If doping is rife in athletics, then ...

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Inanimate_object

Hall of Fame
Reliable evidence would obviously be imperative if he should be actually punished for something.

It's something different entirely when considering whether we should view him as likely clean or likely not.

Someone can be probably guilty of something without being legally guilty.
True but, Probably guilty isn't a term any institution recognizes. I don't think it does anyone any favours to accuse someone without proof. Saying that Bolt is likely not clean backed up with no proof besides circumstantial evidence at best, betrays your intelligence.
 

britam25

Hall of Fame
True but, Probably guilty isn't a term any institution recognizes. I don't think it does anyone any favours to accuse someone without proof. Saying that Bolt is likely not clean backed up with no proof besides circumstantial evidence at best, betrays your intelligence.
delete post
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
True but, Probably guilty isn't a term any institution recognizes. I don't think it does anyone any favours to accuse someone without proof. Saying that Bolt is likely not clean backed up with no proof besides circumstantial evidence at best, betrays your intelligence.
Lol, no, again, this would be what's needed in terms of legal epistemic grounds. What "institutions recognizes" is obviously not pertinent to my point.

An athlete is either more likely clean or more likely not, and where strong evidence is lacking, the best one can do is consider the available facts and circumstances, and marshall the best possible argument.
 

Inanimate_object

Hall of Fame
Lol, no, again, this would be what's needed in terms of legal epistemic grounds. What "institutions recognizes" is obviously not pertinent to my point.

An athlete is either more likely clean or more likely not, and where strong evidence is lacking, the best one can do is consider the available facts and circumstances, and marshall the best possible argument.
This is an argument without grounds or merit. What possible use is there, when having already admitted a lack of substantiating evidence, to have a discussion as to whether an athlete is more or less likely clean. You seem to be narrowing the scope of an argument to eventually try and abstract your conclusion. There is no evidence whatsoever that points to Bolt's doping. There are suspicions, as there are with all athletes. But it ends there. There's no "best" argument as to why Bolt is "likely" doping. And the discussion itself seems completely divorced from reality and any usable conclusions. It's like asking someone to make a brick wall using planks of wood.
 

britam25

Hall of Fame
The ATP chose not to pursue punitive measures against Agassi given the context Agassi had provided them. This is FULLY within the purview of the ATP, indeed they have formal independent panel specifically to handle cases where an acussee can defend his integrity from positive tests. It was not a conspiratorial effort by tennis officials to protect their golden American boy, it was rather dishonesty by Agassi and gullibility by the independent panel which led to a false-categorization of Agassi's very intentional ingestion of cocaine metabolites. They did not release the test results because they threw the test results out. Not because of a willful attempt to fool the public, but because THEY THEMSELVES had been fooled by Agassi's testimony.
ROTFLMAO!!!!! You remind of Joey Bishop in the "Deny, Deny, DENY" scene(as do many Nadal apologists):


Unfortunately for you, I am as not as gullible as the wife in that scene. Don't give all of that "purview" and "accussee" happy horseshit, Agassi tested dirty, he gave an utterly ridiculous story to them about it, they believed it because they wanted to believe it, obviously because revealing it would be very embarrassing to the tennis establishment, and they covered it up. No amount of spin control and tortured logic is going to change that simple fact. The public had a right to know those results, and if you can't see that not releasing such results because you threw them out is wrong, then there is nothing more to be said.
 
What aboug genetic cheating? Wasn't there speculation that some of the Chinese athletes in the Olympics (particularly that female swimmer) had been doped genetically somehow?
 

