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Marijuana and other drugs. Do they have a place in sports?

BigMike

BrokenbikeMike
Jul 29, 2003
8,931
0
Montgomery county MD
So, My english 200 paper is on drugs in sports. It was promted because the whole Gary Houseman thing came up when I had to pick my topic.

I am now looking for opinions of people who are acutally a part of racing. I've done plenty of research and read articles by "experts" But I want to hear from and incorporate real people.

If you dont mind sharing your thoughts on drugs in sports, more specifiacally, hould drugs be banned and have a "zero tolerance" type policy for athletes?

My paper started out to be on just MTB, but now it has expanded into sports in general. Any thoughts pro or con would be GREATLY appreciated. If I really like what somone says, I'll PM you to see if it is ok if I quote you in my paper. Thanks a lot!
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
So do you plan on mentioning the Hash House Harriers (sp?)??


Houseman's situation is an odd one because you have two different disciplines within cycling testing for different things.

Opinion-wise, I think clear differentiation needs to be made between "performance enhancing" and just plain drugs.

Houseman may have been in the zone but it had nothing to do with a bong toke the week or night before.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
18,990
9,646
AK
No doubt, there just needs to be an "unlimited class" of racing, where every and any drug is fine. Keep the drugs in their own seperate class. It would only mean more entertainment for us, which is the whole point.
 

Curb Hucker

I am an idiot
Feb 4, 2004
3,661
0
Sleeping in my Kenworth
Originally posted by Jm_
No doubt, there just needs to be an "unlimited class" of racing, where every and any drug is fine. Keep the drugs in their own seperate class. It would only mean more entertainment for us, which is the whole point.

That is one of the best ideas ive ever heard. Lets get one drunk guy, a stoned guy, a guy with more coke than blood in him, a heroin junkie, and a dude trippin on acid and make them race DH for our enjoyment. :D
 

Softy

Monkey
Apr 22, 2003
142
0
Don't call it a come back
Originally posted by Jm_
No doubt, there just needs to be an "unlimited class" of racing, where every and any drug is fine. Keep the drugs in their own seperate class. It would only mean more entertainment for us, which is the whole point.
Right just like the Worlds Strongest Man contest. Full on enhanced humanoid. No testing needed. Did you see the sixhead on that guy.;)
 
Nov 28, 2001
56
0
GWN-ON-TO
in the future, part of what is expected from athletes will be their ability to absorb, assimilate and operate with the best and most effective drugs going.

i for one would love to see pcp as a required ingredient in mountain cross.

it would make watching it a whole new and exciting sport.

defending one drug vs another is just a delaying tactic.

let's legalize marijuana. and pcp. and heroin.

with all the dh guys using cannibis as a mental relaxant, they'll be able to take 45 and 60 foot drops with equanimity and the sport will become amazingly telegenic - it'll kick football off the air.

the bmx and mx guys on pcp will be so aggro and indestructable that those sports will make Rollerball look like a fairy cluster phuck.

heroin should make ultramarathon xc races (all those 24hr races) de riguer for any 'fat tire festival' since no one will be in pain.

okay, all satire aside - anything you take into your body should be available to all your competition. if some of it is illegal, it is no longer available in the same way - only those competitors who are willing to break the law will have the drugs.

Housman is a simplistic example - we can't prove that THC improved his 'mindset' to race and win, nor can we disprove it. but because it was a controlled substance, some of the competitors were 'unable' to use it on those grounds, as opposed to being legal and everyone being able to use it, but choosing not to for personal reasons.

i know the potheads on this board are going to think i'm jabbing them with this, but i'm not. toke it up, i don't care.

i think ALL advantages or disadvantages should be made available to all competitors EVENLY.

so, since a large portion of them will abuse drugs, let's make them all 'drug-free' or 'drug-addled' - so long as it's fairly applied, we'll see the 'best' athletes winning the race.
 

zedro

Turbo Monkey
Sep 14, 2001
4,144
1
at the end of the longest line
Originally posted by Jm_
No doubt, there just needs to be an "unlimited class" of racing, where every and any drug is fine. Keep the drugs in their own seperate class. It would only mean more entertainment for us, which is the whole point.
there should be a special class for crack users though...
 

