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positive doping tests for olympic champions


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  • positive doping tests for olympic champions

    Hello all! (full link below) reported yesterday about numerous U.S. Olympic athletes who were allowed to compete internationally despite confirmed positive doping tests. Furthermore, several track and field athletes are explicitly named in this article and among them are the '88 Olympics gold medallists
    - Carl Lewis,
    - Joe DeLoach and
    - Andre Phillips.

    According to the article, the Orange County Register found more than 100 cases with failed tests that would lead to disqualification at the
    olympics, but were ruled 'inadvertent use'. In 1988, 12 athletes from six sports (with a very prominent presence for track and field) got of
    with a warning from the US Olympic Committee instead of a suspension for drug use.

    Maybe this is not much news for people who have been following this story. But I do not remember myself that so many athletes were explicitly named (Floyd Heard is also named, and lists tennis player Mary Joe Fernandez, also an olympic gold medallist).
    Anyway, even though I do not know, nor the OC
    Register, the article is a fascinating read in how (and why) these doping cases played out the way they did. And about the hypocrisy involved.

    Mind you, the story is also clear we are not talking about steroids, but about pseudoephedrine, ephedrine and phenlypropanolamine. Nevertheless, these are (and were at the time) banned substances. And I believe that in many other countries (not all. of course), athletes who were caught using these substances in '88 did not get of with a warning - they were suspended before the Olympic Games. Also, if reported at the time to the IAAF (as these cases should have been), the athletes involved would have been suspended.

    The Orange County Register says this 'may have been within the letter of the law' (US regulations, that is), but also speaks of 'cursory investigations and limited deliberations'. Quoted is US Olympian Anita De Frantz: ''[...] shame on the folks who did that. They brought shame upon the USOC". Quoted also
    is the IOC member Dick Pound: "Inadvertent use is complete nonsense," [...] "The offense is the presence of a banned substance in your system.
    Now if Nazi frogmen abducted you and injected you against your will then you might have a case."

    The Seoul Games are of course most remembered by the positive steroid test of Canadian Ben Johnson. His gold medal in the 100 meters went to
    Carl Lewis who finished second in the race. The Register writes about this: "But the world didn't know that Lewis, [...], had tested positive for banned stimulants at the U.S. Olympic Trials two months earlier."

    Love to hear from more of you on this subject
    - should the athletes have been suspended
    - should we now revise the olympic history (e.g. the result of the Seoul 100 meter)?
    - was Charley Francis right after all in his original claims that most of Ben Johnsons competators were also using banned substances?

    Wilmar Kortleever
    PS Full links: ... 643304.htm ... 4477084379

  • #2
    Re: positive doping tests for olympic champions

    In all this hysteria, I've seen nothing to indicate that Lewis, Phillips and DeLoach did not compete clean in the 1988 Olympics and every other international meet they were a part of. I'm sure their 1988 positives for stimulents were the result of inadvertent use. Is there any recorded instance of any other country in the world ever disqualifying one of its athletes for inadvertent stimulent use? I don't think so. In the atmosphere of 1988, when the USOC was up against countries who systematically doped their athletes, not to mention the occasional Ben Johnson, the correct thing to do would have been to inform the athlete that someting had showed up in his test and to get rid of it before the Gamnes and not use it again. My own belief is that the type of substance at issue here was of no benefit to the athletes, but since there has been no scientific investigation of the topic, I remain as ignorant in that regard as Pound, Exum, and the rest of these characters.


    • #3
      Re: positive doping tests for olympic champions

      yippee---took less than 24 hours for some moron to turn a board that was happy talking about nothing but real track into another drug forum.

      How about an 11th Commandment banning any talk of drugs?


      • #4
        Excuse me? (Re: positive doping tests for olympic champions)

        LS, dear anynomous critic,
        Before you start proposing an 11th rule, maybe you should take another look at the existing ones no. 2 and 3. I would be a bit surprised if the forum moderators ('with extreme prejudice') are going to let namecalling like you decide to practice go by.

        Not that I care much, BTW, about a anonymous rant like this. You clearly lack the 'cojones' the list moderators asked for in the guidelines.

        The positive tests of three olympic champions - among which one of my personal all-time heroes - is relevant to athletics. There are issues of level playing fields, issues of exemplary conduct, issues of records. Whether you like it or not (and I do indeed prefer to talk about actual athletics - and do so extremely often).

        With the criticism the Eastern Europeans and people like Ben Johnson always have been bombarded with, I think it would be extremely cheap and easy to suddenly indicate a doping discussion 'irrelevant'. Even if it involves Americans this time...

        PS personally, I think it is a tad naive to believe all the now exposed positive cases were all 'inadvertent use'. And even so, I am told numerous others have indeed been suspended for the same substances. Before and after 1988. Substances, BTW, that experts call 'stimulants' - with a unfair advantage for the athlete who uses is. Furthermore, a lot of the substance of the research and articles in the Orange County Register is not so much about blaiming the athletes, as well as about the gross misconduct by officials in not adequately researching whether the doping use was indeed inadvertently or not.

        >yippee---took less than 24 hours for some moron
        >to turn a board that was happy talking about
        >nothing but real track into another drug

        How about an 11th Commandment banning
        >any talk of drugs?


        • #5
          Re: positive doping tests for olympic champions

          now now. doping has been a part of sport for a long time and an intelligent discussion of issues can be informative and productive. typically, the problem is there are few people on any side of the issue who are willing to develop meaningful discussion of the issue. doping is percieved as a black and white issue and, I for one, don't see it as an easy/clear cut issue.


          • #6
            Re: positive doping tests for olympic champions

            Exactly. And the quality of the current media coverage adds nothing to an intelligent discussion.


            • #7
              Re: Excuse me? (Re: positive doping tests for olympic champi

              Mr. Kortleever was right: "too good" calling him a moron for starting a drug thread was out of line. He's just a jerk.

              "Moron" is reserved for people who start threads about drug use among walkers.


              • #8
                Re: Excuse me? (Re: positive doping tests for olympic champi

                Well, well...

                You bring forward a legitimate subject, in a fairly balanced, if not objective way (citing sources of information, seperating personal opinions, etc.). You do it mainly to get a discussion and some feedback going on a subject that really bothers you as a lover of the beautifull sport of track and field.

                The reactions?
                First you get called a moron, then a jerk. I must say I am impressed by the level of (still anonymous) criticism.

                I guess I will now personally abandon this subject for a while. I do hope serious reactions will keep coming in, though. And I hope these 'athletics-loving' will maintain a higher level of discussion in other threads on this young-but-already-magnificant message board.

                Bye for now,
                WK ([email protected])
                PS I must say I am becoming interested in what the board moderators think of name calling?