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TheGoodSmith
September 16th, 2006, 11:58 AM
With the apparent increase in use of supplements as human growth hormone, testosterone, HGH, EPO and IGF-1 in sports (particularly cycling) during the last decade, I wonder if their use has managed to leak over to masters events...... including swimming. Seems silly to me that anyone would use hardcore muscle building agents as these in a setting such as masters so late in life. Is it worth implementing drug testing, or does it really matter in the end....... after all its just masters.


John Smith

><((((>`. ><((((> .`.. )))))))))))))))><

Sam Perry
September 16th, 2006, 12:54 PM
I think it depends on why people are taking it. There are legitimate reasons to take HGH or other supplements for valid medical causes. By definition, I think they were created for valid reasons. Lots of drugs/supplements have very useful medical purposes, but sadly devolve into being abused for incorrect reasons.

I don't think there is any doubt that people in all types of sports use them, the question you have to ask is why they are being used. When you get down to it, there are no banned substances technically so no rules are being broken.

chaos
September 16th, 2006, 02:16 PM
i think if there were big financial rewards to be had from perfomance at masters level competitions, drug testing would be a required safeguard to ensure a fair level of competition.... i hope that day dosen't come.

this may be off topic a bit buti heard a snip on the radio about a triathlete who sleeps in a hypoxic tent to simulate altitude training, and there are certain governing bodies that would like to see this "outlawed" as it produces conditioning results without the athlete being an active participant. any thoughtson this?

Sam Perry
September 16th, 2006, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by chaos@ulster.net
i
this may be off topic a bit buti heard a snip on the radio about a triathlete who sleeps in a hypoxic tent to simulate altitude training, and there are certain governing bodies that would like to see this "outlawed" as it produces conditioning results without the athlete being an active participant. any thoughtson this?

As I recall, Ed Moses did the same thing. Didn't do mch for him as he never got to the level he once was by doing that.

Peter Cruise
September 16th, 2006, 02:30 PM
Those tents have been debunked 'scientifically' by a former poster to these forums who bought one for himself; when it didn't help declared them hooey in a usa swimming forum.

geochuck
September 16th, 2006, 03:04 PM
Sky high training works and the tent works no matter what anyone else says. Why is Dick Pound thinking of banning their use http://www.insidetri.com/portal/news/news.asp?item=103068

Racer X
September 16th, 2006, 04:43 PM
John,

Funny you should bring this up as I have been thinking about it since I returned from the Worlds at Stanford.

At the Worlds, I was taking my IU sponsored bodycomp/vertical leap/hand strength/urine test and the guy next to me asked what they were checking the urine for. The lady said creatine amongst other things. They wanted us to be meat free for 48 hrs to get a better idea of our natural levels. The guy said "well what about all those Masters swimmers out there who are using creatine supplements. Isn't that going to mess up your levels?" She said "yeah, we've been hearing a lot of that here and we are going to have to figure something out."

Following my events, we trucked on up to Napa for some R and R. In the parking lot of my hotel, I ran into a fellow masters swimmer. We chatted for a while and we both were amazed at the times that were being put up. To my surprise, he mentioned that there is a rumor going around about Masters swimmers actively using HGH and Testosterone patches to improve their performance.

I have discussed this with some colleagues of mine. Our thoughts were surprisingly? similar.

Alan

craiglll@yahoo.com
September 16th, 2006, 05:04 PM
I have had a collectomy in the past. My surgeon, who is a swimmer, said that they only thing taking creatine does is make you go to the restroom. He said that creatine is a great laxative. Anyone who has any troubles with diarrhea, colitis, Crohn's disease or stomach cramps should never take creatine. I've never tried it because the last thing I need to do is go tothe restroom more often.

hofffam
September 16th, 2006, 06:40 PM
I would NOT be surprised if we learn someday soon that a non-trivial number of Masters swimmers use substances banned in other sports.

I agree there is no big money or medals at stake. But people our age (I'm 47) are having cosmetic surgery in record numbers. We are aging, and in general our bodies are declining in capability as we get older. We don't recover from injury like we used to. We just aren't young anymore.

Some people will try to cheat nature for that reason alone.

