View Full Version : Steriods & swimming

December 6th, 2004, 02:34 PM
I seem to remeber a female swimmer appearing on tv with a Balco hat on. If I remember correctly, she was talking about how she began training for the 200 Olmypics and was using products from this company. She was helping them develop products for swimmers. I'm not real sure but I was really surprised at the time becasue I had heard about Balco from a friend who lives in San Fransisco and is a body builder. I, at the time, was still recovering from lots of surgeries and he told me about all of their "wonderful" products.

December 6th, 2004, 04:31 PM
This whole Balco, and performance enhancing drugs thing is a real shame.

December 6th, 2004, 04:44 PM
bodybuilders love them and they say are great products, but through hard work and determination anything can be acheived naturally.

P.S. granted you are not going to look like a bodybuilder in a muscle and fitness magazine by being natural, but keep roids out of sports!!!

December 6th, 2004, 06:18 PM
That is a very interesting topic for discussion and I actually had an argument with my dad on the steroid use.He was claiming that for one to be good(olympic level) you have to use something or you won't be in the elite.He said that these days it is 80% competition between doctors of athletes- whoever will come up with the way to use them and not get caught wins.I disagree!!!I do agree though that theere are a lot of steroids in sports but I think it applies to some sports more that the pthers and I have to say I vigorously believe that swimming is one of the cleanest sports, because it is more technical that physical(I mean you do not have to bench press 300 lb to be a good swimmer).Also and I think that is a very strong point - we see a lot of very young very talented and fast elite swimmers, ex. Amanda Beard who was 14 some when she made her first Olympics, Phelps made his first Olympic appearance at 15, Athens 200m breaststroke silver medallist Daniel Gyurta is only 15 and so on.I mean obviously paents are involved in their training life when they are kids and I highly doubt that they would appreciate steroid us for their teens.Besides can you imagine what crime it is to feed an underage steroids?
Yes I agree that sports are not clean(take weightlifting - everyone takes steroids there it is a fact) but I am proud to be a swimmer because I am POSITIVE that we are the cleanest!!!

December 6th, 2004, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by hooked-on-swimming
I vigorously believe that swimming is one of the cleanest sports, because it is more technical that physical

I wouldn't be so sure. No, swimming doesn't require the kind of muscular strength some other sports do, but imagine if you could take a drug that allowed you to recover faster, hence enabled you to train at higher levels more consistently?

And about technique. It reminds me of what some people say about steroids in baseball: "steroids can't teach you to hit a baseball." Well, that logic is as dumb in baseball as it is in swimming. We're talking about the truly elite here. They already have the technique part pretty much down. When looking for that extra edge, unfortunately, some turn to illegal performance enhancing drugs.

I think (hope) swimming is cleaner than many other sports, but I think you're wrong if you think swimming is squeaky clean.

December 6th, 2004, 06:53 PM
Originally posted by knelson

I think (hope) swimming is cleaner than many other sports, but I think you're wrong if you think swimming is squeaky clean.

Yeah, I agree that drugs are present in swimming - no doubt about that, but I just think it's cleaner than a lot of other sports.But then - can you imagine feeding those drugs to kids, because if some get to the elite level by 15, how long have they been using drugs of any kind?
Makes me sick ...

December 6th, 2004, 08:14 PM
True story:

When I started swimming "hard core" for high school, my freshman year, it was discovered that I have exercise-induced asthma aggravated by high chlorine levels (there are some interesting studies on this topic, PM me if you want the specifics). After I stopped being able to finish workouts without having an attack and having to use my rescue inhaler, my doctor suggested I try using it BEFORE my workouts, to prevent symptoms from happening, and then if they still occured, I could always use it again. It actually helped me alot. If my symptoms appeared, they were usually less severe, and I was able to continue my workout with little problem.

That story leads to this story: At a regional high school meet my sophomore year, an official saw me take my inhaler prior to a race and informed my coach I was disqualified, and an investigation would take place as to my use of Albuterol, because it could technically be considered a performance enhancer. (This official was looney.)

The basis was, Albuterol forces the bronchials to relax, allowing for the induction of greater quantities of oxygen, and it speeds up the heart, increasing blood flow and adrenaline production. It could somehow give me an advantage to use it before a race, so I was more "amped" up at the beginning of the race and thus had more energy to use throughout the race.

The outcome was pretty simple: I had to provide documentation of my EIB treatments, and my doctor had to submit a written statement saying pre-race albuterol was part of my medication practice.

I have since had no problems using my inhaler during meets, but that incident has made me very aware of the things I use, medication-wise, and of the things officials consider performance enhancers.

December 7th, 2004, 07:12 AM
We should not be so pious or naive to think that our sport is the cleanest one out there. The only thing that makes us clean is the fact we spend so much time in the water. What do you think make us so special? We are just a microcosm of society and as a result we suffer from the same problem as all the other sports we are bashing.

December 7th, 2004, 12:52 PM
I also have asthma. Last I looked at the banned list albuterol isn't list, any more, I think. also, a puff of albuterol right before a race isn't going to help. It takes about 20 minutes for the effects to really take hold. There is true evidence that many of the new steroids will increase fast twitch muscle reaction time. It seems to me that this woudl truly help sprinters.

