Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

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Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:00 pm

In case you don't know, Lance Armstrong has given up defending himself against drug allegations, and it seems that he's being stripped of his Tour de France titles. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/19369375

I find the procedures a bit odd here though. He's said that it's not because he's guilty but because he basically doesn't want to waste any more of his life on it. Others have said that he doesn't want the evidence to come out in a hearing.

But surely, if they want to strip him of his titles, they should have to have the hearing anyway, whether he is present or not. Don't they have to find him guilty? If I was charged with murder, but I declared that I wasn't going to defend myself against these ridiculous charges, the prosecution would still have to prve their case to a jury. So this doesn't seem right. (This is nothing to do with whether I think he is guilty or not.)

As for drugs in sport more generally (well, extending it to athletics), it's interesting that athletics doesn't have the same reputation as cycling, but I recently found this - http://www.tracktalk.net/showthread.php?t=7931 - which makes for very interesting reading.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Jon O'Neill » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:45 pm

Interesting, I was just reading about him too. There doesn't seem to be any actual evidence?

Not reading a 150 page forum thread. Let's just have the debate here. I see that really butch woman got stripped of her gold medal.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Jon O'Neill » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:55 pm

I did read ten pages, and it's quite disheartening stuff, even with the necessary pinch of salt.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Steve Balog » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:26 pm

Fun fact: All of Lance's titles would go to people who themselves have faced allegations of doping.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:55 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:I did read ten pages, and it's quite disheartening stuff, even with the necessary pinch of salt.
It is. I've always liked athletics, and I've always assumed that most of the women's records from the 1980s were dodgy, but this is something else entirely.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:28 pm

By the way, I haven't read all of that thread, but have read quite a bit. To summarise some of it:

The event that seems to get the most stick is the men's 1500m. They seem to think that pretty much all of the top ten all-time runners (based on time) were on drugs. Hicham El Guerrouj (the world record holder) in particular gets a lot of the acccusations, along with Bernard Lagat and Fermin Cacho. Apparently Morocco (where El Guerrouj is from) is really bad for it. None of the top 26 times have been set after 2004, when apparently proper tests for EPO came in - http://www.alltime-athletics.com/m_1500ok.htm

But then even Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie (from Ethiopia) with their 5000 and 1000m times aren't free from suspicion, particularly because they've been managed by Jos Hermens, who is allegedly dodgy.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Mark James » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:24 pm

I think they're all on drugs and I don't care. I think we just just allow people to take performance enhancing drugs and work on making them safer so people who don't want to risk the dangers can still compete.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Brian Moore » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:13 pm

I don't think people would care so much about Lance Armstrong if he'd 'fessed up and said that everyone was on the juice at the time. There's a similar list about Alpe d'Huez ascent times halfway down the page here with a similar drop in performance since EPO testing came in. Most (if not all) of the riders at the top have been done and/or confessed to doping - apart from Armstrong. Not proof, I know. Maybe he was just a remarkable athlete who could beat all the people who were doping.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:21 pm


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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:03 pm

Mark James wrote:I think they're all on drugs and I don't care. I think we just just allow people to take performance enhancing drugs and work on making them safer so people who don't want to risk the dangers can still compete.
I think it would be very difficult (impossible) to make them safe. If you legalised all drugs, then the drugs people use and the amount they use would change considerably. Although you may think they are all on drugs now, they still have to make sure they pass all the drugs tests, and that places limits on their drugs. The women's track world records from the 1980s are still untouchable now, even if today's athletes are on drugs, so they clearly aren't using drugs to their limits at the moment.

Basically if you legalise them all, all the women will end up as basically men, and quite a lot of athletes will die within a few years of retiring.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:40 pm

Thanks for posting this, Gevin, absolutely fascinating stuff. I thought that drugs in athletics was a subject that I knew quite a lot about but I was probably only aware of a quarter of the stuff in that tracktalk thread.

The EPO thing seems especially damning. In the 1500m, the 25 fastest times ever were run between 1995 and 2004 and (although there’s the odd anomaly) this is pretty much true of all the track events up to 10000m; all the fastest times were set within a fairly definable window. It can’t be coincidence that this window ends abruptly at the time that an effective EPO test was implemented in the sport. Must have been an odd time: this is a drug that is guaranteed to improve your performance – possibly to a significant degree, the difference between a qualification or not, or a medal or not – and oh, by the way, they don’t even test for it, so you can’t be caught, and everyone else is already using it …I wouldn’t be surprised if all the big names in distance running were on it during that period.

What’s possibly more disturbing is that after an eight year gap, people are starting to run fast times again; the 5000m has been especially strong this year with three Ethiopians and two Kenyans under 12:50 (all in the same race in Saint-Denis in July). These are the fastest times set in the event since 2004. You’ve got to be suspicious rather than impressed.

I wouldn’t expect everyone to read all 120 pages of the thread that Gevin linked to, but if you make it to page 66, there’s a transcript of a Der Spiegel interview with Mexican drug supplier/pharmacist Angel Heredia (who testified for the prosecution in the BALCO case). Here’s the text of the interview. It’s pretty sobering stuff when you realise what’s possible (and what is almost certainly being used right now in some form, but is undetectable with current tests, so hasn’t come to light - yet).

