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Lance Armstrong/Steroid Use Admittance
Posted: 18 January 2013 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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mckenzievmd - 18 January 2013 11:27 AM

I think you missed my point. If it becomes acceptable for professional athletes to penly take harmful drugs in order to compete more effectively, and it then becomes essentially impossible to be competitive at that level without doing so, this semds a strong message to aspiring young people interested in sports or the possibility of become elite athletes. That message is that if you want to get that level of performance, and the respect and financial rewards that go with it, you have to be willing to do what the big boys do to get there. I think you would see a lot more high-school and college athletes taking these drugs if the sanctions against them at the professional level were lifted because it would be clear that such drug use is accepted and expected for serious competitors.

I also think the comparison of thousands of hours of practice and drug use is a false one. The former is necessary for quality performance in any activity and is generally good for your health if done properly. The later is not necessary and is often injurious.

I agree with Brennan. I really think that’s the main point. Professional athletes are the product of a lifetime of habits and activities that lead up to that point. Just as you don’t suddenly start lifting weights when you become a pro player in the NFL, if there are others in high school or college using performance enhancing drugs then any student who wants to get a college scholarship may have to do the same and any college student who wants to go pro will be similarly forced down that road. Unfortunately school age children are not mature enough or knowledgeable enough to make an intelligent decision about this.

I can’t imagine any way in the world that we could turn a blind eye to professional athletes using these drugs and then expect to have an effective program that would stop kids from using them. Kids aren’t big fans of the “do as I say not as I do” philosophy.

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Posted: 19 January 2013 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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macgyver - 17 January 2013 07:12 AM

One other thing. I don’t believe this is “Bullcrap ethical considerations”. In order for a sporting event to be interesting the players have to be on an even playing field.

IDK, a lot of sports fans will disagree with that.

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Posted: 19 January 2013 12:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Above all, pro sports are a huge business, and athletes are just the stars of the show.

If a particular player can’t perform to the expected level, they’re cut - end of story. The player’s supposed sense of sportsmanship means absolutely nothing to the managers, or to the majority of the fans. Because of this, it’s an open secret in the sports community that PED are tolerated.

The “noble athlete” is a myth.

I do agree that steroids are harmful, and can set a dangerous example to impressionable teens (I knew a few guys in my high school that used them). Any kid who is really set on going into pro sports will learn how the system works and accept it, though.

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Posted: 19 January 2013 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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mid atlantic - 19 January 2013 12:36 AM

Above all, pro sports are a huge business, and athletes are just the stars of the show.

If a particular player can’t perform to the expected level, they’re cut - end of story. The player’s supposed sense of sportsmanship means absolutely nothing to the managers, or to the majority of the fans. Because of this, it’s an open secret in the sports community that PED are tolerated.

The “noble athlete” is a myth.

I do agree that steroids are harmful, and can set a dangerous example to impressionable teens (I knew a few guys in my high school that used them). Any kid who is really set on going into pro sports will learn how the system works and accept it, though.

This is a very cynical approach to the matter. Fans would be perfectly happy watching sports where no one at all used PED’s. If no one was using them they wouldn’t know the difference. The problem comes in when we let our guard down and allow some competitors use them. This then forces the rest to use them as you say in order to compete on that level.

That being said the real problem is still the kids. Even if you accept the logic that a kid who wants to go pro has to accept the fact that PDE’s are a necessary evil ( and I don’t) the vast majority of high school athletes ( probably 99.9% or more) will never go pro and should not ever be pressured to use PDE’s. They are too young to make decisions that may haunt them the rest of their life. They will grossly over estimate their chances of success and underestimate the risks. There is no reason they should have to face a decision they are ill equipped to make. This argument alone is all that is needed to support the continued ban of PDE’s and the aggressive approach to violators.

I have little sympathy for sports fans or the professional athlete who decides to use PDE’s. If disgracing and humiliating a few athletes is the price we have to pay to prevent thousands of young men and women from using PDE’s then it’s a very cheap price to pay for the benefits we get. If sports fans have to suck it up and accept a microscopically lower level of performance from their athletes all the better. Maybe they will turn off the TV and go enhance their own performance by doing a little exercise.

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Posted: 20 January 2013 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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macgyver - 17 January 2013 05:18 PM

I think i see where the problem is here. You need to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a harmless drug. All drugs are biologically active and there is no such thing as a drug that causes no problems in anyone unless its a placebo ( and even those cause side effects).

Most drugs cause side effects in only a small number of people. When you are treating or trying to prevent a potentially harmful condition you can do a risk benefit analysis to determine if a drug is worthwhile using or not. in the case of performance enhancement you are not treating an illness. From a medical standpoint there is no benefit so the risk benefit analysis will always say the drug should not be used even if the risk is small. Its also difficult to get a god risk assessment because the lack of a disease makes it somewhat unethical to do controlled trials on these drugs since the only possible outcomes are either harm or no benefit.

That’s a good point.

Then, it’s impossible to make sports ‘perfectly’ safe. Concussions, broken bones, etc. happen. Even water can be extremely dangerous if used wrongly - I’m not talking about just drowning, but the extreme over-hydration which messes up electrolyte balances. But we don’t consider water to be a threatening performance-enhancing drug despite the small degree of danger in using it improperly.

