When does it cross the line?

Jun 16, 2009
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It particular sports, the athletes which compete are allowed to take pain killers and all sorts of other goodies. Ethically, it is not seen wrong but should it be because it does enhance performance by taking away the pain? Similar to supplements.

What are your thoughts on the use of pain killers, supplements, etc.? Discuss.
 
auscyclefan94 said:
It particular sports, the athletes which compete are allowed to take pain killers and all sorts of other goodies. Ethically, it is not seen wrong but should it be because it does enhance performance by taking away the pain? Similar to supplements.

What are your thoughts on the use of pain killers, supplements, etc.? Discuss.
Well, it's a fine line I think. In my opinion things should be legal as long as it wouldn't increase the performance of an normally healthy athlete. Pain killers is a delicate issue since cycling does involve a certain amout of pain. taking stimulants to combat that pain in order to push the body harder is of course out of the question but taking a normal pain killer to treat the pain of an injury etc could be ok if that's all that it does.

Things like asthma medicines are right at that edge. They help the athlete by opening the airways to allow enough air into the lungs, something that a healthy person doesn't have any problems with. Studies show that there is no additional advantage beyond that so some argue that they shouldn't be on the banned list at all and it's very possible that they will be removed from the list within a few years.
 
Jun 25, 2009
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I'm very intrigued by this issue.

A sportsperson has a painkilling injection that enables them to play and commentators treat them like a hero overcoming adversity.

Say the injection enables them to run and step with a spained ankle and perform to a level not possible without the injection.

Is that performance enhancing?

I think it is.

But if you ban that where do you stop? No paracetamol??
 
auscyclefan94 said:
It particular sports, the athletes which compete are allowed to take pain killers and all sorts of other goodies. Ethically, it is not seen wrong but should it be because it does enhance performance by taking away the pain? Similar to supplements.

What are your thoughts on the use of pain killers, supplements, etc.? Discuss.
About 100 years ago, back around the days of the Dinosaurs, and before Lance or Floyd or even LeMond, the answer was the same as it is today.

The rules are the rules.

No false starts, no interfering with the competitors or putting them in danger (but blood in the pool - 1956 Melbourne - is ok), no mechanical devices, no extra weights in the bobsled (1972 Sapporo), no ex-husband attacking your competitor ('Kardigan'), no fairings on your bicycle, no PEDs.

Before the era of modern drug testing athletes competing at events like the Olympics and Pan Am Games were given a banned substance list. If you were found to have one of those substances in your system, you could be disqualified.

Then, as now, you, the athlete, are responsible for what is in your body.

If you must use pharmaceuticals to compete those pharmaceuticals cannot be performance enhancing.

If the only alternative for you, the athlete, is to use a pharmaceutical which is performance enhancing then you cannot and should not compete.

That may seem harsh, but these are the rules.

Another way to look at it is that if you are in such duress that you require these types of treatment, then you are probably in too much duress to compete.

In 1979 one of our teammates severely sprained his ankle fooling around in the athlete's village. The choice was simple - compete without meds or take the meds and not compete. We wanted the teammate to compete and it was both a team and personal decision to compete with them - without the meds.

Even though this was before the dawn of modern, widespread testing, a control officer appeared immediately after the medal event with targetted testing. The tests were fine.

Dave.
 
auscyclefan94 said:
It particular sports, the athletes which compete are allowed to take pain killers and all sorts of other goodies. Ethically, it is not seen wrong but should it be because it does enhance performance by taking away the pain? Similar to supplements.

What are your thoughts on the use of pain killers, supplements, etc.? Discuss.
The quote trotted out by AFL people I know is 'pain killers only allow players to play to their ability, whereas PED's allow them to play above their ability'.
 
Nov 11, 2010
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I don't know if this will fall under the category, but it seems as if doping in cycling is almost like killing a man compared to other sports. Why is that?
 
Drug use is never really a conscious decision. I remember when I was riding at a high level in the junior ranks. We were at a mini-stage race in Adelaide and some guy read that baking soda can offer substantial gains. So we went out at night looking for baking soda. Next morning we’re all consuming large amounts with our Nutra-Grain. Can’t say it helped but a lot of us spent a lot of time on the roadside leaving the effect of the baking soda on the side of the road and down our legs. We also got into vitamins and amino acids. Someone suggested that if you inject the vitamins you get more of an effect. So we did that. Never ever did we think it was drug use or even thought we were crossing a line. The things I saw later at the AIS shocked me. That’s when I knew it was wrong but most carried on as if it was completely normal. I remember hand written memos used to go out that if there was a “state visit” to the AIS from a politician or something like that the rooms and sports centres were to be kept clean. It would say something along the lines of “ensure dirty clothes, old bandages and used needles should be placed in the appropriate containers and out of sight”. Crazy days. One big step that the UCI is taking today is the “education program”. This is very important. A lot of juniors have no idea what’s accepted drug use and what is not. If a doc gives you an iron shot in the rear how is that any different that an EPO shot?. Its just liquid.
 