It would be easy to come away from all of that with the view that everyone (or at least everyone good) is drugged, but I still think there’s got to be some athletes who are clean and are just better than everyone else at running, or jumping, or throwing, or whatever. But the fact that drugs have been (and still are) so rampant confuses the issue. It’s impossible to say who’s clean and who’s not. I’m sure there are and always have been incredible athletes out there but we don’t and will maybe never know which ones they were.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:23 pm

Consistency is required along all sports. One of the most advanced sports on the planet, F1, hasn't had positive drugs tests for ages, and the last time it did, Rubens Barrichello wasn't stripped of his second place.
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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Eoin Monaghan » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:49 pm

Can you really compare the effects of drugs in F1 to other sports?

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:58 pm

Eoin Monaghan wrote:Can you really compare the effects of drugs in F1 to other sports?
No. For simplicity, it makes sense only to have drug testing in sports where certain drugs are known to have a beneficial effect on performance. I'm not sure that this is the case in F1.

Even in sports that rightly have drug testing, you often hear about people testing positive for things like cannabis. But that seems to be conflating two completely separate issues. I doubt cannabis is a performance enhancing drug in any sport.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:19 pm

JimBentley wrote:In the 1500m, the 25 fastest times ever were run between 1995 and 2004 and (although there’s the odd anomaly) this is pretty much true of all the track events up to 10000m; all the fastest times were set within a fairly definable window. It can’t be coincidence that this window ends abruptly at the time that an effective EPO test was implemented in the sport. Must have been an odd time: this is a drug that is guaranteed to improve your performance – possibly to a significant degree, the difference between a qualification or not, or a medal or not – and oh, by the way, they don’t even test for it, so you can’t be caught, and everyone else is already using it …I wouldn’t be surprised if all the big names in distance running were on it during that period.
I read that someone recently got a ban (someone in a throwing event I think) because they'd retested an old sample. I'm not sure how much this happens, but it makes sense to freeze samples for testing years later. That would be very interesting with the EPO thing.
What’s possibly more disturbing is that after an eight year gap, people are starting to run fast times again; the 5000m has been especially strong this year with three Ethiopians and two Kenyans under 12:50 (all in the same race in Saint-Denis in July). These are the fastest times set in the event since 2004. You’ve got to be suspicious rather than impressed.
Interestingly, Mo Farah's PB is "only" 12:53.11, so perhaps he's under less suspicion.

But if we assume that those top times are EPO-enhanced, I'm not sure what the record "should" be. There was a lot of discussion on the thing I linked to about what the 1500m "should" be - the guy who sees himself as the main authority says it should be 3:29.something. But that's the same as the Cram/Coe/Ovett days. The world record for the 5000m was 12:58.39 until 1994 when it was beaten by Haile Gebrselassie (12:56.96), who eventually went on to go under 12:40 - one of just three men to have done so.

It is worth mentioning though that although Kenenia Bekele set his 5000m and 10000m world records in 2004 and 2005, he was still the best for a time after that, and was world champion in both events as late as 2009. And Gebrselassie set the then marathon record in 2008.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Matt Morrison » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:07 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:I doubt cannabis is a performance enhancing drug in any sport.
The most likely reason it can be considered "performance enhancing" is through dumbing of pain. So it's more potentially "performance un-hindering" than "performance enhancing".
Because it's a sport I'm into, there's no better example for me to use than MMA - you could argue that if cannabis can dumb pain then it can be used to help escape submission attempts for example.
And in a point that is definitely related, I know many people get high before they train jiu jitsu or other groundwork martial arts, as cannabis can not only relax the mind but also the body it can improve flexibility.
So there we go - it can be "performance enhancing" but as you say it could easily be very unenhancing and unlike more traditional "doping" drugs if there is an artificial benefit then it would definitely be one that has to be balanced to a much finer level than, say, most steroids.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Brian Moore » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:37 pm

It's quite a long read, but this is a persuasive summary of the arguments in LA debate.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:14 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:I read that someone recently got a ban (someone in a throwing event I think) because they'd retested an old sample. I'm not sure how much this happens, but it makes sense to freeze samples for testing years later. That would be very interesting with the EPO thing.
Funnily enough I was thinking much the same and found this, about the re-testing of preserved samples from the 1999 Tour De France (and Lance Armstrong in particular). It's very long, and not as good a summary as the one Brian posted, but some of it is very interesting indeed.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:35 pm

I thought I might bump this given the recent revelation that a "top British athlete" had "suspicious blood scores". Apparently it's not Mo Farah or Jessica Ennis-Hill. The original Sunday Times article is behind a paywall, but someone said that it's an endurance athlete. I think there are suspicions that it's Paula Radcliffe. Anyone else have any bright ideas?

Edit - maybe Kelly Holmes

Edit 2 - Sources suggest my first guess.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:18 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:I thought I might bump this given the recent revelation that a "top British athlete" had "suspicious blood scores". Apparently it's not Mo Farah or Jessica Ennis-Hill...I think there are suspicions that it's Paula Radcliffe. Anyone else have any bright ideas?

Edit - maybe Kelly Holmes

Edit 2 - Sources suggest my first guess.
Paula Radcliffe's name always comes up because she shattered the marathon world record in an era when there wasn't routine testing for EPO, it's inevitable. Whether she used EPO/blood doped/whatever, I don't know, and I don't think these "revelations" will leave us any the wiser as to that.