It’s just a matter of choosing where to draw the ‘acceptable danger’ line. Ironically, many of the performance-enhancing drugs are legal and beneficial when used as prescribed by doctors outside the confines of specific sports. Some steroids, for example.

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Posted: 20 January 2013 01:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 17 January 2013 06:18 PM

Has anyone been following this?

I might if I was inclined to confuse professional athletes for people of importance.

I’m not so inclined.

With the economy the as shaky as it is and the morons in Congress playing games of brinksmanship with the budget, there are vastly more important matters to be concerned with.

Me too.  The story is just another celebrity-centered diversion. 

Almost as bad as when the George w. Bush administration when the House Government Reform Committee took on a detailed investigation of…. steroids in baseball.

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Posted: 20 January 2013 06:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 20 January 2013 10:24 AM

It’s just a matter of choosing where to draw the ‘acceptable danger’ line. Ironically, many of the performance-enhancing drugs are legal and beneficial when used as prescribed by doctors outside the confines of specific sports. Some steroids, for example.

You’re missing the point again. The difference is that we are using these drugs in medicine to treat an actual disease, injury , or illness. We are therefor treating someone who is already not in perfect health and therefor it is possible to justify some level of risk to return them to good health. Athletes are already in good health and the drug is being used simply to improve performance. Under those circumstances there is no justifiable reason to accept any level of risk especially if doing so eventually pressure others to take that risk who otherwise would prefer not to.

Incidentally, the term “Steroids” covers several different classes of drugs. Corticosteroids which are potent anti-inflammatories are often used in medicine to treat any number of medical conditions. They can have significant side effects and have to be used judiciously. This class of drugs is often used in sports to reduce inflammation in an inured tendon or ligament, but here you are treating someone who has an injury so its use is justified

Anabolic steroids are the sort of drugs more often used as PDE’s for their presumed muscle building qualities. These drugs are rarely ever used in medicine unless we are treating someone who has a documented deficiency. If not used properly they can lead to a host of side effects, so again, using these drugs when there is no documented illness is irresponsible.

Other PDE’s are designer drugs developed to circumvent laws and regulations and have no legitimate use in medicine at all.

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Posted: 20 January 2013 10:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Thanks for the feedback, BTW. I need to re-think some thoughts on this matter. smile

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Posted: 22 January 2013 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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I like city cycling myself.  I watch the bicycle races sometimes.  Armstrong has been called sophisticated.  smile  Obviously, the steroids did help him, they work.  LOL he goes to O to be interviewed, that’s a funny one.  Is it humanly-possible to win the Tour seven times in a row, she asked?  He said no!

LeMond is the first American who won the Tour, Americans have not been racing in the one-hundred year old Tour before him, IIUC.  Afterwords, Armstrong survived testicular cancer, then started winning the tour more than anyone in its hundred-year history.  Either an amazing story, or a lie.  The French didn’t like him at all, because they were suspicious of his doping, they’re mad at the Americans because of him.  He sued people who said he was doping, and he passed every test for it, making it hard to accuse him.  When the Tour banned doping the times of the race did slow down, proving that many racers were doping, and also maybe they did give the doping up, but not Armstrong.

The Tour is a difficult one, circulating around France almost one full circle, climbing up and down the French Alps, racing for over twenty days.

Every single rule in every single game is made-up and cherry-pickedNone of them have a good reason behind them, so just play by the rules.  The rules are the game, the game is the rules, all of it is contrived, just play by the rules.

macgyver - 17 January 2013 05:18 PM

You need to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a harmless drug. All drugs are biologically active and there is no such thing as a drug that causes no problems in anyone unless its a placebo ( and even those cause side effects).

Water! It can kill you if it’s the size of a tidal wave.  wink

[ Edited: 22 January 2013 02:51 PM by jump_in_the_pit ]
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Posted: 22 January 2013 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Every single rule in every single game is made-up and cherry-picked.  None of them have a good reason behind them, so just play by the rules.  The rules are the game, the game is the rules, all of it is contrived, just play by the rules.

I really don’t follow your reasoning here Jump. Do you mean every competitive sport or every game? I disagree with the idea that rules were cherry picked and weren’t carefully though out to prevent cheating ( IMO PEDs are cheating) and chaos when gaming. Ever make up a game as a kid and slant the rules to insure you or your side wins? Carefully thought out rules and regulations help to level the field for competitors, making the game more enjoyable for the players and spectators. Rules weren’t cherry picked, they evolved with the sport or game, e.g. chess. It’s the oldest continuously played board game (invented in 650CE) and the rules evolved along with the game. FIDE rules now govern all pro matches and even amateur competitions. We all play by the same internationally standardized rules The same with football. Passing and running rules evolved from the original game played in the 1880’s. Basketball too. The rules enhance the game; they aren’t the game. Doping is outside of the rules and is therefore cheating. When we are watching human competition we aren’t watching a horse race, which is not to infer it’s ok to use drugs on animals, but human competition where the athletes have trained their brains and bodies to peak performance, without outside assistance. Besides, we have enough internal enhancements to help our performance, like endorphins. Doping tips the balance in favor of the cheater; and nobody likes a cheater, even in nature.

 

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