Nick777 said:
The quote trotted out by AFL people I know is 'pain killers only allow players to play to their ability, whereas PED's allow them to play above their ability'.
that pretty much sums it up for me. they're crocked to start with, and it's really only letting them "take the field".
That is, of course, they're only consuming a substance that treats the pain only - unlike say sudafed (original) that contains a little more than just paracetemol...
 
thehog said:
... baking soda can offer substantial gains. So we went out at night looking for baking soda. Next morning we’re all consuming large amounts with our Nutra-Grain. Can’t say it helped but a lot of us spent a lot of time on the roadside leaving the effect of the baking soda on the side of the road and down our legs ...
With fond memories I appreciate the spirit of this, but baking soda? I never heard that one before.

Substantial gains on the quality of your cakes, maybe... :p
 
And what about taking pain killers during a time trial? It happens on a wide scale and you cannot tell me it is not performance enhancing, but it is also legal.

That's why I think the whole doping discussion is a bit arbitrary and pathetic.
 
Arnout said:
And what about taking pain killers during a time trial? It happens on a wide scale and you cannot tell me it is not performance enhancing, but it is also legal.

That's why I think the whole doping discussion is a bit arbitrary and pathetic.
Agreed but painkillers 24 x 7! I still keep asprin in my cycling shorts. Always. Tucked under the lip of the elastic band. Always there.

This is why on this board I hate reading: “I don’t like Landis/Vino/Marion Jones et al because they showed no remorse”. Who are these posters kidding? Every professional athlete takes some form of medicine to get them through their sport. You have to. You cannot do it drug free. Sport hurts. Even weekend athletes need medical assistance to get them through. Every athlete from a young age are conditioned that to get themselves through the pain they needed some help. I remember as young as 16 that my legs hurt so much after racing I would have taken anything to stop the pain. The aches were excruciating. Generally I couldn’t walk the next day. Now if I was doing proper stage racing I would need pain killers and lot more than that to get me up the next morning. This is why I love what Vaughters is doing at Garmin/Cervelo. The education program and the no needles policy is very important. Once you cross to a needle there’s no going back. Watching a guy jab himself directly into his thigh muscle without even flinching before bed is hard to watch. I would cry putting needles into myself but you get used to it. Education is the key here so athletes know when they’re crossing the line.

Finally athletes should never show remorse for drug use. Remorse for being caught but not for using. Sending 20 something guys out to do 200+km for 7 days straight over the Swiss Alps is a death sentence. They need help to recover from this excretion. Thank god the UCI reducing the distances in the 90s.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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Sorry Hog..gotta disagree with ya there.
In my entire career both as National Squad and pro rider for almost a decade I never once took painkillers for racing or to recover after.
I had two injections of vitamins in that period and raced seriously from Feb to October most seasons and did Cyclo X for fun in December and Januery.
I did use vitamins..Vit C, Pharmaton Capsuls and Metatone Tonic..but even these werent year round.
All that said my take is that the line is were the substance taken improves performance beyond ones actual leval of fitness and have no issue with the use of pain killers to give relief from every day ailments or injury.
I realy object to the idea that "Every athlete from a young age are conditioned that to get themselves through the pain they needed some help."
This is absalutly NOT true.
 
Darryl Webster said:
Sorry Hog..gotta disagree with ya there.
In my entire career both as National Squad and pro rider for almost a decade I never once took painkillers for racing or to recover after.
I had two injections of vitamins in that period and raced seriously from Feb to October most seasons and did Cyclo X for fun in December and Januery.
I did use vitamins..Vit C, Pharmaton Capsuls and Metatone Tonic..but even these werent year round.
All that said my take is that the line is were the substance taken improves performance beyond ones actual leval of fitness and have no issue with the use of pain killers to give relief from every day ailments or injury.
I realy object to the idea that "Every athlete from a young age are conditioned that to get themselves through the pain they needed some help."
This is absalutly NOT true.
You’re actually agreeing with me. What I was saying you need something. We all took something including yourself. The line was crossed at needles.

So what did you do as recovery after a race? Don't tell me massage and water.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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Ya aint gonna like and probably wont believe it but massage was somthing I only had on Squad duty and during our track championships and I took nothing specificly for recovery.
Im not agreeing with you at all. Your assertion is that every rider needs medical assistance to get them through.
This is not true.
 
Darryl Webster said:
Ya aint gonna like and probably wont believe it but massage was somthing I only had on Squad duty and during our track championships and I took nothing specificly for recovery.
Im not agreeing with you at all. Your assertion is that every rider needs medical assistance to get them through.
This is not true.
You're scaring me now.