Inanimate_object

Hall of Fame
ROTFLMAO!!!!! You remind of Joey Bishop in the "Deny, Deny, DENY" scene(as do many Nadal apologists):


Unfortunately for you, I am as not as gullible as the wife in that scene. Don't give all of that "purview" and "accussee" happy horseshit, Agassi tested dirty, he gave an utterly ridiculous story to them about it, they believed it because they wanted to believe it, obviously because revealing it would be very embarrassing to the tennis establishment, and they covered it up. No amount of spin control and tortured logic is going to change that simple fact. The public had a right to know those results, and if you can't see that not releasing such results because you threw them out is wrong, then there is nothing more to be said.
So you accuse me of not knowing the reported story, then upon me presenting you with it, you dismiss the reported story in favour of your own conjecture, speculation and preconceived notions that the ATP is in anyway obliged to the public. Not the best way to encourage a rational discussion.
 

britam25

Hall of Fame
So you accuse me of not knowing the reported story, then upon me presenting you with it, you dismiss the reported story in favour of your own conjecture, speculation and preconceived notions that the ATP is in anyway obliged to the public. Not the best way to encourage a rational discussion.
Re-read my final sentence. You position is completely and utterly ridiculous.
 
Nadal took a sudden drop in performance, results and ranking after the Biological Passport program was in full effective.
Not really, you are distorting the facts.

1. Nadal has been declining visibly, especially on clay, since 2012.
2. The Bio Passport started collecting samples mid 2013.

Get your facts straight.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
This is an argument without grounds or merit. What possible use is there, when having already admitted a lack of substantiating evidence, to have a discussion as to whether an athlete is more or less likely clean. You seem to be narrowing the scope of an argument to eventually try and abstract your conclusion. There is no evidence whatsoever that points to Bolt's doping. There are suspicions, as there are with all athletes. But it ends there. There's no "best" argument as to why Bolt is "likely" doping. And the discussion itself seems completely divorced from reality and any usable conclusions. It's like asking someone to make a brick wall using planks of wood.
:D

As always, your brain does not compute when the question at hand does not involve certainty or exactness.

There are no grounds for saying that Bolt is doping, and nothing that warrants any action or conviction.

There are still plenty of matters of fact at hand, and they are very much possible to reason and argue from, while allowing a margin of uncertainty.

Claiming otherwise, and that one cannot hold a probable opinion (that isn't there to beg any action) in the absence of hard evidence, is ridiculous.

***

To help you along, imagine this thought experiment. Imagine that the answer to whether Bolt has doped or not was known with certainty and could be proven by Person P. Imagine further that P forces you to lay down a substantial bet on which of these options is true. What would you do? Say, "well, there aren't sufficient grounds for any definitive conclusion, so I'll just flip a coin to decide what I should bet". Of course you wouldn't. You would make a decision based on a bunch of more or less fuzzy assumptions according to what set of assumptions seem the most coherent to you. Perhaps you'd bet on that he has never used doping—completely fair—but you'd still be basing this on a web of not definitely certain assumptions.
 
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TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Not really, you are distorting the facts.

1. Nadal has been declining visibly, especially on clay, since 2012.
2. The Bio Passport started collecting samples mid 2013.

Get your facts straight.
1. Declining at the age of 26?o_O

2. Ok, so it took 2 years for him to drop to #10 for the first time in his career.
 
1. Declining at the age of 26?o_O

2. Ok, so it took 2 years for him to drop to #10 for the first time in his career.
1. Federer was already declining in 2008 on his best surface. How old was he then?

2. Nadal didn't play the second half of last year. Do you follow tennis at all?
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
1. Federer was already declining in 2008 on his best surface. How old was he then?

2. Nadal didn't play the second half of last year. Do you follow tennis at all?
1. Federer had mono in 2008! Why am I not surprise that his detractors conveniently ignore his illness that effected his preparation and fitness throughout the year.

2. I've addressed this on the other thread. Nadal have played a lot of tennis. In fact, in the past 52 weeks, Nadal have played a total of 22 events(including Hamburg). Federer played 19 events, Nole 18. The only player in the top ten have played more than Nadal is Berdych, Ferrer, and Raonic with 23. But that's only 1 event more than Nadal. There's no excuse for him to be ranked #10. Perhaps the bio passport grogram has something to do with it.
 
1. Federer had mono in 2008! Why am I not surprise that his detractors conveniently ignore his illness that effected his preparation and fitness throughout the year.

