Its sad to see with the level of intensity that athletes are training at and the risks that people are taking to prove themselves to win or break records is coming at a cost for all other athletes.
Drugs in sport has been around for a long time – look at Lance Armstrong 7 times winner of the Tour De France the most grueling multi day cycling event, all won through the use of drugs to enhance his performance. Now we have Chris Froome who is just a supreme athlete in his own right, no drugs, no ego, just a man who loves his sport and is just supremely good at it. It is hard for him not to come under fire about drug use as people can only make comparisons between him and Armstrong. The drive to be the best will push people to make some strange decisions, but these decisions have ramifications for all who take part in the sport in the future! #fuckyoulance
It struck me most recently when Gatlin won the 100m final in London 2017, as soon as his name appeared on the scoreboard first the crowd erupted into boos. I think when you have been tarnished with the label of a drug cheat it is hard to loose that label. A few days later I saw this image on twitter and it really hit me hard the level of drugs in the sport.
I have heard plenty of stories of people taking certain medicines or supplements, which they think are safe to use only to find when they have been tested that they contain certain levels of drugs that are banned. Im still surprised in this modern era of sport that we are in, there is confusion over what people are putting in their bodies. There is always two sides to a story, people who intentionally doped to gain an advantage and people who have taken something without knowing.
It frustrates me that the Gatlins and Armstrongs of the world have tarnished the sports. If your not good enough or not fit enough then you don’t win – its that simple. They have now brought many athletes into the limelight who are exceptional athletes but will have to go through the drug testing accusations until they are proven clean. Become a great ambassador and role model for the sport like Usain Bolt. #boltdoesnttalktofrank
This also translates away from drugs, in my short time I have been running, I have slowly immersed myself into the online social circles of running and triathlon. It is hear that you start to see the true corruption that goes on at the record breaking level. Two over the last year of Mark Vaz and Robert Young. Mark Vaz – claimed that he had broken a long standing record for the fastest time running from Land’s end to John o’Groats. It wasn’t until he had put in his request for a Guinness World Record that people started questioning his ridiculous split of 156 miles in the final 24 hours. No data, no records, no real evidence – Mark Vaz became a laughing stock of the ultra running community. All his sponsors dropped him and he went back to running 3000 miles a week whilst working as a window cleaner!
Robert Young – became a household name as ‘The marathon man’ when he ran a marathon a day for a year. He then went on to make headlines with his record attempt by running across America. Once again the data played a huge part and some eagle eyed followers started seeing discrepancies in his data. Clocking some huge mileage in the night where no body could see him and having no data to back up his claims of distance traveled. It is just part and parcel of the running world now that data plays such a huge part in the proof that something has happened – as the saying goes “if its not on strava it didn’t happen’. Robert Young again became the hot topic in cheating in the running world.
More recently Amy Hughes clocked 520 miles in 7 days on a treadmill. She was declined her Guiness world record due to not having impartial witness and an online petition has been set up! The question is there again – did she? Didn’t she? Data plays the pivotal role here!
I think my point of this blog post is that we all run, bike, swim and play sports for various reasons. There’s guidelines set in place so we can all enjoy the sport, compete at certain levels and break records. As I said earlier if your not good enough to win, don’t cheat, train harder, work harder and achieve those results. Its hard to not feel slightly pissed off that these people have forever tarnished our sport and people who are exceptional athletes have trained their arses off and created history are still put under the microscope for drugs and cheating.
Why cant we all be like Scott Jurek, Dean Karnazes, Chris Froome, Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Usain Bolt just to name a few. Or maybe we can take a note out of this guys book Yiannis Kourous! The man is a true legend, winning a race in record time he came under fire that he had cheated. So he returned next year and broke his record again with people scrutinizing his every step. Read this small exert it makes you feel sick how good he is. CLICK HERE