So what did you do post race? Read a book?
 
Jun 12, 2010
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thehog said:
You're scaring me now.

So what did you do post race? Read a book?

Why scared ?..I rested..a lot!.

Actualy..I`l confess to on two occasions being given ATP.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adenosine_triphosphate

Legal in limited quantities and not something I ever had a personal supply of.
I might add I felt very uneasy about using it.

Your take that cycling has to always involve ethicly questionable practices baffles me...if you realy believe that why on earth would you follow , participate or encourage any one to ever take part?
A long, long time ago now ( I was about 12 years old) I watched a fella on tv called Magnus Pike explain nutrition and I accepted and believed what he said.
That my performances would have been of a higher leval with drug use I have no doupt but after 23 British Tittles, 51 National medals in total at Schoolboy, Junior and Senior leval..1 junior Worlds Bronze, 1 Commenwealth Games Bronze ( both team persuit) and 8th at the LA Olympics (TTT) and a couple of Pro road wins ( Gp Wales and stage 3 88 Nissan Tour Of Ireland) I can reflect back and be happy I was always clean.
 
Darryl Webster said:
Why scared ?..I rested..a lot!.

Actualy..I`l confess to on two occasions being given ATP.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adenosine_triphosphate

Legal in limited quantities and not something I ever had a personal supply of.
I might add I felt very uneasy about using it.

Your take that cycling has to always involve ethicly questionable practices baffles me...if you realy believe that why on earth would you follow , participate or encourage any one to ever take part?
A long, long time ago now ( I was about 12 years old) I watched a fella on tv called Magnus Pike explain nutrition and I accepted and believed what he said.
That my performances would have been of a higher leval with drug use I have no doupt but after 23 British Tittles, 51 National medals in total at Schoolboy, Junior and Senior leval..1 junior Worlds Bronze, 1 Commenwealth Games Bronze ( both team persuit) and 8th at the LA Olympics (TTT) and a couple of Pro road wins ( Gp Wales and stage 3 88 Nissan Tour Of Ireland) I can reflect back and be happy I was always clean.

Do you remember Colin Sturgess? Basket case now. They drugs they gave him as a junior almost killed him.

So bravo to you. I was not as strong but I was small fry. Never took drugs just what was on offer which was low grade. But I had a hard time with recovery. I would climb walls with pain sometimes. Couldn't sleep. If I had pain killers and cortisone handy I would have injected it straight into my thigh. No doubt about it.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Pain killers are used a lot for the injuries of AFL players. I remember in the 2003 AFL GF that it was found by MCG staff that about 20 syringes in a rubbish bin in the brisbane Lions area. My personal belief is that the pain killers and even simple drugs such as paracetemol should not be taken unless a prescription is required for the particular drug on a day of competition. That would eliminate the performance enhancing issue. Players may whinge about it and it does seem unfair but they would be more certain of a level playing field.

Are pain killers really used much in cycling? I didn't think so. I thought it was more in ball sports were tissue injuries are common
 
Jun 12, 2010
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thehog said:
Do you remember Colin Sturgess? Basket case now. They drugs they gave him as a junior almost killed him.

So bravo to you. I was not as strong but I was small fry. Never took drugs just what was on offer which was low grade. But I had a hard time with recovery. I would climb walls with pain sometimes. Couldn't sleep. If I had pain killers and cortisone handy I would have injected it straight into my thigh. No doubt about it.
Collin is NOT a "basket case" ..he`s on my FB and runs a Wine business.
He has been diagnosed with Bi Polor dissorder and is very frank and honest about this fact.
I knew Collin when he first arrived in Leicester ( my home town) from South Africa as a Junior and proceeded to wipe the floor with every Junior Tittle bar the sprint , all in record breaking performances and all on a bike most of the contenders would have been ashamed off. He got fecked over by sponsors , as many did ( and still do) and struggled with the mental challenge.
He trained at extraordienery high levals of cadance and had very involved parents , Anne and Allen, who , in hindsight he might agree were part of the issues that effected him negativly. When he won the World Pro Persuit it was I that ordered and presented him with a a special celebration cake for his arrival home. I covered many miles on the roads of Leicestershire with Collin and competed against him regulerly in club and open 10 mile TT`s which , incedently, he never beat me in .
Im begining to wonder what you actualy know about cycling and how much is pure conjecture.
Hog, while I agree with many of your posts you realy shouldnt be so insulting.
 
