What's The Scuttlebutt?

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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby koiseptember » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:51 am

There's quite a scuttlebut a few thousand miles east right now, where Al Jazeera is alleging that Yasser Arafat may have actually been killed by polonium poisoning!

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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby Narddog » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:10 pm

Latest Fancybears hack results: http://www.letsrun.com/news/2017/07/say ... documents/

While disappointing, Jager makes sense to me.
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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby Koseph Jarpenter » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:14 pm

Worth reading http://www.sportsintegrityinitiative.co ... iaaf-hack/

Brings up some legitimate skepticism about just how legitimate or meaningful the hacked documents are.
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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby Narddog » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:10 pm

Statement from Jager:

I woke up this morning to find out that my name had been published as a part of a list released by the 'Fancy Bears' and they are saying that I had an abnormal blood passport test result. I was incredibly shocked to see my name amongst a list of athletes believed to be “likely doping.” I have so many questions as to how and why my name got on that list. I have never taken any banned substance and have always prided myself on doing things the right way and being a clean athlete.

I have gone through my records looking for the test results or test notification from February 9, 2016 (the date listed as my “last ABP test date”) and cannot find any notification of having taken a drug test on that day. I also was not contacted by USADA/WADA/IAAF regarding an abnormal blood panel test result. There is a possibility that I did take a test that day, but I have no record of it. I am trying to contact the authorities to determine if I was tested that day and how my name could have ended up on such a list.

Though the IAAF has clearly determined that there was no anti-doping rule violation committed, I’m still very saddened about the idea that people might think that I have broken the rules when I, and all those close to me, know that I have not. It has always been important to me to not just do things the right way, but to have the trust of my fans and competitors and to prove to people that you can reach the top of the sport clean. I have never and will never break or try to bend an anti-doping rule. I hope this gets cleared up very quickly and that I can maintain the trust I have worked so hard to build in the running community.
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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby mwalsh88 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:50 pm

If these leaks came from any other source, I'd believe them. But I can't help think they are unsubstantiated bullshit leaked by otherwise, "credible" hackers.

There is some smoke there, however. The Shumacher group was doing blood platelet therapy, and the usual levothyroxin loading.

I think you have to assume that a high level athlete with the resources will find out where the line is regarding substances and drugs, and get as close to that line as they comfortably can.
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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby mwalsh88 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:27 pm

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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby stormin mormon » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:46 pm

I know I've been pretty consistent in my skepticism about this stuff but I am quite confident that Jager is doping. Regardless of what is or isn't in the Fancy Bears thing (which also has enormous bias issues as others have pointed out) his performances of the past couple of years indicate to me that he has found a new source of help in his training. It might even be something that doesn't technically break the rules but breakthroughs of the type that he has had always make alarm bells ring in my head.

Just like Bob Kennedy learned from the Kenyans he lived with in London, just like Alan Webb learned from somebody how to go from a very talented and tactically deficient racer to a guy who could run 1:42 and 3:46, just like Mo going from pack filler to unbeatable, this isn't happening because their training suddenly becomes more efficient or somehow they'd reached the previous level by running 40mpw and now are running 80.

It is a dog in a hat, or as Lance Armstrong would say "that ain't normal."

I would place bets on Jager doing something either super shady or totally breaking WADA rules. (While of course holding the slimmest of hopes out there that I am wrong about all these people and that the future will prove me wrong.)
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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby Petro » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:50 pm

I'll play devil's advocate. Is this such an extreme progression?:

2017 8:01.29 Monaco (Stade Louis II) 21 JUL
2016 8:04.01 Bruxelles (Boudewijnstadion) 09 SEP
2015 8:00.45 Paris Saint-Denis (Stade de France) 04 JUL
2014 8:04.71 Bruxelles (Boudewijnstadion) 05 SEP
2013 8:08.60 Eugene (Hayward Field), OR 01 JUN
2012 8:06.81 Monaco (Stade Louis II) 20 JUL
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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby stormin mormon » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:56 pm

No, you are right it isn't.

Basically I just don't think anyone can run 8:00 in the steeple clean. I think 8:20 is doable, maybe even in the teens.

Super doped = 7:55 and the like. This happened when you could do EPO to your heart's content.
Somewhat doped = 8:00-8:10 doping is a little trickier now that some more tests got developed and the bio-passport thing came into being.
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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby i hate redbellies » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:45 pm

stormin mormon wrote:I know I've been pretty consistent in my skepticism about this stuff but I am quite confident that Jager is doping. Regardless of what is or isn't in the Fancy Bears thing (which also has enormous bias issues as others have pointed out) his performances of the past couple of years indicate to me that he has found a new source of help in his training. It might even be something that doesn't technically break the rules but breakthroughs of the type that he has had always make alarm bells ring in my head.