2. I've addressed this on the other thread. Nadal have played a lot of tennis. In fact, in the past 52 weeks, Nadal have played a total of 22 events(including Hamburg). Federer played 19 events, Nole 18. The only player in the top ten have played more than Nadal is Berdych, Ferrer, and Raonic with 23. But that's only 1 event more than Nadal. There's no excuse for him to be ranked #10. Perhaps the bio passport grogram has something to do with it.
I think you are a delusional fan. Federer was fully recovered from his "mono" by Wimbledon. And he only won in 09 because Nadal was injured.

Nadal can't make up for last year's second half by playing tournaments in this year's first half. Those points are gone, and #10 is the lowest he will go unless he is injured again.

Also, it's amusing how we need to give credit to Federer for the "mono", yet Nadal can spend months out for injury and this proves anything.

Have you ever wondered how a guy that was 5 years older could keep up with the young kids in an era which was the toughest baseline era, notable for its grueling rallies?

I mean, the way he was running around in that SF against Murray in Wimbledon was otherworldly.

Of course, I'm just caricaturizing your faulty logic, to see if it rings a bell, but I doubt it.
 

Joseph L. Barrow

Professional
The sentence begun in the title, "If doping is rife in athletics, then..." is never finished, but in context it obviously means to imply something to the effect of "then it is rife in tennis."

I tend to think tennis is likely to be much cleaner than a sport like cycling or track-and-field in which the events are almost entirely a head-on contest in some kind of extreme physical athletic exertion. Tennis matches are not even close to being direct contests of raw athletic capacity in the way that things like races or lifting competitions are, and in fact the player who would win contests of raw athleticism very often loses a tennis match. I'm virtually certain Monfils would comfortably defeat Federer in most (if not all) events if they contested a decathlon, but Federer has gone 9-4 against Monfils in pro tennis matches and 5-0 in Majors. Tennis is much more multi-faceted than a single-motion sport, and the greatest determining factors in a typical tennis match are probably more likely to lie in a player's racket skills, game-plan, and nerves than they are in his pure speed, strength, or endurance.

The upside to doping in tennis, therefore, is much less than it is in the sports you're comparing it to, and it is very much possible for non-dopers to defeat dopers up to and at the highest level. The cost/value and risk/reward ratios of doping in tennis are also much lower. I don't think it is the case that all elite tennis players must be dopers if any of them are. However, the right type of doping is definitely advantageous to a tennis player with all else being equal, and it has been persuasively argued that ATP testing protocols are far from airtight, so I expect it is very likely that some of the top players on the ATP are now or have in the past been guilty of doping, and I don't think it is ridiculous to speculate that top players who exhibit potentially-suspicious signs might be among them.
 
The sentence begun in the title, "If doping is rife in athletics, then..." is never finished, but in context it obviously means to imply something to the effect of "then it is rife in tennis."

I tend to think tennis is likely to be much cleaner than a sport like cycling or track-and-field in which the events are almost entirely a head-on contest in some kind of extreme physical athletic exertion. Tennis matches are not even close to being direct contests of raw athletic capacity in the way that things like races or lifting competitions are, and in fact the player who would win contests of raw athleticism very often loses a tennis match. I'm virtually certain Monfils would comfortably defeat Federer in most (if not all) events if they contested a decathlon, but Federer has gone 9-4 against Monfils in pro tennis matches and 5-0 in Majors. Tennis is much more multi-faceted than a single-motion sport, and the greatest determining factors in a typical tennis match are probably more likely to lie in a player's racket skills, game-plan, and nerves than they are in his pure speed, strength, or endurance.

The upside to doping in tennis, therefore, is much less than it is in the sports you're comparing it to, and it is very much possible for non-dopers to defeat dopers up to and at the highest level. The cost/value and risk/reward ratios of doping in tennis are also much lower. I don't think it is the case that all elite tennis players must be dopers if any of them are. However, the right type of doping is definitely advantageous to a tennis player with all else being equal, and it has been persuasively argued that ATP testing protocols are far from airtight, so I expect it is very likely that some of the top players on the ATP are now or have in the past been guilty of doping, and I don't think it is ridiculous to speculate that top players who exhibit potentially-suspicious signs might be among them.
Outstanding post, quite balanced and logical.

