View Full Version : Swimming vs. Track Drug Usage Article

Leonard Jansen
May 25th, 2004, 11:29 AM
Here is a link that talks about the current drug-usage issue in Track & Field and contrasts it with U.S. swimmers' relatively clean image. It's is a bit of a fluff piece, and some of it seems doubtful, but it is something to chew on.



May 25th, 2004, 12:32 PM
yeah a fluff piece but has some value. It is about MONEY. Steroid use isn't rampent in swiming because the incentive isn't there. Swimmers are not better people, and don't have more integrity.

Tom Ellison
May 25th, 2004, 01:05 PM
I didn't read a whole lot of fluff in Scott Ostler's piece. Money plays a huge role in many sports and in life in general. Having said that, let us all face the facts....I have never met a swimmer who started swimming for the money. The basic foundation and motivation behind our sports is rooted in hard work, dedication, goal setting and discipline.

Our sport is a solitary sport in that we have few opportunities each day at practice to socialize and enjoy the companionship of our fellow swimmers. Many people cannot deal with that aspect of swimming. My point is simple; swimmers are not drawn to our sport by money, fame or a walk in the park. We do not have the opportunity to watch the scenery go by while we ride bikes or run. What makes swimming great..... is our love of the sport…. for what it is...and what it helps mold us all to become...and that is decent hard working people.

May 25th, 2004, 01:26 PM
So, it seems more than anecdotal that certain sports lend themselves to abuse - football, track and field, baseball. Ironically, you don't hear about NBA and NHL players and performance enhancing drugs much. Talk about a sport awash in money. I wonder what the similarities to swimming are?

May 25th, 2004, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
I didn't read a whole lot of fluff in Scott Ostler's piece. Money plays a huge role in many sports and in life in general. Having said that, let us all face the facts....I have never met a swimmer who started swimming for the money.

Your missing the point, we don't do it for the money because there is NO money.

In other countries - where swimming can lead to big payoffs - that is not the case. On the world scene cheating is just as rampent in swimming as it is in T&F. Though it appears that in some cases the atheletes did not know they were cheating!

Leonard Jansen
May 25th, 2004, 02:30 PM
Although the money issue is a big factor, I think that there is another reason: Namely, that swimmers tend to peak earlier and that the chain of control of a swimmer's career is different than in track. What I mean is this: Many (but not all and I recognize that this is shifting) swimmers are done with their competitive careers by the time that they are out of college. This means that in order to obtain drugs in their peak years they must have: 1) A serious money source (e.g. HGH can run $1000/month - "Hey dad, can I have the keys to the car and $1000 for gas?") and 2) Someone to help them beat the collegiate drug testing program since this is no trivial matter. Unless you are independently wealthy at a young age, your access/help is limited. Also, the average college swim coach doesn't have the incentive to risk a (relatively) good job since, short of being an Olympic coach, they are near the top of the food chain. Note that collegiate track and field has had relatively few drug "busts" as well.

Once it becomes sport at the open (post-collegiate, professional) level in track, which is when runners START peaking, you are dealing with adults who: 1) Can -maybe - keep a secret 2) Have money, or at least have the potential to make some money and can find some weasel to help them.

The author was right in that Swimming (and Gymnastics - ACK!) may be the signature pieces of this Olympics instead of T&F. Thank Goodness that Ian Thorpe is swimming the 400 <ducking and giggling>.


May 25th, 2004, 06:01 PM
the love of money ...the root of all evils
the taking of drugs...the abuse of the system..
written by sparx 35(anonymous)

May 25th, 2004, 11:31 PM
Yeah, the biggest cheaters in swimming were the East Germans. They made little money by western standards-little two bedroom apartments where they and they sibings and parents could live in. The government promise housing to them if they were successful. Also, the government pressured them to do it. As for swimming,most swimmers come from a middle class background compared to track and field people. The short races are dominated by Afro-Americans who come from a poorer background than most swimmers. The field events in college consist of many immirgants with student vistas in the NCAA's from Eastern Europeans. Most track people like swimmers have only a handful of people that get endorsements but coming from a poorer background may give them more motvation to cheat,who knows.

Sam Perry
May 26th, 2004, 02:26 AM
Is it me or is that last post offensive to all of you? I am not politically correct (I am as Republican as they come) by any means, but I just can't understand how people in this day and age can be so blatantly stereotypical. Please don't assume all of us in Arizona think this way.

May 26th, 2004, 08:09 AM
"Arizona? Only two things in Arizona--steers and..." Louis Gossett, Jr., An Officer and a Gentleman

Rob Copeland
May 26th, 2004, 08:47 AM
I didn’t know that Louis Gossett, Jr was from Arizona. How queer:)

May 26th, 2004, 10:17 AM
Pls look at the poster and previous entries-'nuff said.

May 26th, 2004, 05:15 PM
Yeah, there's a lot of middle class people in the field events that cheat. They need the upper-body strength. I was just saying that people with less cash might be tempted. And the biggest cheats in swimming were whites from East Germany.

Sam Perry
May 26th, 2004, 07:18 PM
I give up! :confused:

May 26th, 2004, 07:35 PM
Dang. I guess all those corporate executives, inside traders, and other multimillion dollar scofflaws we've been seeing in the news in the past year or so weren't really cheating after all.

To suggest that having less money, in an of itself, increases the motivation (or the inclination to act on that motivation) to cheat in sports (or any other aspect of life) is, in my mind, utterly ridiculous. Having less money might mean that a person has had less opportunity to acquire skills with which to amass wealth, but that's a far cry from how or why a person makes an explicit choice to cheat.

May 27th, 2004, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by Sam Perry
Is it me or is that last post offensive to all of you?

Yes, pretty much.

EDIT: and I'm still scratching my head as to why middle-class people have more upper body strength.

May 27th, 2004, 01:08 PM
from lifting martini glasses and counting their money?

May 27th, 2004, 02:16 PM
You'd think twelve ounce curls would do more for upper body strength than martinis!

May 27th, 2004, 10:21 PM
Sorry about my remarks about eastern Eruopeans and afro-americans in Track and field. Its just one of my stupid ideas.