Originally posted by ANoNyMiKE
I was interested in giving qualifications a shot in 2004 for powerlifting but would've failed the test at the time.
I would think swimming would be a fairly clean sport, anabolic steroids would be a disadvantage, reducing stamina, increasing heart rate and causing
agonizing blood flow to muscles during any kind of endurance work.
I didn't quote your whole post because a lot of what you said was a matter of opinion and quite arguable for or
against. However, I think
it's necessary to clarify two points. The first affects your credibility, because "powerlifting" was not an Olympic discipline in the 2004 Summer
Olympics. Weightlifting was (and is), but it is quite another discipline and as I'd expect you know, operates under different rules from
powerlifting, which even employs some different apparatus. Personally I'd like to see powerlifting included in the Olympic program, but the point is,
if you were interested in giving qualification a shot for 2004 then you must have known that the sport you mentioned had no qualification events
because it wasn't on the Olympic program...
Here is a list of all sports that were included in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.
Powerlifting is not there. In fact, if you consult this list of all Summer Olympic
, you'll see that powerlifting has never
been part of the Olympic program, so it's just as well you didn't try to qualify!
Now on to what you said about steroids and swimming. I am surprised that you are unaware of the controversy that has raged for years about the use of
anabolic steroids to enhance performance in competitive sports. Simply put, some of the performances a few decades ago -- and which I well remember --
were so extraordinary that steroid use was strongly suspected even at the time. The East German women's swimming team was a prime example. Some of
these women had upper-body muscular development that would make Michael Phelps look like a weakling, and they could not have achieved such results
without some kind of -- ummm -- "help".
Fortunately the truth finally came out. Former coaches of the East German athletes issued a signed statement that many of their charges were using
anabolic steroids. You can read about it in this New
York Times article
. Of course, it was not only the East Germans who were using such methods. Just do a search of "Soviet athletes" with
"steroids" and throw in "Olympics" if you wish, and you will find quite a few hits. Well, my search on Google returned 146,000 results for those
keywords. If you delete "Soviet" you'll see that steroid use wasn't just confined to the old Soviet Bloc nations.
While there are definitely adverse side effects associated with the misuse of anabolic steroids, there is no question that they have a significant
performance-enhancing effect -- which is one of the reasons why they are banned for competing athletes. I would expect that these days, most athletes
would not want to risk taking them as their presence in the body is readily detectable with modern testing methods; on the other hand (as other
posters have pointed out), there may well be other drugs/performance enhancers out there which could produce above-normal results without causing such
telltale bodily changes as steroids do. There is also the fact the misuse of anabolic steroids can lead to fatal medical conditions. In the old days,
some countries apparently considered athletes as expendable and there are coaches who have said as much. (This is even mentioned in the article
referenced above.) I'd like to think that this attitude has changed for the better to some degree but that may be wishful thinking...
In response to the OP's statement, I have my doubts that Michael Phelps "cheated". Frankly he is just the best until another, even better athlete
comes along... As an Aussie I can recall swimmers of my nation way back to Shane Gould who were also virtually unbeatable in their own time but whose
records have long since been surpassed. Such is the nature of competitive sport. The fact that Phelps won one of his events by a mere 1/100th of a
second and picked up a gold in one of the team relays only due to the enormous efforts of another team member suggests to me that he is clean.
Edited to add a few extra comments.
[edit on 20/8/08 by JustMike]