I'd be willing to bet that Hicham El Guerrouj and Bernard Lagat will be called out (they're the two I'm personally certain were cheating and as far as I know are no longer protected) but to be honest nobody's name would surprise me, however big. Bekele? Gebrselassie? Why not?

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:38 am

Ryan Taylor?

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:29 pm

The IAAF has responded to the allegations saying that the results weren't proof of doping. Abnormal results are possible, but I wonder if it does amount to proof of doping, but just not in any particular individuals.

For example, if I tell 100 people to roll a dice and they all get a 6, that's pretty much unequivocal evidence of some sort of foul play. But I can't lay the blame on any individual because each person had a 1 in 6 chance anyway, which isn't *that* unlikely.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Ian Volante » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:44 am

Aye, a semantic argument rather than a statistical one, or one based on what appear to be the facts. I've also heard them saying something like none of the people in question failed a drugs test, again missing the point completely.
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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Steven M. McCann » Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:04 pm

I see Mo Farah and a few others have released their anti-doping blood test data.
I wonder will Paula Radcliffe, Kelly Holmes & Christine Ohuruogu follow suit?

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:42 pm

The IAAF have to decided to suspend some athletes. So is this just because of what got into the press? All comes across as a bit dodgy.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:44 pm

JimBentley wrote:I'd be willing to bet that Hicham El Guerrouj and Bernard Lagat will be called out (they're the two I'm personally certain were cheating and as far as I know are no longer protected) but to be honest nobody's name would surprise me, however big. Bekele? Gebrselassie? Why not?
It's interesting that in the thread I linked to on that forum, El Guerrouj and Lagat were two of the most accused. And while Bekele and Gebreselassie were not exactly given a free ride, they seemed to come under a lot less suspicion. Why is that? Why are El Guerrouj and Lagat definitely guilty and Bekele and Gebreselassie only probably or maybe guilty?

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:50 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
JimBentley wrote:I'd be willing to bet that Hicham El Guerrouj and Bernard Lagat will be called out (they're the two I'm personally certain were cheating and as far as I know are no longer protected) but to be honest nobody's name would surprise me, however big. Bekele? Gebrselassie? Why not?
It's interesting that in the thread I linked to on that forum, El Guerrouj and Lagat were two of the most accused. And while Bekele and Gebreselassie were not exactly given a free ride, they seemed to come under a lot less suspicion. Why is that? Why are El Guerrouj and Lagat definitely guilty and Bekele and Gebreselassie only probably or maybe guilty?
I can't be arsed to dig it out right now, but Bernard Lagat was particularly suspicious because after fifteen-odd years of competing with perfect teeth (and at a pretty good level, he certainly will have made a living), at the age of about 33 (maybe even later) his times improved dramatically and he started wearing braces on his previously-perfect teeth.

As far as I know - although I was nearly a doctor once, I don't claim to be much of an expert - the only documented reasons for this phenomenon is the use of human growth hormone, which amongst other things, stimulates bone growth. So bones that stop growing at puberty start growing again and the first noticeable change is in the jawbone; not all the teeth fit into it as they did previously, hence the braces.

El-Guerrouj had something else going on, but as I'm not completely certain what it was, I'll just wait for now.

By the way:
Gavin Chipper wrote:The IAAF have to decided to suspend some athletes. So is this just because of what got into the press? All comes across as a bit dodgy.
It's even more dodgy than you think - I'm willing to bet that most of these 28 athletes, once they are named, will mainly be Russian. I'm not saying that the Russians weren't doping consistently during this period, it's just that it would be politically expedient for these names to appear ahead of more "lucrative" athletes.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Charlie Reams » Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:54 pm

Don't have anything to add but I'm enjoying this thread. Lots of shit being chatted on this topic elsewhere.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:07 pm

Charlie Reams wrote:Don't have anything to add but I'm enjoying this thread. Lots of shit being chatted on this topic elsewhere.
Yes indeed; it will be interesting over the next few months to see which names the IAAF are prepared to release. I'm not getting too excited though, I think it'll mainly be retired athletes with a couple of token big names thrown in (probably athletes who have previously tested positive, served bans, then returned to the sport).

Also, two more words: Lord Coe.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:37 pm

JimBentley wrote:I can't be arsed to dig it out right now, but Bernard Lagat was particularly suspicious because after fifteen-odd years of competing with perfect teeth (and at a pretty good level, he certainly will have made a living), at the age of about 33 (maybe even later) his times improved dramatically and he started wearing braces on his previously-perfect teeth.

As far as I know - although I was nearly a doctor once, I don't claim to be much of an expert - the only documented reasons for this phenomenon is the use of human growth hormone, which amongst other things, stimulates bone growth. So bones that stop growing at puberty start growing again and the first noticeable change is in the jawbone; not all the teeth fit into it as they did previously, hence the braces.
Actually I did read that in the forum thread I linked to earlier. I can't seem to access it now though. I think you have to have an account.
JimBentley wrote:Also, two more words: Lord Coe.
Yeah, what a dickhead. Ex Conservative MP, a Lord, and now clearly a drugs cheat*.