spookydave

Monkey
Sep 6, 2001
518
0
Orange County, CA
Originally posted by ViolentVolante
That is one of the best ideas ive ever heard. Lets get one drunk guy, a stoned guy, a guy with more coke than blood in him, a heroin junkie, and a dude trippin on acid and make them race DH for our enjoyment. :D
lol, here is how that would go:

Drunk guy, he would miss the first turn and get taken out by a tree.
Stoned guy, he would make it all the way down but would take his time. He might even stop to take a few hits if he see a good spot. Hey, why do you think he races with his camel back. lol
coke guy, he would miss his run because by the time he got to the start gate he would need another "bump"
heroin junkie, to tell you the truth, I don't know much about this drug so I have no idea what he would do. Would ge one to watch for sure.
Acid guy, this guy starts peeking right about the time he hears the beep beep beep at the start gate. he gets a little freaky about it. He rides the most distance as he goes off course and rides and rides and rides. Hey, he might still be out there someplace. Friends say his is still MIA.


ok, with that said I say drugs have no place in pro sports.
 

Pip3r

Turbo Monkey
Nov 20, 2001
1,112
0
Foxboro MA
"The only way marijuana is a sports enhancing drug is if theres a big ****ing hershey bar at the end of the run"-Robin Williams:p
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
22,099
1,144
NC
Drugs have no "place" in sports.

Whether or not they should be tested for, and cause subsequent bannings, is another issue.

But you should really poke around in the political forum. This will get moved there pretty soon, I'd imagine.
 

SuspectDevice

Turbo Monkey
Aug 23, 2002
4,165
371
Roanoke, VA
With both the Manzano and Cofidis scandals going on simultaneously, why even bother with Houseman?

In the grand scheme of perfromance enhancing drug use even mentioning mtb DH isn't worthwhile. There are cat 3's and masters road racers on epo, and I personally know 2 0r the amateur road racers who pop amphatamines pre-race. Why not examine road racing or track and field, where doping, not dope, is the issue. It would be far more compelling.
 

llkoolkeg

Ranger LL
Sep 5, 2001
4,329
5
in da shed, mon, in da shed
This has been a very amusing thread. I can't say that I really disagree with any of the serious points taken here. I guess the thing that bugs me most about the Houseman situation is that DHers are tested for weed and XCers are not. I HATE inconsistency and double-standards. Another irksome issue is that because of nothing other than the manner in which one substance is metabolized by the body over another, one guy can get busted for toking a spliff at a party 3 weeks before an event while another guy doping his blood or taking true performance-enhancing drugs the day before can slip through without detection. Unfortunately, not all drugs are detectable by the same test and it would certainly be ridiculous to force competitors to submit to urinalysis, gas chromatography(i.e. hair follicle) and blood testing after each event...to say nothing of the varying thresholds of acceptability for each different substance with the respective tests.

This whole debate reminds me of how the NBA Players Association fought so hard in an attempt to keep THC off the banned substances list, while the NFL and MLB treated THC like heroin...but now Bond's home run record has been tainted with steroid use allegations because MLB was too concerned with who was toking and not concerned enough with who was bulking. I guess the difference is that MLB profited greatly from the increased ratings made possible by Bonds' chase of the home run record(and were willing to look the other way regarding performance-enhancing drugs), but players getting high is viewed as a potential threat to viewership. What matters most is not what is anti-competitive, fair or right, but what results the drug use is perceived to have on cash flow.
 

Sideways

Monkey
Jun 8, 2002
375
2
Asheville, North Carolina
Pot has always been a intertwined with MTB culture.

The fact that it's frowned on by a race organization doesn't matter one bit.
Organized racing doesn't reflect real biking culture in the first place!
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
22,099
1,144
NC
Originally posted by Sideways
Pot has always been a intertwined with MTB culture.

The fact that it's frowned on by a race organization doesn't matter one bit.
Organized racing doesn't reflect real biking culture in the first place!
Dude, open your eyes.

Is "real biking culture" something you have rigidly defined in your mind? Racing events don't count?

Why? Because you don't compete - is that why it doesn't count?