TheGoodSmith
September 16th, 2006, 07:18 PM
Racer X,

At worlds sitting in the clerk of course for the sprint events, I felt like I needed an extra 15 lbs of upper body muscle to qualify to sit down next to some of those guys in the final heats. Rich Saeger and I were a surprised at how may guys over 40 looked bulked up, in shape and dangerous. I felt like I should probably take my size 10.5 feet and string bean arms over to the girls tent to sit down. There were some big ass dudes there. I think the Evil Paul Smith and I were one of the few people with soft under bellies in the final heat.


John Smith

Paul Smith
September 16th, 2006, 07:22 PM
Although I have never personally seen anyone in masters "using" or spoken to anyone who would admit it.....I do know several swimmers who say they have seen and/or spoken to people who have.....and I'll leave it at that.

I have used creatine and did find if helped.....definite increase in strength and faster recovery....but I also had horrible cramping to the point I had to stop in the middle of some sets....I also hated the "water weight" gain.....so I'm done with that experiment.

What I would be curious to see is if the Doc at UCLA who some time back proposed a voluntery "team clean" would consider testing the concept in masters?

TheGoodSmith
September 16th, 2006, 07:26 PM
Sam,

Certainly, individuals taking hardcore muscle building illegal supplements for purely medical reasons as prescribed by their physicians would seem to be exempt from the discussion. One would assume that no one would want to trade places with them given a physical ailment that required taking the drugs.

The topic in that thread was more intended around the use of drugs in sports at a masters level for alreay "healthy" participants.

Creatine is an interesting topic. I've used it myself about 4 years ago. I found it "energetic" in the water but offered no substantial or lasting strength gains. As I remember my bench press went up about 10-15 lbs. but that was about it. The side effects for me were absolutely miserable and I couldn't continue using it. I'd venture to guess that many participants (particularly the sprinters) were using creatine at Worlds.

Creatine (while debatably cheating) is a more of rounding error compared to the supplements I previously listed. As we all know now, over the counter (GNC related) supplements are not as effective when compared to the techology of Balco like created solutions.

Good question .... where does one draw the line?


John Smith

Paul Smith
September 16th, 2006, 07:27 PM
"I think the Evil Paul Smith and I were one of the few people with soft under bellies in the final heat."

JS...we and the people watching this sport owe the guy who came up with the full body "girdle" suits a major thank you for helping us cover up!

TheGoodSmith
September 16th, 2006, 07:33 PM
If they ever test for Motrin and Starbucks double shots I'm out.

John Smith

Racer X
September 17th, 2006, 08:10 AM
I spoke with an amatuer triathlete friend of mine yesterday. He stated that he knows several other triathletes in the 35-45 age groups who are deliberately trying to raise their Human Growth Hormone levels by working out the AM, then napping, then working out again in the afternoon. Human Growth hormone peaks when we sleep.

This technique seems very similar to the -sleeping in the hypoxic tent to get the hematocrit up without taking Epogen trick- doesn't it?

I just have to throw in the old "how do you make a hormone?" joke here.








Forget to pay her.


Alan

newmastersswimmer
September 17th, 2006, 11:17 AM
There are so many good answers to that joke Racer X ....but unfortunately I can't write any of them down. BTW I'm digging your forum name....I was a speed racer junkie as a kid and racer X was just too cool!


Newmastersswimmer

geochuck
September 17th, 2006, 11:58 AM
I'm a druggie 5 meds, plus 2 kinds of pain killers, my coffee are you going to ban me???

breastroker
September 17th, 2006, 12:00 PM
I think amoung the nations who have masters swimmers, the USA has a very low percentage of drug/doping users. Over the counter steriods are available in some countries.

But I have seen some USMS swimmers who "could have been" on steroids/EPO/HGH.

When a swimmers suddenly drops 10 seconds per 100 and sets world records, it is suspect. Like Micheal Smith from Ireland, we first give the benefit of doubt.

But I have seen men gain 15-20 pounds of muscle mass in ONE year! Now 5-8 pounds can happen, but even young 18 year olds would have trouble gaining that much. But with declining natural testerone and HGH levels, 20 pounds is VERY doubtfull.

What is daming is the pimples on the back, the even deeper voice, the square jaw.

Even more daming is when they suddenly disappear due to muscles torn off the bone, which can easily happen with steroids.

I have seen many past Olympians coming back through Masters swimming. THere seems to be a three year process. First year they are struggling with the new techniques, the returning to training etc. But they are still making top 10 and perhaps top 5. Pure talent is good to have.

