How Screwed Up is This?

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Not to dwell too much on drug usage today, but this is nuts. This article said that CONI did a doping control on 13-14 year olds in Northern Italy. Man, are these guys crazy. I can understand testing older juniors, but 13 year olds? You know what is going to be more depressing than this? That some of these controls turn out postive.

From Velonews-

Must Reads: Doping controls on Italian juniors

* By VeloNews.com
* Published Apr 21st 2011 5:50 PM UTC

Giornale di Vicenza: Doping controls on Italian juniors

Is it a sign that things have gone too far? Or simply an effort to nip the doping scourge in the bud? Officials from Italy’s anti-doping brigade at CONI carried out controls on junior cyclists racing in an event Sunday in northern Italy. The Giornale di Vicenza reported that officials took urine samples from junior riders 13 to 14 years old. CONI confirmed it tests up to 40 juniors throughout the racing season. Italian cycling federation president Renato di Rocco defended the practice, telling the newspaper: “We have to come to accept the fact that we have to start with prevention at the age of 13. The parents and society can have a guarantee that sport will be cleaner, that everyone is racing at the same level, something that’s been questioned for a long time now. But something must be said, with all honesty, that there are parents who put high concentrations of caffeine in the water bottles of their own children. It’s time we make a reflection and do all we can to prevent the next generation from entering the road to doping. It’s called prevention.”

18 thoughts on “How Screwed Up is This?

  1. Dan Schmatz

    Is it a surprise? Kids all over the US (and world) and using drugs of various sorts. At 13 years old moist kids don’t even understand the effect of crossing any line.

     
  2. Neil Kopitsky

    My 11 year old son loves racing in the “Bicycle Little League” program here at the Dick Lane Velodrome. He has been begging for a road bike four a couple of years. I have embraced mediocrity as a racing cyclist for 25 years, and my life has been richer for it.
    But what if my son actually has talent? (Unlikely given his genetics.) Is it responsible for me as a parent to encourage my son to compete at the highest levels of the sport?
    This stuff just depresses me.
    And to answer the question posted: VERY

     
  3. Gina Poertner, CHES

    Sad but true, Steve, and it’s not just cycling. When I officiated the 2008 Junior Olympics, USA Track & Field was starting a huge campaign for parents to agree to have their kids tested. They can’t test without permission, and the saddest part is that there are some parents out there who are willing to obtain those performance enhancing substances for their kids. Anything to win.

     
  4. tilford97 Post author

    Dan-Yeh, it is surprising. Like I wrote earlier today, I read an interview with Johan Museeuw and he said the most disturbing part of the drug problem was that the young amateur riders think they need to do that to be good. Then he gets caught up in that situation of 8000 dosages of EPO. What a hypocrite.

    What is disturbing to me is that CONI thinks there is a opportunity for 13 year olds to obtain performance enhancing drugs for cycling. I assume that would be kind of hard here. Maybe I’m wrong here too? I don’t know anymore.

     
  5. Craig

    I don’t know if anyone saw this a few years ago but its a 6 year old kid ripped and look like champion bodybuilder and i’m pretty sure they caught his dad putting steroids in his drinks. I wouldn’t doubt for one second that there are a lot of STAR CRAZY parents looking for there kid to be noticed by the whole world!!! Pretty sad too

     
  6. dirty_juheesus

    Steve,

    I’m not surprised. As a parent of an athlete, there is no shortage of parent’s own intense ambitions driving the kids in a given sport. AKA “Stage parents”

    USAC had coaches that were doping kids (Gerrik Latta, Greg Strock, Erich Kaiter) They were doped by Carmichael and Wenzel way back in the day in what was then and still is a minor American sport. Check out who else was on those teams. Interesting list….

    High school football programs alone are turning out 300 lb. players for years now. Gee, I wonder how they do that….
    http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/2009/10/11/1011bigboys.html.

     
  7. Hudson Luce

    “The acceptance of drug-taking in the Tour de France was so complete by 1930 that the rule book, distributed by Henri Desgrange, reminded riders that drugs would not be provided by the organisers.”

    May the best drugs win…

    I think it is just in the nature of competition, in any field of endeavor. Successful scientists often make an entire career of faking really sexy results. They are richly rewarded and rarely caught, and if a grad student or researcher blows the whistle, more often than not, it’s the whistleblower’s career that is finished. The same thing goes for other kinds of academics, the sexy results get the big bucks, and once the fraud has a big enough rep and millions of dollars in funding, very few universities will forego their 40% cut of the grant (for administrative “expenses”) and get rid of the fraud.

    Rampant fraud has existed in sports for over a century, especially when there’s lots of money involved. Winning is everything, and ethics go by the wayside pretty quick. It’s a terrible thing, but I see no solution to it.

     
  8. Hudson Luce

    My Aunt Jane always said that “virtue is its own reward” and I think that about sums it up. At the end of the day, when you have put forth your best effort, perhaps winning the race against frauds and cheats, and perhaps not, you know that it is you and your intelligence and training and ability and your love of the sport which has brought you the results which you have attained, not any artificial advantage from a pill bottle. Look back on your career as a racer, the honors and reputation which you have attained over the past 35 years – you have much to be proud of.