It does matter, because while you may not race, lots of others do and it certainly is an integral part of "real biking culture". If it didn't matter, the question would not have been asked.

Do you have something useful to contribute? :rolleyes:
 

Mitch

Monkey
Dec 4, 2003
156
0
PEI, Canada
Originally posted by ViolentVolante
That is one of the best ideas ive ever heard. Lets get one drunk guy, a stoned guy, a guy with more coke than blood in him, a heroin junkie, and a dude trippin on acid and make them race DH for our enjoyment. :D
Can I be the drunk guy?
 

Threepointtwo

Monkey
Jun 21, 2002
632
0
SLC, UT
Originally posted by Just Lookin'...

okay, all satire aside - anything you take into your body should be available to all your competition. if some of it is illegal, it is no longer available in the same way - only those competitors who are willing to break the law will have the drugs.

Housman is a simplistic example - we can't prove that THC improved his 'mindset' to race and win, nor can we disprove it. but because it was a controlled substance, some of the competitors were 'unable' to use it on those grounds, as opposed to being legal and everyone being able to use it, but choosing not to for personal reasons.

i think ALL advantages or disadvantages should be made available to all competitors EVENLY.

Wow, that is the best argument I have heard on the subject.

The fine that was handed to Housman seems pretty severe and that can be argued but the fact that he knew the rules and chose to break them cannot.
 

BigMike

BrokenbikeMike
Jul 29, 2003
8,931
0
Montgomery county MD
Originally posted by binary visions
Drugs have no "place" in sports.

Whether or not they should be tested for, and cause subsequent bannings, is another issue.

But you should really poke around in the political forum. This will get moved there pretty soon, I'd imagine.
I do poke around in the political forum, and I thought about posting this there. But, I feel it belongs here, because I want the opinions of actual racers. I also put this in the XC/Cyclocross forum.


I thought I might actually get some help from racers on this subject....... and I have gotten SOME. Most of the other stuff though is.... well, common RM:)



The reason I did not put this in the political forum is that it directly ties to racing. I guess if the mods think it belongs there, it will go there, I have no choice over that. I just thought it would go better here.
 

tmx

aka chromegoddess
Mar 16, 2003
1,683
2
Portland
Originally posted by Threepointtwo
Wow, that is the best argument I have heard on the subject.

The fine that was handed to Housman seems pretty severe and that can be argued but the fact that he knew the rules and chose to break them cannot.
agreed.
 

Kornphlake

Turbo Monkey
Oct 8, 2002
2,632
1
Portland, OR
While I am morally opposed to use of any illegal substances as well as certain legal substances in the end I don't think that marijuana really affects anybody for the better. If I lost a race to a guy I knew was stoned, well I'd just figure he was a better rider than I am because even stoned he beat me.

Doesn't big bear have a drug task force, what about monterry, and durango? If it's known that certain riders are using mary jane the real cops should be the ones to make a bust, not some race official. If the officials are so concerned then an annonymous tip before the race could get a racer put in jail the day of the race.

So is it a problmem? Yes. Should IMBA and NORBA control it? No, let the real cops do that. Let our taxes pay for drug tests not our race entry fees.
 

SuspectDevice

Turbo Monkey
Aug 23, 2002
4,165
371
Roanoke, VA
Originally posted by Kornphlake
While I am morally opposed to use of any illegal substances as well as certain legal substances in the end I don't think that marijuana really affects anybody for the better. If I lost a race to a guy I knew was stoned, well I'd just figure he was a better rider than I am because even stoned he beat me.

Doesn't big bear have a drug task force, what about monterry, and durango? If it's known that certain riders are using mary jane the real cops should be the ones to make a bust, not some race official. If the officials are so concerned then an annonymous tip before the race could get a racer put in jail the day of the race.

So is it a problmem? Yes. Should IMBA and NORBA control it? No, let the real cops do that. Let our taxes pay for drug tests not our race entry fees.
Jeezus christ, I had no idea we had fascists on board!
 
Nov 28, 2001
56
0
GWN-ON-TO
that wasn't a facist statement.

you need to fine tune your rhetoric.