Just like Bob Kennedy learned from the Kenyans he lived with in London, just like Alan Webb learned from somebody how to go from a very talented and tactically deficient racer to a guy who could run 1:42 and 3:46, just like Mo going from pack filler to unbeatable, this isn't happening because their training suddenly becomes more efficient or somehow they'd reached the previous level by running 40mpw and now are running 80.

It is a dog in a hat, or as Lance Armstrong would say "that ain't normal."

I would place bets on Jager doing something either super shady or totally breaking WADA rules. (While of course holding the slimmest of hopes out there that I am wrong about all these people and that the future will prove me wrong.)


So are you saying Kennedy was doping? I heard him speak at 'Nova, and I was very impressed. What he learned from the Kenyans was that doing 6 or 8 or whatever x 800 meters in 2:00 wasn't good enough, that he had to do them in 1:56, and with less recovery. At least that's what he said, and I believe him. Call me naive if you want.
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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby stormin mormon » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:51 pm

I think it is important to clarify, I do think he was doping but I obviously have no proof or first-hand or fourteenth-hand knowledge of anything.

And I certainly don't think you are naive.

I think my cynicism is very likely excessive but it is the feeling I have after the reading I've done about doping in a variety of sports and just my sense of the incredible pressure that people who reach the level those guys are on feel. And I don't feel any sense of judgment about them being right or wrong, just that it is often a part of competing at that level given the money/etc. involved in the sport.

And I don't necessarily want people to share my cynicism. I no longer find much of track and field at the international level interesting. Occasionally if I know someone competing I might take the time to watch it but otherwise I just don't care. And I think part of that is due to the feeling that everyone at that level is crossing lines that, even if they don't technically violate WADA rules or whatever governing body rules, I would find ethically questionable if we want to believe in the idea of a sport that isn't somewhat dependent on your doctor and your access to pharma as much as it is dependent on your willingness to sacrifice and train and compete hard along with the talent you also have to have to compete at that level.

None of those guys are taking it easy and just laughing about how they've duped everyone. They all train their guts out, they know how to be competitive and it is an impressive spectacle to see what they can do with their finely-tuned bodies.

And it is strange to me that I've lost so much interest in international track and field when I find cycling so intriguing given that cycling has been at least as dirty as track and field and certainly isn't 100% clean now. But it is the way it is.

Honestly, one of the other things that changed how I felt about it was something that Peter Crooke said when we were talking about doping and he said that it very likely has a large influence on who eventually comes out on top. Instead of the supremely talented athlete who also has the mental capacity to train when they don't feel like it, to get through injuries or whatever other setbacks, to deal with the feeling that comes with super hard training, you now have athletes who don't necessarily have bad days to get through because their thyroid meds and their micro-doses of epo and their topical testosterone, etc. make it so that they have very few if any really tough days where they have to fight through the fatigue and the pain of training. The ones that are most successful (and this is again my cynical view and is obviously not 100% accurate) are the ones like Rupp who will do exactly what their coach/doctor tells them to, exactly when and by how much they tell them to, and it is amazing what they can accomplish.

But Rupp might also be a guy that completely proves me wrong, about him and about Salazar, and by extension about Farah. He was consistently successful in college and then as a pro, some things make me ask questions but even his super fast indoor mile isn't necessarily a big surprise for a guy who had run 8:09 for two miles the year before and 7:42 for 3k two years prior. He also closed the last 800 of his 10K win at USAs in 2011 in 1:52 so clearly the guy had wheels. So my feeling certain that he is pushing every limit possible because he seemed to be doing super-human things including the workout after the 3:50 mile and all that and his coach being a complete dirt-bag who rubs testosterone on his kids to see what the testing limit is... could be completely wrong.

And I am not being sarcastic or anything about that, so I try to make it clear that my cynicism has no goals of convincing others that my dark path is the right one!
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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby Koseph Jarpenter » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:46 pm

stormin mormon wrote:No, you are right it isn't.

Basically I just don't think anyone can run 8:00 in the steeple clean. I think 8:20 is doable, maybe even in the teens.

Super doped = 7:55 and the like. This happened when you could do EPO to your heart's content.
Somewhat doped = 8:00-8:10 doping is a little trickier now that some more tests got developed and the bio-passport thing came into being.