The second year they have more fun, are starting to swim well with the new techniques, and are in the top 3-5 times.

The third year they kick ass.

But I have seen people who come out of no where, break world records with horrible form, and then suddenly dissapear.

Fortunately I do not think I have ever come across a lady that was suspect.

Now those who know Allen Stark, he must be on something to swim so fast!!!

And those who know me must wonder how I can swim fast, and how I could be so good on the underwater.

But truthfully both Allan and myself represent the skinny and fat, and obviously not the buff steroid look.

Technique, technique, technique.:p

Now with Evil and Good Smiths, we should have their Red Bull and Starbucks checked:D

Racer X
September 17th, 2006, 01:01 PM
Pariahs or Pioneers?????????


Are those Masters Swimmers who are on injectable or oral Human Growth Hormone and or Testosterone patches pariahs or pioneers?

Research on the affects of aging has exploded in the last ten years. Major areas of interest are on naturally occuring hormones that go on a steady decline after the 20's. There are longevity clinics run by licensed medical doctors popping up all over the West coast and elsewhere.

Recent research at IU has shown that swimming alone seems to allow folks to age better, if not longer. Recent research also has shown that HGH supplementation may allow one to age better. Why not combine the two in the never ending pusuit of the fountain of youth?

No money in this for masters competitors who use and are breaking World Records? Guess again. If I were running a major longevity clinic I would get one of these guys on my add campaign so fast your head wouldn't even have a chance to spin. That kind of PR would be worth paying at least 100,000 grand a year to my clinic.

Anyone ever hear of a company called Pfizer? They have recently developed a pill that has been proven to trigger increased HGH production in humans. It is called Capromorelin. Merck is experimenting with a similar compound. This class of drugs may also increase IGF-1 as well. How much would Pfizer pay to have a ripped, 60 year old world record holder in its tv adds? Do any of you know anyone who could fit this bill?

Remember that these are naturally occuring hormones, not anabolic steroid compounds. Moreover, the hormone levels they are talking about are not grossly high. These are hormone replacement levels geared to get levels back up to what they were in the 20's.

So, to answer my own question- only time will tell. The more I learn about this, the more fascinating it becomes. Google will get those of you who are interested, quickly up to speed.

Alan

gull
September 17th, 2006, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by Racer X
Remember that these are naturally occuring hormones, not anabolic steroid compounds. Moreover, the hormone levels they are talking about are not grossly high. These are hormone replacement levels geared to get levels back up to what they were in the 20's.

Estrogen is naturally occurring also, hence the rationale for hormone relacemnt therapy in women: If estrogen levels decline in women after menopause, replacement should be safe and beneficial. Large studies have since demonstrated the significant risks associated with this strategy.

Longterm treatment with hGH in adults may be carcinogenic and/or contribute to diabetes and hypertension. Complex natural processes like aging do not lend themselves to intuitively "obvious" solutions.

Racer X
September 17th, 2006, 01:45 PM
Good points Craig,

As I said, time will tell.

Meanwhile, there are risks and benefits to everything in life. Each individual should decide for themselves if the benefit is worth the risk. The entire pharmaceutical industry is based on this premise. The ED drugs, just as an isolated example, have some potentially major side effects associated with them, and yet, they are a billion dollar a year industry. Men have decided with their wallets, that the potential risks are "small" when compared to the "large" benefits:D

The ability to have an erection improves the aging male's sense of well being. So too may the affects of HGH supplementation. Neither are necessary for survival. Enhancing the quality of life after 20 seems to be a worthwhile goal- in more ways than one.

Allen Stark
September 17th, 2006, 06:46 PM
I'm 57 and had my serum testosterone checked at my last Physical.It was normal, but if it wasn't would I be cheating to get a supplement? Better yet,would I want to as there are NO long term studies on safety? Female hormones seemed safe for most women and then they did the long term studies and now it's not so clear. ( The situation for women is even less clear than the media suggests There are no long term studies on the use of human estrogen and progesterone. The big studies are on PremPro which is equine estrogen and progestin a synthetic coumpound. Some research suggests human estrogen and progesterone may be more benign. Premarin, the Prem in PremPro stands for "Pregnant Mare Urine" from which it is derived.)