The only problem I have is with the "potentially suspicious" signs part. What doping would do to any athlete, without distinction, is increase his natural abilities, raise the baseline if you will. There are people who are simply naturally gifted, and genetically predisposed to perform well. If you see a guy who performs in an outstanding way, how do you discriminate between "natural" ability and "enhanced" ability?

I'm sure anybody here has known personally kids in their football/baseball team who had an outstanding natural ability for that specific type of physical activity. This also tends to run in families (though not always). Nadal's uncle was one of the most legendary defenders in international football, nicknamed "the beast of Barcelona" if I remember correctly. So it's logical to think that Nadal is athletically gifted beyond the level of the average pro tennis player, even beyond the level of most elite ATP tennis players. The same applies to Djokovic. Djokovic's stamina and athleticism in the tennis court seem to be simply innate.

Another aspect of this doping scenario, is that doping does require some logistics that would be very difficult to achieve for a tennis player, when they are crossing national borders all over the place. Blood bags, for example, are very sensitive material, and you can't just ship them over like that. The main reason cycling had such a huge problem with doping is because there was an infrastructure that was enabled by the fact that the most important cycling races take place in continental Europe, where borders have been mostly open for the traffic of people and goods for a long time.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
@Chanwan



Sure. I'll concede that my example of his 100m progression isn't the best given his relative lack of competing there.

Bolt was of course a prodigy, and that's not what I'm doubting. He's clearly most likely the fastest man in the field if they were all competing au naturel. What I'm doubting is that he crushes a field of other genetically gifted individuals who are doping.

You say he was a 200m runner up to then—well, let's look at his 200m progression instead then.

Up until 2005 (when he was 19 y.o.), Bolt had a tremendous progression on the 200m, which one would expect given his maturation. From 2005 (or late 2004) he reaches a somewhat of a plateau though, and until 2007 his times in the 200 do not progress that dramatically. In the 2007 WC's, a 21 year old Bolt finishes second to Tyson Gay with a time of 19.91 (Gay runs a 19.76).

However, now Bolt's times suddenly make a leaping jump again, and he quickly progresses to times under 20.4, and famously sets a world record of 19.3 in 2008, and 19.19 the following year. These aren't modest leaps; it isn't like improving your bench press from 200 pounds to 210 pounds. It's making a gigantic leap when you are already in the upper limits of human performance. It's leaving other cheaters in the dust, completely.

Of course, Bolt could just simply so far of the bell curve that he—while completely clean—crushes world class competitors who are doped, and has become a notoriously dominant world record holder in a history of world record holders that posteriority have shown to be doped. However, it really shouldn't be hard to entertain the possibility that the dominant champ in these power disciplines, running on a team full of dopers, running against a field full of dopers, being a record holder in a line of formerly doper record holders, is also doping.
It shouldn't and it isn't and that's part of why we're having this discussion in the first place.

As for his 200 progression, I have to ask. Do you follow track and field or simply happen to look up the progression? I used to follow it as much as I now follow tennis and it's still my 2nd favorite sport.

And sure, he stalled. But that's where the interesting question comes in: why?
Mainly due to injuries.
Given that he ran (I'll repost)
"At 16, he was down at 20.13 (a month shy of turning 17) and 45,35 in 400 meters.
From Wiki: "his times in the 200 m and 400 m led to him being touted as a possible successor to (Michael) Johnson. Indeed, at sixteen years old, Bolt had reached times that Johnson did not register until he was twenty, and Bolt's 200 m time was superior to Maurice Greene's season's best that year."
He ran a sub 20 time before turning 18 (19,93)"

20.13 at 16 and 19.93 at 17, it's incredibly odd that he didn't improve on those times for another 3-4 years. Which other male athletes reach their physical peak before turning 18? None that I know off.
His progression stalled for various personal and injury related issues. Once back on track, he started running the times that his youth times indeed make fairly plausible and the kind of times the athletic world was even somewhat expecting from him.