Houseman was treated unfairly because:

a) xc racers are not tested but dh'rs are and
b) it is not the responsability of the 'governing body' to prosecute lawbreakers. that is the responsability of law enforcement.

ignoring my argument of 'fairness for all, evenly applied', another argument is this:

a drug MUST be labeled as 'performance enhancing' for a non-law-enforcement agency to prosecute.

if the boneheads at NORBA had specifically called out that in their opinion THC was a performance enhancing drug [PED] and was therefore banned accordingly, then i wouldn't have the same issue with it.

it would be up to other people to prove or disprove the argument, but that's a separate issue.

to penalize someone for racing while having any trace elements of a 'controlled substance' is asinine.

I know guys who can't make it through a race without doing a couple of bong hits. I also see them on podiums occasionally. does it enhance their racing? they think so. does it actually make them better racers? no proof, one way or another.

I would love to see a race where the 'playing field' is level - i've never seen it.

since THC can't currently be proven to enhance racing skills or abilities, Houseman should not have been stripped of results, fined or otherwise censured by NORBA.

he should have been slapped with a misdemeanor count of being under the influence of a controlled substance.

now, ephedra, caffeine and nicotine are all legal drugs, (although ephedra is no longer so in Cali) and all can be proved to enhance physical activity.

these are the sorts of drugs that NORBA should be watching out for.

but they're stupid, so i don't expect much from them.
 

SuspectDevice

Turbo Monkey
Aug 23, 2002
4,165
371
Roanoke, VA
Originally posted by Just Lookin'...
that wasn't a facist statement.

you need to fine tune your rhetoric.

now, ephedra, caffeine and nicotine are all legal drugs, (although ephedra is no longer so in Cali) and all can be proved to enhance physical activity.

these are the sorts of drugs that NORBA should be watching out for.

but they're stupid, so i don't expect much from them.
Anytime i hear a pro-government, pro-regulation, anti-liberty choice i don't know what to call it besides facism...

Norba, the Canadian cycling federation, nor the UCI are responsible for drug testing in cycling. It is an idependent organisation called WADA, world anti-doping association. There is an american branch of WADA, USADA, that handled Houseman's case. He had the further recourse of the appealing to the CAS in the Hauge is he wanted it, but he chose to accept the penalty levied on him by USADA.

IF you would actually examine the USADA, UCI, IOC or WADA banned lists you might have something of some use to say about what is and is not banned, and at what levels these things are banned... Ephedra has been a banned substance as per the IOC for close to 5 years now, and a few weeks ago the Bush Adminstration, in their infinite stupidity declared it illegal altogether. Caffeine levels above 10mcg/ml were considered illlegal for a while, but caffeine has been delisted as levels as low as 2 mcg/ml have been proven to have an ergogenic effect.
I'd like you to show me a study that shows nicotine to be ergogenic.

THC metabolites are banned for dhers for purely repugnant political reasons, and this makes me mad.
WADA and USADA enforcement budgets could be much better alotted than they are now, such as in extensive out of competition drug testing for professional atheletes, and even more importantly an agressive sport science progam that stays ahead of the curve......
 

Kornphlake

Turbo Monkey
Oct 8, 2002
2,632
1
Portland, OR
Originally posted by SuspectDevice
WADA and USADA enforcement budgets could be much better alotted than they are now, such as in extensive out of competition drug testing for professional atheletes, and even more importantly an agressive sport science progam that stays ahead of the curve......
That was precisely my point, I think local government drug enforcement agencies need to be handed the responsibility for this one rather they do the job well or not. If the cops were to patrol the pits and confiscate pipes and bongs that may convince norba and uci that the situation is under controll and they wouldn't feel compelled to have atheletes tested, most likely one single bust during a race would make the officials feel like the situation is under controll.

Let race promoters worry about the races and drug enforcement officials worry about drug enforcement. You wouldn't expect the local sherrif to dig jumps while in uniform now would you?
 

SuspectDevice

Turbo Monkey
Aug 23, 2002
4,165
371
Roanoke, VA
Originally posted by Kornphlake
That was precisely my point, I think local government drug enforcement agencies need to be handed the responsibility for this one rather they do the job well or not. If the cops were to patrol the pits and confiscate pipes and bongs that may convince norba and uci that the situation is under controll and they wouldn't feel compelled to have atheletes tested, most likely one single bust during a race would make the officials feel like the situation is under controll.

