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Is the Armstrong affiar the biggest doping scandal ever?

by JNL-man / January 16, 2013 5:53 AM PST
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well, there is the last 20 years of baseball to consider
by grimgraphix / January 17, 2013 3:20 AM PST

Baseball, as far as I'm concerned... legitimized doping for every other sport out there. I mean to say that the acceptance (at the time) of people breaking world records while admitting to the press that they were using doping to improve performance just broke every ethical standard in the book. I don't care if the substances were not banned at the time. Doping is doping and baseball let the bad guys in the back door.

So, baseball - MLB - should be THE biggest scandal in my opinion, just because the sport legitimized it on such a large scale, and for so long.

Then there is all the Olympic scandals of the cold war period.

I'm sure there are a few horse racing doping scandals but I'm not aware of any myself.

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Olympic doping is less of a problem than it used to be....
by Josh K / January 17, 2013 10:21 PM PST

.....only because of the extensive and repeated drug testing that the athletes know they will be subjected to.

It's still a big problem in pro football and pro hockey. And needless to say, "pro" wrestling and bodybuilding are 100% juiced.

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Doping began probably in the late 19th/ early 20th Century,
by Ziks511 / January 17, 2013 8:52 AM PST

with the advent of stimulants like Methedrine.

With each new iteration of medications, new uses were found for them. Steroid abuse was rampant in the 1950's among athletes in any sport requiring strength, Olympic Track and Field (particularly in Field events like shot-putting) , NFL football, weight-lifting, body building. It continued to be rampant until both the tests, and particularly the desire to test athletes were found, including most obviously for us now, in Major League Baseball and the Tour de France.

Doping has been a plague in the professional cycling world since the 1950's. Some cometitors actually dropped dead while cycling from the excessive use of Methedrine and its derivatives. If you/ve accidentally taken two tablets of pseudo-ephedrine, you know how "speedy" you can feel.

I am tempted to think that the worst scandals were the ones that were never discovered, if that isn't self-contradictory, because they fuelled the subsequent use of the same and different drugs and hormones.

To answer your question however, I'm not a sports junkie, so some of what you report is new to me, but I think the list is right, assuming it has caught the most glaring offenders. Reporting of cycling for example,, or other sports was very limited in earlier decades, and the information was known within relatively confined communities and fandom.

Essentially, we didn't know what we didn't know, meaning what all the influences and effects that various medications would have on sport and the determination of what was fair and unfair. It could be argued that Al Oerter, the American Olympic T&F athlete in the 50's, was just treating himself or being treated as any athlete was treated with medications to help prevent or mitigate injury, What is the wrong medication to subdue inflammation or speed healing and do they unfairly bias a competition? Butesolidine (sp?) is illegal in horse racing, but isn't entirely banned in human sports because it is and was a potent treatment for inflammation

Is Aspirin OK? (Actually it's not, it causes blood problems and bruising and a suceptibility to gastro-intestinal bleeding but we didn't know that for sure until relatively recently, meaning the late '50s-early 60's.) Where do we draw the line for the proper treatment of sports injuries and "performande enhancing" medications?

I previously agreed with the concept of "anything legal and prescribed is okay". I certainly am less sure about the issue. With the banning of some anti-histamines in competition, pseudo-ephedrine among them (and with which I agree), athletes who have been cleared by their own physicians to use them, and then been disqualified, because the bans had changed and the rulings had not been understood clearly by the trainers coaches and physicians involved. Or so they said. And where exactly do the physicians fit in this equation, given their doubtful actions in this problem?

It's all a very blurry line in the sand with a strong wind blowing in random directions, compounded by physiological differences between individuals. Did Paavo Nurmii "the Flying Finn" distance runner of the 1930's cheat because he was found later to have had an unfair genetic and life-style advantage (as a tree feller in Finland who ran to work and home every day) which created the circumstances for his victory in the 1936 Olympics. Or any extraordinary athlete (Jesse Owens from the same Olympic Games). When does "heart", the ability to persevere through pain, and genetic and environmental advantage (East African high altitude runners) and the good luck to avoid injury, end, and cheating or unfairness begin? I don't know anymore.

I feel the issue in professional sports however is different. particuarly in the light of what has clearly become a deliberate attempt for advantage. And BTW, the Tour de France is a professional event but then so, de facto, is Olympic success.


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Sad, very sad...
by Willy / January 18, 2013 12:59 AM PST

If we know anything is because we don't want any doping within any sport or even tolerated. In every incidence it has been frown or outright demanded that those involved become disgraced and lose whatever rewards they received.

I recall those GDR "female" athletes back on TV way back, that it was sure bet they get the crops in easy with girls like that "operating the machinery or by hand". They looked more like pretty boys or hulks than athletic females compared to those of the same sports. I knew then that something wasn't right. I wonder now of any lasting effects they maybe having yrs. later even if alive.

I think was it is alarming of so-called sponsored doping has become wide spread, like GDR. Also that like the TVM team and baseball, etc. that many athletes get involved not 1 or 2, but a whole group. When baseball's records were shattered on a regular basis and even in 1yr., that something was up. Those baseball records stood for yrs. even decades and were falling like dominoes.

As for Lance Armstrong, he should fall so hard that hitting bottom is a saving grace. He not only doped but did everything short of murder to cover it all up. He's the Nixon of sports to me.

Well, at least I bowl. When I dope they call it being pissed, which is par having a bar lounge so handy. Now, that's a sport, only fishing compares. ------Willy Happy

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(NT) I remember the Soviet Union gymnastic teams
by Diana Forum moderator / January 21, 2013 3:35 AM PST
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The East German teams were all juiced too
by Josh K / January 21, 2013 11:07 PM PST

I remember a very funny Miller Lite ad featuring "The East German Women's Swim Team" and it was a bunch of beefy, hairy guys in drag and bad wigs.

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