*Obviously this is a joke and I wouldn't make such a serious unfounded allegation. Even if he did cheat his way to success back in the 80s.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:10 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
JimBentley wrote:Also, two more words: Lord Coe.
Yeah, what a dickhead. Ex Conservative MP, a Lord, and now clearly a drugs cheat*.

*Obviously this is a joke and I wouldn't make such a serious unfounded allegation. Even if he did cheat his way to success back in the 80s.
No, that wasn't my point and in fact if pressed I would say that he wasn't one of the cheats (in what should be said was an "anything goes" era). He might have cheated, he might not, but on the balance of it I would say that he didn't (nor did Ovett, Cram, Cruz, Scott and others of the era) simply because there wasn't an undetectable drug for middle-distance runners at that time (broadly 1978-1984).

My point was that Coe has repeatedly denied that there was a cover-up of positive results by the British federations, which has now been proved categorically to be a lie. It seems that the federations only admit to anything once they've been caught.

Coe is now standing for leadership of the IAAF. It's in his interest to ensure that the public perceive the sport as clean. He is in no position to do this, for two main reasons: the sport isn't clean, and given his administrative record, he doesn't really mind about that as long as it's not found out.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Jon Corby » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:58 am

And we were meant to get all that from "Lord Coe"?

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Adam Gillard » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:05 am

JimBentley wrote:I'm willing to bet that most of these 28 athletes, once they are named, will mainly be Russian.
Interesting bet - I understand that you are saying that at least 15 of the 28 athletes will be "mainly Russian", whatever that means... perhaps they are cyborg drug cheats with some body parts from Taiwan etc.?
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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:10 pm

Adam Gillard wrote:
JimBentley wrote:I'm willing to bet that most of these 28 athletes, once they are named, will mainly be Russian.
Interesting bet - I understand that you are saying that at least 15 of the 28 athletes will be "mainly Russian", whatever that means... perhaps they are cyborg drug cheats with some body parts from Taiwan etc.?
On the balance of probabilities and given the way that language is used today, Adam, what do you think I meant?

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:27 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Adam Gillard wrote:
JimBentley wrote:I'm willing to bet that most of these 28 athletes, once they are named, will mainly be Russian.
Interesting bet - I understand that you are saying that at least 15 of the 28 athletes will be "mainly Russian", whatever that means... perhaps they are cyborg drug cheats with some body parts from Taiwan etc.?
On the balance of probabilities and given the way that language is used today, Adam, what do you think I meant?
That's fighting talk. I predict the winner will be the one on drugs.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:34 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:That's fighting talk. I predict the winner will be the one on drugs.
And I think we all know who that this.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Jon Corby » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:41 pm

JimBentley wrote:And I think we all know who that this.
Is this another example of how language is used today? :?

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:23 pm

Jon Corby wrote:
JimBentley wrote:And I think we all know who that this.
Is this another example of how language is used today? :?
Sure is baby, everyone's adding "t"s into random words to make sure the reader's paying attenttion? Have you not noticed this phenomenton?

Oh, and as I seemed to have missed this earlier:
Jon Corby wrote:And we were meant to get all that from "Lord Coe"?
Who do you mean by "we"? Does "we" include you? If so, no, as I wouldn't assume that you have any knowledge of the subject (but felt compelled to comment anyway for some reason).

However, anyone with a passing knowledge of the history of the sport (and an interest in current affairs) would have understood the reference, even if the full implications weren't spelled out for them. Maybe it would even make other people have closer look at the affairs of Lord Coe and what he's been up to over the last few years?

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Steven M. McCann » Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:12 pm

Has Lord Coe been made a Saint yet? he seems to be one of these people who picks up honours and titles every other week.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Jon Corby » Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:18 pm

Jim not taking any prisoners up in here. Liking it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IWl77o3l50

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:22 pm

JimBentley wrote:No, that wasn't my point and in fact if pressed I would say that he wasn't one of the cheats (in what should be said was an "anything goes" era). He might have cheated, he might not, but on the balance of it I would say that he didn't (nor did Ovett, Cram, Cruz, Scott and others of the era) simply because there wasn't an undetectable drug for middle-distance runners at that time (broadly 1978-1984).

My point was that Coe has repeatedly denied that there was a cover-up of positive results by the British federations, which has now been proved categorically to be a lie. It seems that the federations only admit to anything once they've been caught.

Coe is now standing for leadership of the IAAF. It's in his interest to ensure that the public perceive the sport as clean. He is in no position to do this, for two main reasons: the sport isn't clean, and given his administrative record, he doesn't really mind about that as long as it's not found out.
I knew you weren't actually saying he was on drugs and it was more about him saying that the press have "declared war" on the IAAF, but I do think his position is very interesting. I suppose it's all political now because of the position he's in, but ordinarily you'd expect an ex-athlete to be all "Well, I was certainly clean when I was running but with all these new drugs they have now you have to be vigilant and it's good that this has come out!"

Having read stuff online about drugs cheats, he isn't a name that really get mentioned on forums, so he's not top of the suspicion list of those who claim to "know things". But it's also interesting that him and Cruz had such good 800m times back then that weren't matched for years. But there are other explanations. How popular a sport is largely determines how many people attempt to do it, and British athletics (not that Cruz was British) was more of a thing back then so with more competition, you get more top runners. Also there has to reach a point where advances in training techniques don't make much more difference, so it's not that unlikely that an 1980s runner could set times that would be good today.

