Are Kenyan runners doped?

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Mar 20, 2009
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ChrisE,

Read "Born to Run". Amongst the emotional nonsense, there's a quite interesting section on how our ancestors in East Africa hunted, and what adaptations in us (ability to dissipate heat etc) give us an edge. In short, we seem to have some design features which enable us to run down gazelles.

The echoes of that are still with us now. Two examples : the unpleasant feelings we get when low on fuel and the ability to push harder when in a group (or inability to push hard when alone) are both safety mechanisms. The consequences of being alone in the Masai and low on carbohydrate could be your genes don't get passed on.

It isn't about running AWAY from predators. If that were the driver, it would be size and speed over 100m which counts. Remember the old joke - if we're on the plains and we disturb a pride of lions, I don't have to outrun the lions ....

These points by the way do not apply exclusively to people living in East Africa NOW, we are all very recent descendants in physiological terms, so not enormously relevant to this thread, but relevant to ChrisE's enquiry.
 

mastersracer

BANNED
Jun 8, 2010
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the idea that human genetic changes occurred mainly before dispersal from Africa is now outdated. There are many examples of rapid genetic changes within the last 10,000 years, including the mutation for blue eyes, lactose tolerance, and many others. Many such changes occur only within local gene pools. It's entirely plausible that Kenyan runners have some genetic difference that makes them particularly good runners, perhaps relating to metabolism.
 
Oct 23, 2010
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Dear Mr. Canova,

So ... Kenyan's do not have access to pharmaceuticals or medical equipment? Hmm ... but you do say you have the internet? Well ... I found the following products available for purchase within 15 seconds via a Google search.

http://www.dhgate.com/free-transport-96pcs-lot-red-blood-transfusion/p-ff8080812b2e44e5012b2f5b3c19699c.html

http://www.dhgate.com/disposable-sterile-syringe-set-luer-slip/r-ff8080812cf9f14f012d01e40ed90a00.html

I gather you are not running your computer on a generator or batteries, so am I correct in assuming that you have access to electricity? You must serve up a cold drink to your guests now and then? Right then ... you must have a refrigerator!

Thanks to Dr. Karl Landsteiner we have known the benefits of certain practices since the early 1900's. If one needs to be educated on the subject they merely once again have to run a Google search in order to find guidance on the correct procedure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_3Kpy_aATE&feature=related

I must say that it a rather small investment for such a big return!

You argue that there is no benefit to blood doping. Next you will argue that there is also no benefit to altitude training!!!

Assoluta assurdità!
 
May 9, 2009
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I don't think you guys understand his argument. The language barrier makes it hard to always understand him, but I think his basic position is that the very elite East African athlete, as well as some other athletes from around the world, are genetically such that they can gain the same benefits to their blood through normal altitude training that would be gained from EPO. If they were to take EPO in addition, it would actually be detrimental to their performance.

He's absolutely not saying that EPO doesn't work. It clearly does for lots of athletes who probably otherwise wouldn't rise to elite level. But he is saying that there exists individuals for whom altitude is so effective that they naturally rise to a performance level that surpasses doping.
 
Oct 23, 2010
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stephens said:
I don't think you guys understand his argument. The language barrier makes it hard to always understand him, but I think his basic position is that the very elite East African athlete, as well as some other athletes from around the world, are genetically such that they can gain the same benefits to their blood through normal altitude training that would be gained from EPO. If they were to take EPO in addition, it would actually be detrimental to their performance.

He's absolutely not saying that EPO doesn't work. It clearly does for lots of athletes who probably otherwise wouldn't rise to elite level. But he is saying that there exists individuals for whom altitude is so effective that they naturally rise to a performance level that surpasses doping.
So ... the genetic freaks don't benefit, but the average hard working grinder does? I would say it makes for a level playing field then. May the best man/woman win. :eek:
 
stephens said:
I don't think you guys understand his argument. The language barrier makes it hard to always understand him, but I think his basic position is that the very elite East African athlete, as well as some other athletes from around the world, are genetically such that they can gain the same benefits to their blood through normal altitude training that would be gained from EPO. If they were to take EPO in addition, it would actually be detrimental to their performance.