     
  9. Ethan

    A lot of people ask me if Nolan will ever get back on the bike – after reading this, I kinda hope not. 13 – 14 years old? Sheesh. It would be interesting to talk to the parents and coaches of these kids and hear the rational behind this.

     
  10. Brian

    Cheating with drugs is a part of our entire society. Adults get to take the easy way out of some preventable diseases (diabetes, cholesterol, etc) by taking drugs instead of working harder to truely treat the problem. Not to say that those drugs do not have a place in treatment, but many (most) are not willing to do the work and want easy solutions to their problems. Its the slippery slope. Its easy to see how drugs in sport are a problem.

     
  11. Zach

    While I agree with your sentiment, and would throw in alcohol and illicit drugs in there…I have to disagree with your disease choices. While the now majority of diabetes is mostly self induced (type II), there are people out there that have diabetes through no fault of their own. Cholesterol, while influenced by food intake, is very much genetically regulated, you can be very fit and still have a proclivity towards higher than recommended levels.

     
  12. Jim

    As a high school sports official, I can absolutely, positively state that drugs are in use by HS athletes.
    I see kids who at 125 pounds are build like a blacksmith. Is this normal? Certainly not. When I was in school, NO one was this cut.
    Of course, there is no testing allowed or mandated by the high school authorities.
    Cost would be another factor. I suspect that rather than schools paying for the costs of the testing, they would just eliminate the sport. Solves two problems (cost and use of the drugs) at once.
    Sad but none of this is a surprise to me. Some parents will do anything to “help” little Johnny.

     
  13. webhed38

    I’m on the other side of this. I have a son who wants to play college football. From about the 8th grade, I have let him know that If he wants to play at a high level, he will have to dedicate himself in the gym and he has done so. He has done so well that the rumors are now flying around that he is jucing. So now I am concidering having him tested as a baseline of his innocence. I trust my son, and his gains have been “slow and steady”…none of the big jumps that are big red flags.
    Jim, I have to disagree with your comment about “built like a blacksmith”. I doubt that when you were in highschool, that there was anyone that was training as hard or had the knowledge about training and nutrition that these kids have today. I won a state title in powerlifting and held a couple of records for a long time. I always heard the accusations, and there were drugs available. I probably know more about Deca, Winstrol, D-boll, Anadrol…..than most pysicians just from the gym where I worked out. I know there were atheletes that used, but by far the highest number of users were the kids that wanted to look good.
    And if you think that random testing is a good system, ask any college kicker or punter how many times they were “randomly” selected. Most will tell you “every week”.

     
  14. Dan Schmatz

    I should have expanded a little. Kids get caught in middle schools with drugs and weapons so I don’t find it surprising that young athletes take drugs. A am fairly certain drug dealers of all sort are similar to Wal-Mart, if you want it they have it. It of course would be less prevalent if the guys at the top weren’t cheating, getting caught (while winning.) The problem is instead of seeing guys get caught and saying no thanks they see the guys win and say yes please.

    I am nowhere near smart enough to figure out a fair way if there is one but this is where some sort of floating system needs to be figured out in regardless to lifetime bans for first use offenders. Clearly it wouldn’t be fair for every guy/girl that test positive for anything to be done forever but when guys like Ricco are allowed to continue racing and the Swiss kid from BMC that forgot his liter of h20 the message couldn’t be more clear. If you get caught be more careful next time.

     
  15. Jim

    Jim, I have to disagree with your comment about “built like a blacksmith”. I doubt that when you were in highschool, that there was anyone that was training as hard or had the knowledge about training and nutrition that these kids have today. I won a state title in powerlifting and held a couple of records for a long time. I always heard the accusations, and there were drugs available. I probably know more about Deca, Winstrol, D-boll, Anadrol…..than most pysicians just from the gym where I worked out. I know there were atheletes that used, but by far the highest number of users were the kids that wanted to look good.

    Well, you can disagree all you want but I am 100% certain that what I have seen isn’t by any natural means. Do you really think HS kids train any differently now than they did years ago? If you do, you have your head in the sand. The only real difference is that there is more specialization. They still have two arms and legs plus one head.
    Nutrition? There certainly are exceptions but kids were kids then and they still are kids today. Kids eat garbage most of the time. Regardless of the food, no food will make kids cut the way I see them (and I see them very close up).
    You won a state power lifting title and knew people around you were using (and the drugs were available) but you weren’t tempted? Does that sound realistic? Most kids are followers, not leaders.
    You might know more about drugs than the doctors but I suspect your knowledge is more along the lines of how they work on a body as opposed to what they do to a body. Additionally I would have to respectfully suggest that your knowledge (obtained from fellow gym rats) might have been slightly skewed or biased. Just a thought.
    You’re “thinking” about having your son tested? That tells me that you already have doubts. What will happen if he tests positive for something? A stern lecture, no more weight lifting, no more gym time, no more football?
    They want to look good?? That is a reason to use a foreign substance? Plain and simple, even if it is to “look good”, it is cheating.
    Regarding “random” testing, the kicker may have been tested every week but how often is the star running back tested? I’ll bet a lot less often.
    Bottom line is that kids do use drugs and many times with Dad’s blessing/encouragement. After all, Johnny can get a scholarship if he is just a little bigger or faster or stronger.

     

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