But why is it that all the Eastern Europeans women were definitely on drugs back then but most others are above suspicion? Some of their times were ridiculous but at the time Coe's and Cruz's were still pretty awesome. They still have the 9th and 13th best times ever at 1:41.73 and 1:41.77.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:32 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:But why is it that all the Eastern Europeans women were definitely on drugs back then but most others are above suspicion? Some of their times were ridiculous but at the time Coe's and Cruz's were still pretty awesome. They still have the 9th and 13th best times ever at 1:41.73 and 1:41.77.
Bit disappointing coming from you, Gevin, I thought you were a bit less naive. I'll answer it with a joke from the era to which you refer:

Q: Who is the fastest female East German sprinter?
A: Marita Koch.
Q: Who is the fastest male East German sprinter?
A: Marita Koch.

The Eastern bloc drugs programme of the late 70s and early 80s was almost entirely based on extremely heavy (male) steroid use on females. If this regime is carried on for long enough, a woman will physiologically, if not anatomically, become more like a man (put on muscle, lose fat, increase oxygen intake, promote cardiomegaly), etc. The same process can be used on men but doesn't produce the dramatic effect that it produces on women.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Matt Morrison » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:23 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:
JimBentley wrote:And I think we all know who that this.
Is this another example of how language is used today? :?
Sure is baby, everyone's adding "t"s into random words to make sure the reader's paying attenttion?
And I think we all know who that his.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Matt Morrison » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:24 pm

Good thread. Been ignoring this one but the force is strong.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:20 am

JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:But why is it that all the Eastern Europeans women were definitely on drugs back then but most others are above suspicion? Some of their times were ridiculous but at the time Coe's and Cruz's were still pretty awesome. They still have the 9th and 13th best times ever at 1:41.73 and 1:41.77.
Bit disappointing coming from you, Gevin, I thought you were a bit less naive. I'll answer it with a joke from the era to which you refer:

Q: Who is the fastest female East German sprinter?
A: Marita Koch.
Q: Who is the fastest male East German sprinter?
A: Marita Koch.

The Eastern bloc drugs programme of the late 70s and early 80s was almost entirely based on extremely heavy (male) steroid use on females. If this regime is carried on for long enough, a woman will physiologically, if not anatomically, become more like a man (put on muscle, lose fat, increase oxygen intake, promote cardiomegaly), etc. The same process can be used on men but doesn't produce the dramatic effect that it produces on women.
My point is not that the likes of Koch might not have been cheating, but that the male athletes don't seem to get many accusations. While the differences will have been more obvious in women, it's clear that there would have been advantages for men, and it would be a bit weird if no man managed to become a top athlete as a result of steroids at this time (other than Ben Johnson). The crazy women's times in the 1980s went up to and included the 800m, which is interestingly also the men's event where the 1980s times are still the most competitive. Because of Coe and Cruz.

These 1980s steroids didn't seem to have as much as an effect on longer distances. And it's interesting that although Coe was also world class at 1500m (as in Olympic champion), his best 1500m time is only 84th on the all-time list, compared to 9th for 800m. The top 1980s time for 1500m is Saïd Aouita in 61st. For 800m there are nine 1980s times inside 61st. None of this is proof of anything, but it does make you think.

This website is very good.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:17 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:But why is it that all the Eastern Europeans women were definitely on drugs back then but most others are above suspicion? Some of their times were ridiculous but at the time Coe's and Cruz's were still pretty awesome. They still have the 9th and 13th best times ever at 1:41.73 and 1:41.77...

These 1980s steroids didn't seem to have as much as an effect on longer distances.
That's because steroids aren't advantageous for male middle-distance runners. Other drugs may be, but steroids certainly aren't. Look at the physique of a typical top male 800m runner; whilst they're not as tall and willowy as long-distance runners, but they're closer to that sort of physique than they are to sprinters. They're not as compact and muscle-bound than your typical steroid sprinter. If a male middle-distance runner started taking steroids, they'd simply be too bulky to be competitive.

But women's bodies are different, so steroids are advantageous for female middle-distance runners. Admittedly too much use will make them look like men, but they won't become muscle-bound hunks lumbering around the track.

Coe, for all his faults, was years ahead of his time in terms of how to run an effective 800m; he was the first to figure out that the best strategy for a fast time was consistency: as close to four 20.5 second splits as possible was best, which is more or less what he did for his 1:41.73.
Gavin Chipper wrote:This website is very good.
Ain't it just? I've been going through loads of my old papers and shit from when I first moved into my house (1998) and found a load of printouts from that very site. For amusement, this was top of the men's all-time 100m list at that time:

1. Donovan Bailey ... 9.84 seconds
2. Leroy Burrell ... 9.85 seconds
3. Carl Lewis ... 9.86 seconds
4. Frankie Fredericks ... 9.86 seconds
5. Linford Christie ... 9.87 seconds
6. Frankie Fredericks ... 9.87 seconds
7. Leroy Burrell ... 9.88 seconds
8. Frankie Fredericks ... 9.89 seconds
9. Ato Boldon ... 9.89 seconds

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:59 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:But why is it that all the Eastern Europeans women were definitely on drugs back then but most others are above suspicion? Some of their times were ridiculous but at the time Coe's and Cruz's were still pretty awesome. They still have the 9th and 13th best times ever at 1:41.73 and 1:41.77...