He's absolutely not saying that EPO doesn't work. It clearly does for lots of athletes who probably otherwise wouldn't rise to elite level. But he is saying that there exists individuals for whom altitude is so effective that they naturally rise to a performance level that surpasses doping.
You may know better, but I thought he was arguing that the 'born at high altitude' athlete (what zodiac sign is that?) had an extra liter of blood.

Is there any other way to get an extra liter, than being born on a mountain top?

Dave.
 
Dec 30, 2010
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happychappy said:
Everyone's doped. Even your mother.
lol yoo funny , ya i need a pot of coffee just to have a bowel movement in the morning before i can even function . Whats up with that eh . Under olympic guidelines i am doped . Every parent at the hockey rink is doped up on their 10th daily cup of Timmies just to get them through the day, to finally watch their kids play .
lol . Not to mention all the * keep me calm pills , the boss is comming around again * If it werent for drugs half the western world wouldnt even make it in to work on Monday . :cool:
 
Dec 30, 2010
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ChrisE said:
OK, I would like to get back to this interesting topic. Let's try not to let the vitriol from the Lemond thread spill over into this....

I think we can all agree that the Kenyan runners are better. There has been a post about how efficient they run, and spirited debate on whether they need EPO.

What I would like to know is why this is.

I still think my hypothesis of them running from wild animals at altitude throughout life is training that cannot be equalled by competitors from other countries.

It would be interesting if there were cheetahs, etc. cruising around Denver, for example, terrorizing the locals. Then we would have a reference point to test this theory of mine.

Does anybody have any basic reasons on why they are the best? Discussing results is getting us nowhere....we might as well point out the sun rises in the east over and over again.
I believe it comes down to the body mechanics of the people . There is an advantage to the actual build , bone structure , leg length to body ratio .
Long legs , short body and a sustainable stride over many kilometers .
If they are clean and the world is clean there is yet no comparison , except from someone of the same body type . If they are doped then they can only compete against themselves as no one has an outside chance of staying with them . If the race is through desert conditions then absolutely no chance of anyone to be up there with the leaders . WE would all have to live without air conditioning in the southern states to put that type of heat into perspective . Good luck .
 
Dec 30, 2010
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stephens said:
I think you are misunderstanding evolution. The animal attacks do not cause genetic adaptation. But those individuals who happened to have been fast enough to escape animal attacks stayed alive and reproduced, whereas the poor runners died. Eventually, generations later, the population consists of more and more good runners and fewer and fewer bad runners because the good runners have been more likely to survive and reproduce and pass along their good runner genes.
This is a very good point . It seems when you look at it in a nut shell , the black man has adapted himself to running through generations of the last thousand or more maybe 2thousand years and maybe even beyond that .
The very fact that the black man has been running away from everything and is still running away from every kindof of predator goes without saying .
If you go back several hundred years or so , when the white man decided to take slaves , the black man continued to run . If you look at the present , the black man still runs away for none other than he is a black man at the wrong place at the wrong time .
Put it all together and you have a race of people that has never stopped running .
What used to be longer runs in the plains became the shorter run away from police and thus the sprinter is born . The plains of Africa where the genetics was true , the life was hard and everything was done by hand and water fetched by hand and long long distances etc etc .

If you just relate to the small difference of an amateur cyclist that really does have to work , to a semi pro or pro or carded olympic athelte that doesnt have to show up to punch a time clock in the morning , the difference is immediate in the first year of making the switch . The gains are astounding .
If you translate that to years of persecution by both predator and human predator then the result is even more astounding . Yes , if you live you can reproduce because you were fast , if you die , chance is zero . Eventually only one body type made it in the desert conditions .
The body has to do everything that a modern day athlete has to do , with one exception , it has to do it without water or very little water .
No little bottles of gatorade at the corner cheetah hut there .
The reason that this is a plausible explanation is because it has been going on for thousands of years and not just since the modern day era of olympic training .
The oldest civilization has been running for a long time . Their body is designed for it . :cool:
 
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