Let race promoters worry about the races and drug enforcement officials worry about drug enforcement. You wouldn't expect the local sherrif to dig jumps while in uniform now would you?
\
MY point is that there is no reason to be prosecuting and incarcerating people for non-violent "crimes" that hurt no-one, that is just plain wrong!
 

Kornphlake

Turbo Monkey
Oct 8, 2002
2,632
1
Portland, OR
Originally posted by SuspectDevice
\
MY point is that there is no reason to be prosecuting and incarcerating people for non-violent "crimes" that hurt no-one, that is just plain wrong!
Oh

That's a conversation aside from who should enforce drug tests and what the consequences should be. Personally I don't think there would be any point in arguing that one since nobody will win.
 

fonseca

Monkey
May 2, 2002
292
0
Virginia
Originally posted by Pip3r
"The only way marijuana is a sports enhancing drug is if theres a big ****ing hershey bar at the end of the run"-Robin Williams:p
That's an amusing quote but not exactly true. While it may not officially be considered a performance enhancing drug, Marijuana does cause opening of the lung's passageways (unlike tobacco which constricts them, which is why MJ is beneficial for asthmatics), and could provide an unfair advantage.

There should be a uniform policy. Cheaters will always be one step ahead, but for professional athletes I think anti-doping should be strictly enforced. Otherwise everyone will need to dope to stay competitive, and many racers don't have the budget for that.
 

spookydave

Monkey
Sep 6, 2001
518
0
Orange County, CA
Originally posted by fonseca
That's an amusing quote but not exactly true. While it may not officially be considered a performance enhancing drug, Marijuana does cause opening of the lung's passageways (unlike tobacco which constricts them, which is why MJ is beneficial for asthmatics), and could provide an unfair advantage.

:rolleyes: Then why was I always out of breath and hacking all the time when I smoked alot of pot?
 

fonseca

Monkey
May 2, 2002
292
0
Virginia
Originally posted by spookydave
:rolleyes: Then why was I always out of breath and hacking all the time when I smoked alot of pot?
Because you were either a couch-bound fatty, burning it, abusing it, or a combination of the above.
 
Nov 28, 2001
56
0
GWN-ON-TO
Originally posted by SuspectDevice
Anytime i hear a pro-government, pro-regulation, anti-liberty choice i don't know what to call it besides facism...

Norba, the Canadian cycling federation, nor the UCI are responsible for drug testing in cycling. It is an idependent organisation called WADA, world anti-doping association. There is an american branch of WADA, USADA, that handled Houseman's case. He had the further recourse of the appealing to the CAS in the Hauge is he wanted it, but he chose to accept the penalty levied on him by USADA.

IF you would actually examine the USADA, UCI, IOC or WADA banned lists you might have something of some use to say about what is and is not banned, and at what levels these things are banned... Ephedra has been a banned substance as per the IOC for close to 5 years now, and a few weeks ago the Bush Adminstration, in their infinite stupidity declared it illegal altogether. Caffeine levels above 10mcg/ml were considered illlegal for a while, but caffeine has been delisted as levels as low as 2 mcg/ml have been proven to have an ergogenic effect.
I'd like you to show me a study that shows nicotine to be ergogenic.

THC metabolites are banned for dhers for purely repugnant political reasons, and this makes me mad.
WADA and USADA enforcement budgets could be much better alotted than they are now, such as in extensive out of competition drug testing for professional atheletes, and even more importantly an agressive sport science progam that stays ahead of the curve......
admittedly, much of what i write is hyperbole - but two points missed their mark.

i'll accept the entire issue of drug users being unfairly prosecuted as true. i don't know anyone who has caused harm to others via the use of THC - not saying it's impossible, just that i have not been with anyone who became a 'mean stoner'. on the other hand - i know people who've caused enormous damage via alcohol abuse.

let's walk away from there for a moment.

nicotine is, admittedly, not an ergogenic substance. it's principally psycho-tropic, but it can be demonstrated that users of nicotine show increases in mental activity and concentration when they've taken a hit.

downhilling does require mental acuity. so it could be argued that nicotine can improve performance.

i am not arguing that stuff should or should not be either legal or illegal, nor banned or not banned.

also, the USADA that handled the details of gary's case were sanctioned and directed by either the uci or norba. can we just say they're all in cahoots?

as to the 'facist' statement previously made - i got a different riff off of it than you did: i read into it that THC was banned for legal reasons and not performance reasons. Thus winning a race while bagged should result in winning and getting, at worst, a misdemeanor rap. if even that.

hey. i'm typing with a permanently damaged pinky and a migraine. i apologize for sounding like a nitwit.
 