These 1980s steroids didn't seem to have as much as an effect on longer distances.
That's because steroids aren't advantageous for male middle-distance runners. Other drugs may be, but steroids certainly aren't. Look at the physique of a typical top male 800m runner; whilst they're not as tall and willowy as long-distance runners, but they're closer to that sort of physique than they are to sprinters. They're not as compact and muscle-bound than your typical steroid sprinter. If a male middle-distance runner started taking steroids, they'd simply be too bulky to be competitive.

But women's bodies are different, so steroids are advantageous for female middle-distance runners. Admittedly too much use will make them look like men, but they won't become muscle-bound hunks lumbering around the track.

Coe, for all his faults, was years ahead of his time in terms of how to run an effective 800m; he was the first to figure out that the best strategy for a fast time was consistency: as close to four 20.5 second splits as possible was best, which is more or less what he did for his 1:41.73.
But do you think there's any reason why the times of the male 800m runners of the 1980s generally hold up better today than the times of the 1500m runners (i.e. not just Coe)? Presumably steroids aren't all or nothing. You could bulk up a bit without taking a full course of Marita Koch drugs. And given that to be competitive at 800m, you're running each 100m at an average of significantly less than 13 seconds, it's more of a controlled sprint than a distance run.

Do you mean four 25.5 splits by the way? That would give 102 seconds or 1:42.
Gavin Chipper wrote:This website is very good.
Ain't it just? I've been going through loads of my old papers and shit from when I first moved into my house (1998) and found a load of printouts from that very site. For amusement, this was top of the men's all-time 100m list at that time:

1. Donovan Bailey ... 9.84 seconds
2. Leroy Burrell ... 9.85 seconds
3. Carl Lewis ... 9.86 seconds
4. Frankie Fredericks ... 9.86 seconds
5. Linford Christie ... 9.87 seconds
6. Frankie Fredericks ... 9.87 seconds
7. Leroy Burrell ... 9.88 seconds
8. Frankie Fredericks ... 9.89 seconds
9. Ato Boldon ... 9.89 seconds
And maybe this wasn't your reason for bringing this up, but do you think this is suspicious? Is there any reason why improvements in training, diet etc. since this time should have come on so much more for the 100m than for longer distances? And it's not just Usain Bolt. Several runners have gone under 9.84 seconds. Looking at our favourite site, 9.84 seconds has been beaten 62 times. Is there any other event where the world record from that time is now so low on the all-time list? It was the world record until 1999 when Maurice Greene beat it with 9.79 seconds (the same time as Ben Johnson).

Also, when Michael Johnson set the 200m world record of 19.32s in 1996, it was arguably the best track record on the books. It's now not only been beaten by Usain Bolt, but also by Yohann Blake. Yohann Blake is a good runner obviously - but 19.26 for 200m?

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:00 pm

Here is what Paula Radcliffe has to say.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:11 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Do you mean four 25.5 splits by the way? That would give 102 seconds or 1:42.
Yeah, well spotted. It was right in my head when I posted it: 82 seconds = 1 minute 42. Maybe I'd moved to the forty second minute.
Gavin Chipper wrote:This website is very good.
Ain't it just? I've been going through loads of my old papers and shit from when I first moved into my house (1998) and found a load of printouts from that very site. For amusement, this was top of the men's all-time 100m list at that time:

1. Donovan Bailey ... 9.84 seconds
2. Leroy Burrell ... 9.85 seconds
3. Carl Lewis ... 9.86 seconds
4. Frankie Fredericks ... 9.86 seconds
5. Linford Christie ... 9.87 seconds
6. Frankie Fredericks ... 9.87 seconds
7. Leroy Burrell ... 9.88 seconds
8. Frankie Fredericks ... 9.89 seconds
9. Ato Boldon ... 9.89 seconds
And maybe this wasn't your reason for bringing this up, but do you think this is suspicious? Is there any reason why improvements in training, diet etc. since this time should have come on so much more for the 100m than for longer distances? And it's not just Usain Bolt. Several runners have gone under 9.84 seconds. Looking at our favourite site, 9.84 seconds has been beaten 62 times. Is there any other event where the world record from that time is now so low on the all-time list? It was the world record until 1999 when Maurice Greene beat it with 9.79 seconds (the same time as Ben Johnson).

Also, when Michael Johnson set the 200m world record of 19.32s in 1996, it was arguably the best track record on the books. It's now not only been beaten by Usain Bolt, but also by Yohann Blake. Yohann Blake is a good runner obviously - but 19.26 for 200m?
I actually posted it because it was peculiarly nostalgic, but if you want to go into it further, I'm game.

Of that list, I would view Frankie Fredericks with the least suspicion, but I would never say categorically that he wasn't cheating. Of the others, I'm fairly sure they were all cheating.

And since then?