High level swimmers are tested very frequently. However, I do think that some swimmers take enhancing drugs. I think that some swimmers have seen what steroids have done to "improve" track and think "hey, we are the same -speed & power." also, there are some huge swimmer now. It used to be that many swimmers were very thin.

When I started this discussion, I was somewhat concerned becasue people are so freaked out about discussing steroid use in swimming. We truly want swimming to be seen as the great, sport full of peole who are honest and hard working. I think that our naiveity might have allowed some to pull wool over our eyes. I'm not talking about things like the whole Chinese or East German women's teams of the past. I bet there are several high- level high school kids who are juiced.

The whole Michael Phelps thing is a great avenue for coaches & parents to talk with their kids about the effects of alcohol, steroids & pot.

December 7th, 2004, 01:23 PM

The whole Michael Phelps thing is a great avenue for coaches & parents to talk with their kids about the effects of alcohol, steroids & pot. [/B]

Why would you connect pot and steroids to Michael Phelps?You are innocent until proven guilty and legally(officially) he is clean.

December 7th, 2004, 02:53 PM
I haven't followed the whole Balco fiasco as it has opened up a huge can of worms. But I thought I heard that a disgruntled coach who worked with some athletes who used their products provided a syringe of some of their juice to the authorities. If not for that coach we still might not know the Balco story.

Based on my limited understanding it seems like a game of cat and mouse. The doctors will come up with a new strain of steriod that evades current testing methods. Eventually the authorities will figure out how to test for that strain and then we go back to square one.

As long as there is an incentive to dope/drug (money, fame, success) there will probably be some athletes willing to use any means necessary to become the best.

The challenge in my mind is to not assume any record setting athlete is dirty and to do everything you can to keep up with the scientific advances in performance enhancing substances. Based on the Balco case, it might also be a good idea to create some sort of reward system for whistle-blowers.

December 7th, 2004, 03:01 PM
This subject was discussed last year at great length on this forum:


December 14th, 2004, 11:14 AM
This morning, I was asked if anyone ever said what the patches the women were had on during trials were. I don't remember if anyone ever said wha they were. Were the patches ever discussed?

December 14th, 2004, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by craiglll@yahoo.com
This morning, I was asked if anyone ever said what the patches the women were had on during trials were. I don't remember if anyone ever said wha they were. Were the patches ever discussed?

I remember some article on the web. It reported that the women on the Stanford swim team wore them for trials and that the patches were "herb" all organic bla bla bla...

There was a statement that I read that said something to the effect of: Richard Quick (eluding to his god like coaching status in US Women's swimming) should be/is smarter than to have his swimmers go into a meet with such an obvious sign of cheating or edge over everyone else in the pool...

Found the article so disregard the babbling above!


USADA to investigate swimming patches Energy enhancement to be tested for testosterone; company president furious The Associated Press
Updated: 6:30 p.m. ET July 30, 2004

STANFORD, Calif. - Specially treated energy patches used by swimmers at the Olympic trials earlier this month will be sent to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for testing amid concerns the patches contain testosterone.

The president of the company that makes the LifeWave Energy Enhancer called the accusation ridiculous and said the patch contains only amino acids and water-based solutions.

“I can understand why coaches or athletes would have questions, because this technology is very new, very different,” David Schmidt told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I think it’s a very good thing for sports. It’s a way for athletes to improve their performance and not endanger their health.”

Officials with the anti-doping agency would not confirm they received the patches.

“It’s our policy not to comment on current investigations,” USADA spokesman Travis T. Tygart said Friday. “I can say that we’re appreciative of those individuals or entities that come forward with information.”

Six female swimmers at Stanford University wore the patches on their shoulders during the trials, held July 7-14 in Long Beach.

Only two of the women made the U.S. team — sisters Tara and Dana Kirk in the 100-meter breaststroke and 200-meter butterfly, respectively.

Nonetheless, national team director Everett Uchiyama asked Stanford women’s coach Richard Quick for samples, which he provided. Those samples were forwarded to the agency.

Quick, a three-time Olympic head coach who will serve as an assistant for the U.S. women’s team in Athens, defended the patches as a new training device he began using earlier this year.

The patches are designed to electronically stimulate acupuncture points, inserting current into the body to help an athlete improve stamina, according to Schmidt. No substances enter the body, he said.

Schmidt said his Suwanee, Ga.-based company recommends using them on any of four acupuncture points: on the wrists, on the chest, around the knees and on the inside of the ankles.

He said a person’s stamina improves within 10 minutes of using the product.

© 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

Paul Smith
December 15th, 2004, 06:35 PM
Steroids would probably be the last thing elite swimmers would be taking, if anything it would be EPO which until this year could not be detected.

Also, as far as 14/15 year old kids....don't forget the East German (and Chinease) programs! Unlikely that we'd find such a systematic program anywhere here but don't kid yourself.....there ARE parents (and coaches) that would go that route.

With the amount of money in sports its unlikely that we'll ever see a worldwdie effort to seriouslly reign in drug use. When we see consistent out of competition testing and life time bans we may see a change! (unlike baseball that allows5 positive tests till any action was taken, and Hockey that doens't test!)