Racer X
September 18th, 2006, 10:00 AM
Allen,

As you know, the "normal" values for testosterone range from 250ng/dl to 1000ng/dl.

I think the better question is-Would you be cheating if your testosterone level was 250 to 500 and you supplemented it to get it up around 1000? I would think that a level that is still in the normal range, but 2-4 times higher than your baseline, would cause some noticeable changes in your body.

On the female side of things, women have been manipulating female hormones for contraception since the 60's. Last time I checked, they are still using. Oral/topical/subq contraceptives are by and large female hormones. So, we really do have some long term data on them. Women are well aware of the risks of oral/topical/subq contraceptives, but still choose to use them on a massive, worldwide scale. Why? They improve their quality of life. The benefits outweigh the known risks.

A woman delivers a baby a couple months prior to when she competes. You know the kind of surges in hormones levels pregnancy causes. She trains throughout her pregnancy, even up to the day or two before she delivers. Now, couple huge increases in circulating hormones with an additional weight gain of 25-35 pounds while you are training. Then, give birth, take a break for two weeks or so, and get back to it. Lose the 35 lbs over the next two months and kick some serious butt shortly thereafter. (I am in no way suggesting this is cheating, by the way. Just more food for thought.)

Think about how fast you would be if, for nine months, you ramped up your HGH and Testosterone to the highest end of normal and gradually added 35lbs to you body through drag or weight belts and then you drop the weight a month or two prior to a big swim.

geochuck
September 18th, 2006, 10:14 AM
I don't think it is the same as carrying a weight belt for one thing. I felt just as comfortable in the water no matter if I was 35 lbs overweight. But I am a male maybe a baby is like carrying a lead weight.

RacerX be careful what you say here you will have the lady swimmers all wanting to get pregnant before they race next year.

Racer X
September 18th, 2006, 10:26 AM
I hear ya, George. I'm glad my wife doesn't swim:D

lefty
September 18th, 2006, 11:28 AM
My goals have nothing to do with the other people in the heat with me so I don't care if they use performance enhancers or not. It is a bit late in life to base your success by comparing yourself to others...

breastroker
September 18th, 2006, 03:34 PM
The Soviet states used to do exactly that. Their breaststrokers would place in the top 5 of one Olympics, have a baby, and come back with a Gold medal!!!!!!!

Racer X
September 18th, 2006, 04:09 PM
Wayne,

Are you serious?

lefty
September 18th, 2006, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by Allen Stark
I'm 57 and had my serum testosterone checked at my last Physical.It was normal, but if it wasn't would I be cheating to get a supplement?

No! It wouldn't be cheating. In masters swimming the only one you can cheat is yourself. "Yeah, I have the opportunity to feel more energetic and raise my testosterone levels, but I am concerned about being fair to my fellow masters swimmers." Sorry, I don't want that on my conscience!

TheGoodSmith
September 18th, 2006, 05:19 PM
Too hell with the supplements. I propose we try to equal the playing field a bit in masters swimming. Performance is all about stresses in life. For every factor below you need to adjust your final performance accordingly.

1. For every kid you have subtract 1 tenth per 50
2. Demanding spouse...... subtract 1 tenth per 50
3. House payment substract 1 tenth per 50
4. Car payment substract half a tenth per 50
5. Unemployed.... subtract half a tenth per 50
6. If you coach or work near a pool add 2 tenths per 50.
7. If your just coming back to swimming from a lay off of more than 2 years subtract 2 tenths per 50.
8. Job sucks....... substract 1 tenth per 50
9. Just old and depressed..... subtract 1 tenth per 50 ....... :-)
10. Hung over.... subtract 2 tenths per 50.


John Smith

stussy96
September 18th, 2006, 07:05 PM
Originally posted by breastroker
The Soviet states used to do exactly that. Their breaststrokers would place in the top 5 of one Olympics, have a baby, and come back with a Gold medal!!!!!!!


A college teammate from Germany told me that their National Women's Team used to do such a thing. They would get pregnant (by their coaches, of course!) and then abort back in the..80's?. :eek:

Terrible, but needless to say, the coaches were taken care of.

Racer X
September 18th, 2006, 07:59 PM
Hooo Boy,

Kinda makes what we were talking about trivial to the nth degree.