All that said, of course he could still be doping.
But the fact that he's not among the 800 athletes named is further indication that he might not be.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
It shouldn't and it isn't and that's part of why we're having this discussion in the first place.

As for his 200 progression, I have to ask. Do you follow track and field or simply happen to look up the progression? I used to follow it as much as I now follow tennis and it's still my 2nd favorite sport.

And sure, he stalled. But that's where the interesting question comes in: why?
Mainly due to injuries.
Given that he ran (I'll repost)
"At 16, he was down at 20.13 (a month shy of turning 17) and 45,35 in 400 meters.
From Wiki: "his times in the 200 m and 400 m led to him being touted as a possible successor to (Michael) Johnson. Indeed, at sixteen years old, Bolt had reached times that Johnson did not register until he was twenty, and Bolt's 200 m time was superior to Maurice Greene's season's best that year."
He ran a sub 20 time before turning 18 (19,93)"

20.13 at 16 and 19.93 at 17, it's incredibly odd that he didn't improve on those times for another 3-4 years. Which other male athletes reach their physical peak before turning 18? None that I know off.
His progression stalled for various personal and injury related issues. Once back on track, he started running the times that his youth times indeed make fairly plausible and the kind of times the athletic world was even somewhat expecting from him.

All that said, of course he could still be doping.
But the fact that he's not among the 800 athletes named is further indication that he might not be.
I do follow athletics a lot, although definitely not as religiously as tennis. And yes, I did look up a graph of his progression of times through different seasons on the 200.

Sure, he may have had some injury troubles. But he did compete a lot in both 2006 and 2007, so his massive leap in 2008 is still remarkable, no?

I'm not saying he peaked at 18. He had modest progress until after he had turned 21, which is what one expects. Once you're reaching world-class level, you are reaching a point of diminishing returns. Just like it's unrealistic for world-class lifters to add serious poundage on their lifts—progress is incrementally smaller. But after Bolt turned 21, he suddenly has a massive leap after 2-3 seasons of only mild progress.

Again, I don't dispute his undeniable prodigal talent at all, and I'm sure he'd be the best on equal terms. That he'd be head and shoulders way above the rest clean, while so many of his contenders dope, is a bit harder to conceive though. (Though he's a less flagrant offender than Fl

But kudos for giving reasons for your belief, unlike some others.
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.
Not really, you are distorting the facts.

1. Nadal has been declining visibly, especially on clay, since 2012.
2. The Bio Passport started collecting samples mid 2013.

Get your facts straight.
Impossible, when certain members depsise the man who thorugly conquered his false god Federer. That kind of "fall from grace" was/is too much to take, so here comes the lies about PEDs.

I think you are a delusional fan. Federer was fully recovered from his "mono" by Wimbledon. And he only won in 09 because Nadal was injured.

Nadal can't make up for last year's second half by playing tournaments in this year's first half. Those points are gone, and #10 is the lowest he will go unless he is injured again.

Also, it's amusing how we need to give credit to Federer for the "mono", yet Nadal can spend months out for injury and this proves anything.

Have you ever wondered how a guy that was 5 years older could keep up with the young kids in an era which was the toughest baseline era, notable for its grueling rallies?

I mean, the way he was running around in that SF against Murray in Wimbledon was otherworldly.

Of course, I'm just caricaturizing your faulty logic, to see if it rings a bell, but I doubt it.
Your doubt was based in wisdom, and certain members do not see the hypocrisy in their accusations.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
I can't believe some people are so naïve as to think some of the top guys don't use banned substances. It's even more naïve to believe that the ATP wouldn't cover up a top player if they test dirty.