I can understand your skepticism from the point of view that sports at the highest level are just rife with doping because the incentives are big enough and the technology to do it is there, but I'm curious how one goes about deciding what sort of performance is possible clean, and what is certainly doped. Similarly I'm always curious how people decide what is a skeptical vs acceptable progression (e.g. big leaps vs improvement every year). We've all seen amazing/shocking performances and progressions in sports from people we are convinced are clean (e.g. Goats), and the physical and psychological factors that go in to performance are so complex so that it seems pretty difficult to say what is and isn't possible (plus skeptics about what is possible in sports have been proven wrong for quite a long time). For me that makes most arguments about doping based on a certain type of performance pretty unconvincing.
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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby Petro » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:02 pm

My feeling is that the world record isn't legit--7:53. That was set 13 years ago, before EPO was even tested. Basically I think that most of the top performances of that era, from the mid-90s to the mid-to-late '00s are suspect. There's a lot of anecdotal evidence that people were using, and the performances themselves were huge steps forward. Sure, training insights, money, tapping into the East-African talent base--those things can move the performances forward (even in a non-linear way), but to go from no one is breaking 13 (from 87-93) to like 7 guys doing it in the same race, that's nutty.

These days, some of the very best guys are focusing on the marathon, so maybe that's reduced the talent pool a bit, but still, few are coming close to the marks that recorded before the testing became more thorough.

That said, I think 8:20 is an awfully slow threshold for drug-free legit performance. On All-Athletics, they list 2800+ performances faster than that mark. I'm not sure how many performers have run that fast, but it's a lot. There have to be some clean ones in the 8:10-8:20 range, and with over 500 performances under 8:10, I think at least a handful of them were done clean.

As for Jager, I think, like most top US runners, he's doing gray area stuff that can't cause a positive test. How much that stuff is worth is hard to say, but 5 or 10 seconds makes a huge difference in his world.
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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby stormin mormon » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:03 pm

I would be careful to compare big leaps from goats to big leaps from people at the world-class level. The marginal gains are so much smaller at that level that it is difficult to equate big improvements from people like us to people like Jager.

But it would be interesting to try and define it more clearly.

I do think a part of it can be based on the times that are being run in a given context, I think the 90's were particularly enhanced as endurance sports across the board were filled with EPO when everyone knew there was no test for it. So I look at the top times in the world back then and think that most/all of them were run with significant enhancement.

But that isn't really accurate by any stretch given that people are now running times not very far off from what they ran in the 90's (I was just looking quickly at the steeple since that is what I have been thinking about) though no one is running 7:53 of late. But then that 7:53 came in 2004 which was after the urine test was accepted as valid for catching EPO. And you can go back on some letsrun threads about Cherono's training that indicate when WADA came to test him so there were out of competition tests as well. So even though I would argue that without the blood passport, you have to just get lucky to catch EPO as long as the athlete is smart and careful about when doses happen and how big they are, etc.

In your mind is there a clear indicator of a change in performance or jump in progression that would make you skeptical?
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Re: What's The Scuttlebutt?

Postby stormin mormon » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:10 pm

And as Petro says, a lot of it is probably grey area stuff.

I have only read excerpts from the book, spitting in the soup I think it is called, but the way that attitudes toward doping have changed is also a fascinating component of my feelings on the idea. The way that pushing the limits of the body and using science to help do that used to be applauded and only recently has come to be something evil and terrible is fascinating.

Certainly through the 1930s and maybe the 40's most of the "grey area" stuff that people are doing now would be applauded as them doing everything they could to win. Frankly the main-stream American attitude towards people that get caught doping is absurd. It is their eyes on TV screens that drive almost all of the doping on a certain level and then they look down on the men and women who get busted as immoral and deficient. I think the NFL is arguably the pinnacle of this insanity as people continue to lust after bigger and stronger and faster everything and then get annoyed when someone gets popped. But nobody is concerned about the massive amount of opioid pain-killers that make the NFL possible. Get up in arms about someone taking HGH or getting busted for steroids but don't bat an eyelash at the fact that NFL training rooms can hand out opioid painkillers like candy (or inject them) without any oversight.

Either admit that you are ok with chemical enhancement and everything that comes along with it or stand up for the safety of athletes and demand serious testing and oversight of how teams/organizations are abusing these guys to get them on the field. I think some of the same pressures apply to track and field, albeit in different forms. The structure of contracts that penalize people for getting injured and the unavailability of money for anyone not at the very top of the sport make it much more difficult to say no to grey area stuff or beyond when you know it might be the only way you can make a living doing this thing you've sacrificed everything for.
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