I am not easily shocked, but that may have just done it for me.

geochuck
September 18th, 2006, 08:12 PM
That is worse than rectal air inflation.

geochuck
September 20th, 2006, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by Peter Cruise
Those tents have been debunked 'scientifically' by a former poster to these forums who bought one for himself; when it didn't help declared them hooey in a usa swimming forum.

September 17th update***
While confirming that simulated altitude systems, like natural altitude, CAN improve performance, the World
Anti-Doping Agency has concluded that the hypoxic systems are NOT doping.

craiglll@yahoo.com
September 21st, 2006, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by stussy96
A college teammate from Germany told me that their National Women's Team used to do such a thing. They would get pregnant (by their coaches, of course!) and then abort back in the..80's?. :eek:

Terrible, but needless to say, the coaches were taken care of.

supposedly, they haven't found this to be true yet. The East Germans rtecorded everything so I wonder why they wouldn't have recorded this?

Racer X
September 21st, 2006, 03:02 PM
Hot off the press-

155,000 Americans are diagnosed with Age Related Macular Degeneration, a potentially blinding condition, every year. In a subgroup analysis from the WHI clinical trial of hormone therapy that is looking at the long term effects of Estrogen and Progestin replacement therapy in 4,262 women 65 and older.

They found that in women, the combo of Estrogen plus Progestin was associated with a reduced risk of both dry and wet Age related macular degeneration.

craiglll@yahoo.com
September 22nd, 2006, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by Racer X
Hot off the press-

155,000 Americans are diagnosed with Age Related Macular Degeneration, a potentially blinding condition, every year. In a subgroup analysis from the WHI clinical trial of hormone therapy that is looking at the long term effects of Estrogen and Progestin replacement therapy in 4,262 women 65 and older.

They found that in women, the combo of Estrogen plus Progestin was associated with a reduced risk of both dry and wet Age related macular degeneration.

This is very interesting. MD is one of the leading causes of late-life blindness. Most people aren't even aware of it. It is very important, especially for people with diabeties, colitis, Crohn's disease, and high blood pressure, for people to get screen by an Opthomologist(sp?).

The Fortress
October 4th, 2006, 11:14 AM
George; No way! Being pregnant sucks. For women who have always done masters swimming (not me), I'm told there are BK (before kids) times and AK (after kids) times. Whatever short term hormonal benefit there might be is completely outweighed by the surefire lack of sleep and stress and reduction in training time. Leslie

TheGoodSmith
October 9th, 2006, 04:18 PM
Interesting article on drugs in sports in Sports Illustrated ......

Is This Dr. Evil?

"A legend in the sports netherworld, chemist Patrick Arnold -- inventor of THG -- breaks his silence on his role in the BALCO scandal and hints of a future filled with scary science. He has been labeled the evil chemist behind sports' steroid era. Federal investigators call him one of the "[drug] profiteers who endanger our citizens." A U.S. Anti-Doping Agency official hailed his guilty plea on distribution charges in April as a step toward "breaking the hold that steroids have on sport." Since he was outed as the creator of THG, the designer steroid reportedly used by Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and other stars, 40-year-old Patrick Arnold has been portrayed as the linchpin in the BALCO scandal, his Champaign, Ill., lab a modern Frankenstein's castle"


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/preview/siexclusive/2006/pr/subs/siexclusive/10/02/chemist1009/index.html?url=http%253A%252F%252Fpremium.si.cnn.c om%252Fpr%252Fsubs2%252Fsiexclusive%252F2006%252Fp r%252Fsubs%252Fsiexclusive%252F10%252F02%252Fchemi st1009%252Findex.html

Leonard Jansen
October 9th, 2006, 04:40 PM
A U.S. Anti-Doping Agency official hailed his guilty plea on distribution charges in April as a step toward "breaking the hold that steroids have on sport."


If anyone believe that, they probably believe that we are winning the other war on drugs, too. If the supply dwindles, the drugs become more valuable and the incentive to provide them increases with that value. There are thousands of out-of-work Ph.D. chemists in the former Soviet Bloc who do things like sweep floors to make ends meet. One guess as to how long it will take them and the Russian mob to fill that gap.

-LBJ

The Fortress
October 9th, 2006, 08:02 PM
What about MSM? I know a lot of triathletes that take that supplement to help muscle recovery. Is it real or just another one of those untested for true efficacy supplements?