Tennis is first and foremost, a hugely profitable business. Let's say that Djoker, Fed, Murray or Nadal test positive for a banned substance. It's ridiculous to think the ATP would divulge that. Why? Because they would lost hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 1-2 years because of the fall out. If Muzz tests positive to PED's or anything else, then the suspicion would be, "Gee, then Rafa must be doping! So is Fed and Nole! They're all a bunch of cheaters!"

They already covered up Agassi's positive test because Agassi made the ATP untold millions. The ATP will ban lesser players like Tipsy or Korda, they would NEVER throw under the bus their top drawing cards. They pretend to have credibility because they test. The tests mean nothing, just look at Armstrong over his 12 year career, it's a joke. Anyone who seriously believes that Fed or Nadal could have a positive drug test and have it be revealed is either very, very young, or hopelessly idealistic. Tennis exists to make money for the ATP. They will never willingly take catastrophic hits in income or credibility by revealing a top, beloved player was, in fact, a (hypothetical) cheat.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
Not really, you are distorting the facts.

1. Nadal has been declining visibly, especially on clay, since 2012.
2. The Bio Passport started collecting samples mid 2013.

Get your facts straight.
The passport was indeed started in the final quarter of 2013, although it was not fully effective until some time in 2014 according to the ITF.

If Nadal was doping pre passport (which I'm not arguing), his performance in winning USO 2013 and after that isn't really contradictory at all to the hypothesis that he stopped using come the passport. The USO was right around the time they introduced the passport, or maybe even slightly before it from what I gather. And anyways, it's not like all the effects of PED's disappear straight after you stop using. It's a gradual tapering. Nadal's performance is relatively consistent with such a hypothesis.

Again, I'm not arguing for that conclusion, just stating that the date of introduction of the passport doesn't really render the theory less likely to any great extent.
 
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The passport was indeed started in the final quarter of 2013, although it was not fully effective until some time in 2014 according to the ITF.

If Nadal was doping pre passport (which I'm not arguing), his performance in winning USO 2013 and after that isn't really contradictory at all to the hypothesis that he stopped using come the passport. The USO was right around the time they introduced the passport, or maybe even slightly before it from what I gather. And anyways, it's not like all the effects of PED's disappear straight after you stop using. It's a gradual tapering. Nadal's performance is relatively consistent with such a hypothesis.

Again, I'm not arguing for that conclusion, just stating that the date of introduction of the passport doesn't really render the theory less likely to any great extent.
The first samples were collected in either June or July of 2013, and there was an announcement to all players in March that testing was imminent (in other words, they were given a warning that testing was going to start soon). The USO is in August/September, the French Open next year was almost one year later.

The whole purpose of "microdosing" is that very minute doses must be administered to keep a constant level, and quitting that would have a rather drastic effect, definitely not something that would take months (or even close to 1 year) to manifest in a reduction of performance. Do you have references to any literature (such as clinical studies) that states it takes months for the effects of EPO to go away? I'd be interested in that, as it goes contrary with my understanding of how that works.

Nadal's performance is consistent with being 29 years old and having gone through several months off due to injury/operation. When Federer hit a rough patch a few years ago I don't think anybody was surprised by it.

Also, what has happened to Nadal has been forecast for many years by many people, given his strenuous style of play. This decline is nothing but expected, although hopefully it's not permanent.
 
Impossible, when certain members depsise the man who thorugly conquered his false god Federer. That kind of "fall from grace" was/is too much to take, so here comes the lies about PEDs.

Your doubt was based in wisdom, and certain members do not see the hypocrisy in their accusations.
I think there are many logical, intelligent, and fair Federer fans, as is the case of any fan base. Then there are a few black sheep which just happen to be very vocal. But yes, you are correct. This case is the former.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
The first samples were collected in either June or July of 2013, and there was an announcement to all players in March that testing was imminent (in other words, they were given a warning that testing was going to start soon). The USO is in August/September, the French Open next year was almost one year later.

The whole purpose of "microdosing" is that very minute doses must be administered to keep a constant level, and quitting that would have a rather drastic effect, definitely not something that would take months (or even close to 1 year) to manifest in a reduction of performance. Do you have references to any literature (such as clinical studies) that states it takes months for the effects of EPO to go away? I'd be interested in that, as it goes contrary with my understanding of how that works.