Jeremy R

<b>x</b>
Nov 15, 2001
9,698
1,053
behind you with a snap pop
I have always found it strange to see some of the people that I have ridden with have to stop 4 times in a 2 hour ride to hit the pipe. Its very umm..... crackish.
Like mountain biking is not quite fun enough for them, they have to self medicate out of the trail to make it through a ride.
Parents must not have patted them on the head enough as a child or something.
My favorite is when one of my buddies pulled off the trail after getting sketched out on a tough DH trail. He said he needed the one hitter to calm him down so he could make it down the trail.
Weak.
But I don't care if it is enforced in the least. From a racing standpoint or a legal standpoint. Smoke away. It does not bother me one way or another.
 

OGRipper

back alley ripper
Feb 3, 2004
10,652
1,126
NORCAL is the hizzle
This thread asked if drugs have a place in sports. Strictly speaking the answer is definitely yes. It's clear people smoke pot, drink beer, snort coke, jam needles in their veins, etc. And oh yeah, drink lots of coffee and red bull-type stuff, maybe take a few aspirin or advil too (almost forgot the legal stuff!). So there is little question that drugs have a place in sports, like it or not.

Should drugs have a place in sports? Now that's another question.

To me the debate really centers on organized competitive sports, and more specifically professional competitive sports. Recreational riders are and should be free to do whatever they want. But with the amount of money, fame, and ego-boost on the line in pro sports, everyone is seeking an advantage, a way to squeeze just a little bit more performance from themselves and their equipment so they can finish on top. So the question becomes, what is an "unfair" adavantage?

At the extremes the answer is easy, but enter the grey area and it's a lot tougher. Riding more than anyone else is fair. Putting a motor on a bike is unfair. What about using a special frame or handlebar? What about getting paid to ride so you get to focus and rest better than unpaid riders?

How about a drug that arguably has the same effect as a motor?

The lines need to be drawn somewhere so that all competitors are on a level playing field. The problem is where to draw the line. Pot helps some, hurts others, so it's tough call. I agree there should be no double standards. But by choosing to enter a particular race you must play by the rule imposed by the governing body, whether you think they are fair or not. If you don't like the rules, try to get them changed.
 

Shmoe

Monkey
Oct 23, 2001
216
0
Calgary, Canada eh?
Use them if you want, if someone wins while they are stoned, power to them.

I see no difference between someone smoking a joint or eating some magic brownies before a race or someone drinking 3 redbulls.

If you really want all racing to be completly fair everyone may as well eat the same food for the race season and ride the exact same bike.:dead:

Maybe its different in the US, but cops arn't going to do anything if you have pot on you? They may take it and throw it out, thats about it.
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,832
0
South Seattle
Originally posted by Shmoe


Maybe its different in the US, but cops arn't going to do anything if you have pot on you? They may take it and throw it out, thats about it.
Niave canucks, you'll get alot more than your stash confiscated if you get caught with posession in the states. Do it 3x in Cali and you can go to prison for life.
 

zedro

Turbo Monkey
Sep 14, 2001
4,144
1
at the end of the longest line
Originally posted by OGRipper
What about getting paid to ride so you get to focus and rest better than unpaid riders?

this is what i find silly about the Olympics, funding and support arguably are the best advantages out there and its definitly the biggest edge out there. Everyone knows it and its a big debate in Canada weither we should be dumping more money into the athletes to compete with the states.

To me drug bans should be more about health concerns rather than unfair competitive practices. High level atheletes have no regard for long-term consequences, its all about race-day.

They took a poll and found a good percentage of Olympic athletes would take a gold medal over a long life. I think that should be the focus.