Cheating like the pros

A very interesting article dating back to 2008.

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2008-08-05/news/36872563_1_inhalers-drugs-older-athletes

It’s full of great quotes:

“Sport,” Wadler says, “should be a contest of character, not a contest of pharmacology.”

Jagusch notes: “The whole amateur side of it, people take it too seriously. They think nothing of spending all their savings on equipment when all they need to do is train more and lose weight. Why wouldn’t these same people, looking for an edge, turn to drugs? It’s a Type A personality, where their goals are the be-all and end-all of their existence.”

Wadler agrees. “Absolutely, a 45-year-old who spends $10,000 on a bike will find a doctor who will help with a friendly diagnosis” to get a drug with performance-enhancing abilities, whether it is a stimulant or a steroid.

 

Very interesting stuff. It seems us purathletes are not alone.

Sporting future

In the newly titled ‘International New York Times’ on Tuesday, October 15, there was a supplement inside outlining future perspectives and opinions about where the world is headed. John Hoberman, University of Texas professor and expert on drug use in sports, had a short piece about doping.

On the calls to legalise doping drugs, he writes: “After all, some say, there is widespread use of performance-enhacing drugs by ordinary citizens.”

Interesting.

Wrap party

So, another triathlon season comes to a close. Okay, the last race was three weeks ago, but it’s taken me about that time to recover and reflect on the season that was. It started in Berlin, in cold water, 11° air temp, and in pouring rain. It ended in London, in cold water, 11° air temp and 60km/h cross winds.

In all, I did 11 races. While the Age Group Champs in London was a fantastic experience and a privilege to be part of, the racing conditions (weather, getting up 5am to set up transition, ice cold water, etc) meant that the events were not much fun to do. I think my most enjoyable race was in Schwerin. Yes, I bitched about the superfast seniors (https://purathletes.org/2013/07/01/all-the-kings-men/), and it was a little cold, but it was one of the few races which I enjoyed throughout. I also had a really good run, which is easily my weakest discipline. A lot of races this year, I faded on the run. It’s not a good feeling.

Having documented the results closely, and after the communication with NADA (https://purathletes.org/2013/07/26/red-letter-day/), and having witnessed age-groupers posting faster splits than pros, I’ve come to conclude that there is something seriously rotten in the state of triathlon. I wish I had the science and evidence to back up my suppositions, but all I’ve got is what I’ve seen for myself and the times the guys post. I’m talking amateur races here, not pros. The pros get tested regularly.

Where does that leave me, at season’s end? Well, I have a much better understanding now of why I get so heavily beaten. I may finish in the top 20 in an Olympic distance race, but I’ll be a good 20-25 minutes behind the winner, who will inevitably be in his 40s or 50s. So, where I finish in the field is rarely an accurate representation of where I finish in the field.

I really hope that NADA comes to the party next year and does testing at one of my races. At least then I could have some hard evidence to back up my claims. Or I get proven wrong. That I doubt. Ask around at your basic triathlon (not the guys who are winning it, that is) and there’s a pretty strong consensus that those superfast amaterus are on the juice. But there’s nothing anyone can do. Most of the triathletes I spoke to over the course of the season are more concerned with guys drafting on the bike leg than whether they’re on vitamin D.

There’s now the long break until racing begins again in June. Time to work on the winter pelt, and then to work it off again. All the gear’s packed away, the weather’s turning cold. Motivation is low. I need to work on my attitude: not worry if guys are on vitamin D or not. Just train and race and smile and do the best I can.

It was a good season.