wish that athletes wouldn't dope, and am able to retain a certain kind of naive optimism that my favorites - or the ones i'm watching at any given moment are clean. I let the experts and pundits make the accusations, do the testing, impose the sanctions....
    Good post and I agree with most of it.

    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.

  3. #18
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    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.

    http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com...news/13191.asp

    And here's a Christine Brennan article on the situation.

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/colum...-brennan_x.htm
    Last edited by Olympia; 08-07-2012 at 02:08 PM.

  4. #19
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post

    As Frank Carroll famously taught us that when it comes to fair play the morals and ethics of Euros and USA are literally miles apart.
    Whether with judge rigging or doping they always thought the ends justified the means.

    And as Frank has made clear they never understood why we objected or complained, and in fact thought it was silly and naive that USA cared about fair play.
    After all, the Euros thought we had every chance and right to cheat back as badly as they did.
    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?

  6. #21
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    Mathman is right though. The only people who believe Olympic athletes are natural (not injecting steroids) are people who believed in Santa Claus until adulthood.

    And what is this "sport" -- speed walking?

  7. #22
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    Olympia, I just bled for poor Shirley Babashoff in 1976...there were also commentators who criticized her by saying she was not fit enough, and that is why she finished 2nd to the Germans.

    The article linked had this

    The women of ‘76 had their one ounce of revenge. A huge statement with a Hollywood ending that is still not put to film!
    There is definitely a movie waiting to be made there.

  8. #23
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    It would be an unusual sports film, because the team you root for wouldn't win. But it could be very powerful with someone who knew how to shape the narrative.

    I loved that Rowdy Gaines apologized for misjudging her.

    Did you notice the list of medalists in one of the links? They listed in red who would be the three medalists in each event if the East Germans were taken out of the mix and the records changed. It wasn't just Babashoff, though she would have won quite a clutch of medals. There were Canadians, Aussies, Dutch, and a few other Americans.

    My gosh, they took away Rick DeMont's gold medal in 1972 because he took some asthma medication--clearly unintentional. Right then and there, in Munich they stripped him of the gold. Then they forbade him to swim in any of the other events. But this purposeful, planned, team-wide scheme goes uncorrected.

  9. #24
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    Carolina made up her mind of competing very late in July. As consequence she isn't ready with her programs and late in training. She took her time to made the decision and decided not to participate to the GP this season and start competing at Italian Nationals and focus on Euros and Worlds, nothing strange about that.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by npavel View Post
    Carolina made up her mind of competing very late in July. As consequence she isn't ready with her programs and late in training. She took her time to made the decision and decided not to participate to the GP this season and start competing at Italian Nationals and focus on Euros and Worlds, nothing strange about that.
    I didn't find article with this information in English.
    Original text is in Italian http://www.wintersport-news.it/8389,News.html
    In Russian http://rsport.ru/figure_skating/20120808/609008649.html

  11. #26
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    I don't feel comfortable inferring anything about Carolina from this event. The fact that she isn't going to be in the GP can be totally unrelated to what her boyfriend did. It's amazing what people can keep from each other in a relationship--and this isn't exactly a twenty-year marriage.

  12. #27
    Trixie Schuba's biggest fan! blue dog's Avatar
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    1. Racewalking IS very much a sport. It is 30 miles of walking in 3 hours. Very few people can run ten miles in an hour, let alone WALK it.

    2. Schwazer states that he hid his drug use from Caro- http://www.ajc.com/sports/italys-sch...e-1493887.html

    3. It actually sounds like he was clean in Beijing. He sounds like he fell to the pressure of having to defend. Guy wanted to retire at the pinnacle.
    Last edited by blue dog; 08-08-2012 at 10:43 AM.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue dog View Post
    1. Racewalking IS very much a sport. It is 30 miles of walking in 3 hours. Very few people can run ten miles in an hour, let alone WALK it.

    2. Schwazer states that he hid his drug use from Caro- http://www.ajc.com/sports/italys-sch...e-1493887.html

    3. It actually sounds like he was clean in Beijing. He sounds like he fell to the pressure of having to defend. Guy wanted to retire at the pinnacle.
    thanks for sharing this articel. it explains everything to me in a quite reasonable way. I actually kind of feel sorry for that guy and much more for carolina.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue dog View Post
    1. Racewalking IS very much a sport. It is 30 miles of walking in 3 hours. Very few people can run ten miles in an hour, let alone WALK it.

    2. Schwazer states that he hid his drug use from Caro- http://www.ajc.com/sports/italys-sch...e-1493887.html

    3. It actually sounds like he was clean in Beijing. He sounds like he fell to the pressure of having to defend. Guy wanted to retire at the pinnacle.
    Normally when someone tests positive for doping they go through a period of excuse making and blaming others before admitting any wrong-doing (if they ever admit it). Schwazer didn't even go through that - he seems to have jumped directly to the miserable and guilt-ridden stage that many dopers never even arrive at. I'm not sure what that says about him, but he seems so consumed with guilt, not just sorry that he was caught.

    Possibly the saddest thing in this article is how he and Carolina feel about their respective sports:
    Carolina loves her sport. She skates because she likes it. I race walk because I'm good at it, but I don't like doing the same exact thing 35 hours a week, and sometimes at night when I'm shattered and thinking about getting up the next morning and doing it again, I get nauseous"*
    Considering all the sacrifices an athlete must make, I think you have to love what you do, and if he didn't, that's a recipe for misery and self-doubt. That Carolina, despite all her difficulties over the years, continues to be passionate about skating is really great; if she hadn't been, we would have missed out on some amazing performances by her.

    I don't know, maybe Schwazer is playing the media with all this. But if he isn't, I kind of feel sorry for the guy. He's destroyed his career and reputation and he knows it's all on him. The whole thing just makes me sad.

    * there's a slightly different quote in the AJC article.

  15. #30
    Custom Title snowflake's Avatar
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    You can hide a lot of things from your partner If you want to

    I don't feel sorry for anyone cheating. Wish there was a life long penalty for doping. It's so selfish. I feel sorry for the athletes that are clean.

    This is how the Irish walker Hefferman sees it.

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