1 9.58 +0.9 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1 Berlin 16.08.2009
2 9.63 +1.5 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1 London 05.08.2012
3 9.69 ±0.0 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1 Beijing 16.08.2008
3 9.69 +2.0 Tyson Gay USA 09.08.82 1 Shanghai 20.09.2009
3 9.69 -0.1 Yohan Blake JAM 26.12.89 1 Lausanne 23.08.2012
6 9.71 +0.9 Tyson Gay USA 09.08.82 2 Berlin 16.08.2009
7 9.72 +1.7 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1rA New York City 31.05.2008
7 9.72 +0.2 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1rA Lausanne 02.09.2008
9 9.74 +1.7 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1h2 Rieti 09.09.2007
9 9.74 +0.9 Justin Gatlin USA 10.02.82 1 Ad-Dawhah 15.05.2015
11 9.75 +1.1 Yohan Blake JAM 26.12.89 1 Kingston 29.06.2012
11 9.75 +1.5 Yohan Blake JAM 26.12.89 2 London 05.08.2012
11 9.75 +0.9 Justin Gatlin USA 10.02.82 1rA Roma 04.06.2015
11 9.75 +1.4 Justin Gatlin USA 10.02.82 1rA Lausanne 09.07.2015
15 9.76 +1.8 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1 Kingston 03.05.2008
15 9.76 +1.3 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1 Bruxelles 16.09.2011
15 9.76 -0.1 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1 Roma 31.05.2012
15 9.76 +1.4 Yohan Blake JAM 26.12.89 1rA Zürich 30.08.2012
19 9.77 +1.6 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1 Athínai 14.06.2005
19 9.77 +1.5 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1 Gateshead 11.06.2006
19 9.77 +1.0 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1rA Zürich 18.08.2006
19 9.77 +1.6 Tyson Gay USA 09.08.82 1q1 Eugene 28.06.2008
19 9.77 -1.3 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1 Bruxelles 05.09.2008
19 9.77 +0.9 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1h1 Rieti 07.09.2008
19 9.77 +0.4 Tyson Gay USA 09.08.82 1 Roma 10.07.2009
19 9.77 -0.3 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1 Moskva 11.08.2013
19 9.77 +0.6 Justin Gatlin USA 10.02.82 1 Bruxelles 05.09.2014
28 9.78 ±0.0 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1 Rieti 09.09.2007
28 9.78 -0.4 Tyson Gay USA 09.08.82 1 London 13.08.2010
28 9.78 +0.9 Nesta Carter JAM 10.11.85 1 Rieti 29.08.2010
28 9.78 +1.0 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1rA Lausanne 30.06.2011
28 9.78 -0.3 Justin Gatlin USA 10.02.82 1 Monaco 17.07.2015
33 9.79 +0.1 Maurice Greene USA 23.07.74 1r3 Athínai 16.06.1999
33 9.79 -0.2 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1 Saint-Denis 17.07.2009
33 9.79 +0.1 Tyson Gay USA 09.08.82 1 Bruxelles 27.08.2010
33 9.79 +1.1 Tyson Gay USA 09.08.82 1h1 Clermont 04.06.2011
33 9.79 +0.6 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1 Oslo 07.06.2012
33 9.79 +1.5 Justin Gatlin USA 10.02.82 3 London 05.08.2012
39 9.80 +0.2 Maurice Greene USA 23.07.74 1 Sevilla 22.08.1999
39 9.80 +1.3 Steve Mullings JAM 29.11.82 1 Eugene 04.06.2011
39 9.80 +1.8 Justin Gatlin USA 10.02.82 1 Eugene 24.06.2012
39 9.80 +0.6 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1 Bruxelles 06.09.2013
39 9.80 +0.1 Justin Gatlin USA 10.02.82 1rA Lausanne 03.07.2014
44 9.81 ±0.0 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1rA Zürich 28.08.2009
44 9.81 +1.3 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1 Saint-Denis 04.07.2015
46 9.82 -0.2 Maurice Greene USA 23.07.74 1 Edmonton 05.08.2001
46 9.82 ±0.0 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1rA Monaco 29.07.2008
46 9.82 +1.4 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1 Rieti 07.09.2008
46 9.82 +1.4 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1 Szczecin 15.09.2009
46 9.82 +0.6 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1 Roma 10.06.2010
46 9.82 +0.5 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1rA Lausanne 08.07.2010
46 9.82 ±0.0 Yohan Blake JAM 26.12.89 1r3 Zürich 08.09.2011
46 9.82 +0.1 Yohan Blake JAM 26.12.89 1 Berlin 11.09.2011
46 9.82 +1.8 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1rA Kingston 05.05.2012
46 9.82 +0.7 Justin Gatlin USA 10.02.82 1s1 London 05.08.2012
46 9.82 +1.7 Richard Thompson TTO 07.06.85 1r A Port of Spain 21.06.2014
46 9.82 -0.1 Justin Gatlin USA 10.02.82 1rA Linz 14.07.2014
58 9.83 -0.3 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1 Stuttgart 22.09.2007
58 9.83 -0.5 Usain Bolt JAM 21.08.86 1rA Zürich 29.08.2008
58 9.83 -1.3 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 2 Bruxelles 05.09.2008
58 9.83 -0.5 Asafa Powell JAM 23.11.82 1 Ostrava 27.05.2010
58 9.83 +0.7 Justin Gatlin USA 10.02.82 1r2 Rieti 07.09.2014

Golly gosh.