Darryl Webster said:
Collin is NOT a "basket case" ..he`s on my FB and runs a Wine business.
He has been diagnosed with Bi Polor dissorder and is very frank and honest about this fact.
I knew Collin when he first arrived in Leicester ( my home town) from South Africa as a Junior and proceeded to wipe the floor with every Junior Tittle bar the sprint , all in record breaking performances and all on a bike most of the contenders would have been ashamed off. He got fecked over by sponsors , as many did ( and still do) and struggled with the mental challenge.
He trained at extraordienery high levals of cadance and had very involved parents , Anne and Allen, who , in hindsight he might agree were part of the issues that effected him negativly. When he won the World Pro Persuit it was I that ordered and presented him with a a special celebration cake for his arrival home. I covered many miles on the roads of Leicestershire with Collin and competed against him regulerly in club and open 10 mile TT`s which , incedently, he never beat me in .
Im begining to wonder what you actualy know about cycling and how much is pure conjecture.
Hog, while I agree with many of your posts you realy shouldnt be so insulting.

Cool your jets dude. I knew that you knew him from what you wrote about when you rode. He lives in Australia now. The sunlight is good for him. Also don't takes things so literally. When I say basket case I mean that with affection. Cycling took a lot out of him mentally. Many would have fallen by the wayside but he did something about his condition.

Please I have a great deal of respect for you. Don't take everything as a personal attack. Because its not. Also understand each of us have different experiences in cycling. Not everyone is the same. So share my views as I shared yours. You’re a cool bloke and well done to you for your history and results. I was just telling my experience.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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thehog said:
Cool your jets dude. I knew that you knew him from what you wrote about when you rode. He lives in Australia now. The sunlight is good for him. Also don't takes things so literally. When I say basket case I mean that with affection. Cycling took a lot out of him mentally. Many would have fallen by the wayside but he did something about his condition.

Please I have a great deal of respect for you. Don't take everything as a personal attack. Because its not. Also understand each of us have different experiences in cycling. Not everyone is the same. So share my views as I shared yours. You’re a cool bloke and well done to you for your history and results. I was just telling my experience.
Fair enough Hog. Depression is something I have a great deal of experience of having twice arrived at A@E unconcious following failed suicide attempts with prescription drugs.
In my case its reactive depression and hereditry factors. My mother and both sisters suffer a great deal and both one sister and my mother have had stays in physchiatric wards.
My last bout of any real severity was 10 years ago. Since then thanks to applying myself to better understanding and the process of training to counsill I have remained stable and reasonably functional.
Im very open about this because depression effects 1 in 4 people and sadly is often regarded as a taboo subject and source of redicule . This compounds the issue for many.
Perhaps with this understanding you might take a little more care around the subject.
Thank you.
 
Darryl Webster said:
Fair enough Hog. Depression is something I have a great deal of experience of having twice arrived at A@E unconcious following failed suicide attempts with prescription drugs.
In my case its reactive depression and hereditry factors. My mother and both sisters suffer a great deal and both one sister and my mother have had stays in physchiatric wards.
My last bout of any real severity was 10 years ago. Since then thanks to applying myself to better understanding and the process of training to counsill I have remained stable and reasonably functional.
Im very open about this because depression effects 1 in 4 people and sadly is often regarded as a taboo subject and source of redicule . This compounds the issue for many.
Perhaps with this understanding you might take a little more care around the subject.
Thank you.
Peace to you. I wasn’t judging you as a person.

Its the cyclists curse. I think many with depression are attracted to cycling with the long hours out on the road stuck in ones own thoughts - maybe that compunds the condition?

I have a great piece written by Jan Ullrich he wrote a few years ago about this factor. Knowing what we know now I think he was/is suffering depression. I'll dig it out and PM it to you.

From what I read about Pantani he was much the same.

If you ever need to tell more stories then I'm here to listen. I like hearing about people's careers on the bike.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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thehog said:
Peace to you. I wasn’t judging you as a person.

Its the cyclists curse. I think many with depression are attracted to cycling with the long hours out on the road stuck in ones own thoughts - maybe that compunds the condition?

I have a great piece written by Jan Ullrich he wrote a few years ago about this factor. Knowing what we know now I think he was/is suffering depression. I'll dig it out and PM it to you.

From what I read about Pantani he was much the same.

If you ever need to tell more stories then I'm here to listen. I like hearing about people's careers on the bike.
I`ve a bit of a theory re the problem of depression effecting athletes:
The elevated levals of endorphines ( the feel good factor) released during training and racing become very normalised over the course of time and once the career ends these may crash to very low levals.
Many recreational athletes talk about the good feeling they get from exercise and because of the normalising process that effects an elite athlete this seems often absent.
After a 17 year break I now get that "good" feeling and Im able to recognise it. Its just a personal theory without investigation but makes sence with what I understand of peptide release in the Hyperthalmous region of the brain.
Maybe someone with more medical background on the forum might care to add there thoughts?
 
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