All cheats.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:41 pm

For my last post before going to bed, do you think Michael Johnson was a cheat?

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:57 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:For my last post before going to bed, do you think Michael Johnson was a cheat?
I'd love to think not, because he was my favourite athlete of that era bar none. And all the signs say "no"; not only did he have a strikingly different physique to his rivals, he also ran in a very idiosyncratic way. But I couldn't say for sure. Everything in that era was murky. He was sponsored by Nike if I recall and Nike did more for drugs cheating than anyone.

Dunno. I'm saying 50:50 and that's only because I like the guy.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Ian Volante » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:08 am

JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:For my last post before going to bed, do you think Michael Johnson was a cheat?
I'd love to think not, because he was my favourite athlete of that era bar none. And all the signs say "no"; not only did he have a strikingly different physique to his rivals, he also ran in a very idiosyncratic way. But I couldn't say for sure. Everything in that era was murky. He was sponsored by Nike if I recall and Nike did more for drugs cheating than anyone.

Dunno. I'm saying 50:50 and that's only because I like the guy.
Anyone running like a chicken is okay in my book.
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Steven M. McCann » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:20 pm

Never mind Michael Johnson, what about Dame Kelly Holmes? throughout her career she was always the bridesmaid never the bride, then amazingly at the ripe old age of 34, became the oldest 800 metres Olympic Champion and the oldest 1,500 metres Olympic Champion at the same Olympics!, defying ante-post odds of around 100/1 for the double!
The self harming afterwards, guilt maybe? at choosing a path she didn't really want to go down, but felt she had to, as this really was her last throw of the dice, who knows?

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Jon O'Neill » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:27 pm

Steven M. McCann wrote:Never mind Michael Johnson, what about Dame Kelly Holmes? throughout her career she was always the bridesmaid never the bride, then amazingly at the ripe old age of 34, became the oldest 800 metres Olympic Champion and the oldest 1,500 metres Olympic Champion at the same Olympics!, defying ante-post odds of around 100/1 for the double!
The self harming afterwards, guilt maybe? at choosing a path she didn't really want to go down, but felt she had to, as this really was her last throw of the dice, who knows?
You can always rely on this guy to pop up in a good discussion and ruin the day with some retarded bullshit.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Jon Corby » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:28 pm

Basically, "anyone who suddenly got good must be cheating" seems to be the logic.

Well, it's true on apterous, so why not?

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:18 pm

Steven M. McCann wrote:Never mind Michael Johnson, what about Dame Kelly Holmes? throughout her career she was always the bridesmaid never the bride, then amazingly at the ripe old age of 34, became the oldest 800 metres Olympic Champion and the oldest 1,500 metres Olympic Champion at the same Olympics!, defying ante-post odds of around 100/1 for the double!
The self harming afterwards, guilt maybe? at choosing a path she didn't really want to go down, but felt she had to, as this really was her last throw of the dice, who knows?
It was unexpected for her to win both but it was generally expected that she'd win at least one (and it was almost inconceivable that she would fail to make both finals at the very least). Also, the times she posted to win the events weren't spectacular and weren't dramatic improvements over her previous performances, they were slight improvements. Also, these were the first major championships for ages that she'd gone into fully fit and with no injury worries. Also - and not to take away from her achievement - Holmes only really had two main rivals for the 1500m (an ascending Ceplak and a descending Mutola) and whilst the 800m was a lot more competitive, nobody dominated pre-Olympics.

Combine that with the realisation that - yes Steven, it probably was her "last throw of the dice" - I don't really see anything unusual here. For a start, 34 is not old for a female middle-distance runner and given all the other mitigating factors, this sounds like if - as you claim - bookies were offering 100/1 on her doing the 800m/1500m double, then it was a rare case of the bookies not doing their homework and getting it spectacularly wrong.

Of course, it might be your memory that is at fault.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Steven M. McCann » Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:33 pm

Nothing wrong with my memory Jim, Dame Kelly Holmes WAS 100/1 for the 800/1,500 double, Bookmakers had taken the view that she was highly unlikely to run in the 800 (but if she did and won it) she would then probably not bother with the 1,500, plus she was 34 and had NEVER won one Major Championship before, never mind two!
Some more "retarded bullshit", the only other two times the women's 800/1,500 Olympic double was landed, the two ladies involved were Tatyana Kazakina who was 24 in 1976 and Svetlana Masterkova who was 28 in 1996.
So 34 year olds doubling up for their first Major Championships at the Olympics, are in fact quite rare.
It's not only foreigners that cheat!, if Kelly had been Russian I'm sure there would have been plenty of innuendo.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Jon O'Neill » Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:50 pm

And what's your expert judgment on their mental health?

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by JimBentley » Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:02 pm

Steven M. McCann wrote:Nothing wrong with my memory Jim, Dame Kelly Holmes WAS 100/1 for the 800/1,500 double
.
Prove it. I don't believe you, and I'm pretty sure that I can dig up my bets from around that time to prove you wrong, being an anal bastard.

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Re: Lance Armstrong and "doping" generally

Post by Steven M. McCann » Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:17 pm

The 100/1 is referred to here......news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympics_2004/athletics/3609442.stm.

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