Nadal's performance is consistent with being 29 years old and having gone through several months off due to injury/operation. When Federer hit a rough patch a few years ago I don't think anybody was surprised by it.

Also, what has happened to Nadal has been forecast for many years by many people, given his strenuous style of play. This decline is nothing but expected, although hopefully it's not permanent.
The effects of EPO are shown to be at least be very significant (in terms of top athletic performance) a month after administration.

However, you'd be right in that EPO (probably) doesn't have serious effects for very long times after administration given that its effect on body composition isn't all that big.

But EPO is far from the only option of doping (the bio passport helps in detecting more than EPO) , and the effects of hormonal doping that seriously alters body composition, muscle fibers, and all that jazz, is much more long lasting, and the effects after stopping administration is more tapering.
 

Goosehead

Legend
I do follow athletics a lot, although definitely not as religiously as tennis. And yes, I did look up a graph of his progression of times through different seasons on the 200.

Sure, he may have had some injury troubles. But he did compete a lot in both 2006 and 2007, so his massive leap in 2008 is still remarkable, no?

I'm not saying he peaked at 18. He had modest progress until after he had turned 21, which is what one expects. Once you're reaching world-class level, you are reaching a point of diminishing returns. Just like it's unrealistic for world-class lifters to add serious poundage on their lifts—progress is incrementally smaller. But after Bolt turned 21, he suddenly has a massive leap after 2-3 seasons of only mild progress.

Again, I don't dispute his undeniable prodigal talent at all, and I'm sure he'd be the best on equal terms. That he'd be head and shoulders way above the rest clean, while so many of his contenders dope, is a bit harder to conceive though. (Though he's a less flagrant offender than Fl

But kudos for giving reasons for your belief, unlike some others.
you have not given the reasons for your beliefs..you call those reasons ?, its just unfettered guff,

he got quicker because he was finally injury free, matured, trained properly, and ran more frequently esp in 100m. that's it.

I don't see anything suspicious about bolts progression given the circumstances of his particular development.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
you have not given the reasons for your beliefs..you call those reasons ?, its just unfettered guff,

he got quicker because he was finally injury free, matured, trained properly, and ran more frequently esp in 100m. that's it.
Lance Armstrong also improved drastically simply because he became healthy, matured, trained properly, and bicycled more frequently, especially mountains.

pro tip: I'm now talking about the 200m anyways, so what has the 100m got to do with it? He ran plenty of 200 meters in 2005-2007, and did in fact have modest and realistic improvement.

Also: you have not given the reasons for your beliefs..you call those reasons ?, its just unfettered guff,
 

Goosehead

Legend
Lance Armstrong also improved drastically simply because he became healthy, matured, trained properly, and bicycled more frequently, especially mountains.

pro tip: I'm now talking about the 200m anyways, so what has the 100m got to do with it? He ran plenty of 200 meters in 2005-2007, and did in fact have modest and realistic improvement.

Also: you have not given the reasons for your beliefs..you call those reasons ?, its just unfettered guff,
you brought up his 100m of 10.03 as evidence before, even though you were not aware it was his first ever 100m.

and bolt ran sub 20sec for 200m in 2004, 2005, 2006, I'm pretty sure he broke the world junior 200m world record in 2004.
 

jhhachamp

Hall of Fame
@Chanwan



Sure. I'll concede that my example of his 100m progression isn't the best given his relative lack of competing there.

Bolt was of course a prodigy, and that's not what I'm doubting. He's clearly most likely the fastest man in the field if they were all competing au naturel. What I'm doubting is that he crushes a field of other genetically gifted individuals who are doping.

You say he was a 200m runner up to then—well, let's look at his 200m progression instead then.

Up until 2005 (when he was 19 y.o.), Bolt had a tremendous progression on the 200m, which one would expect given his maturation. From 2005 (or late 2004) he reaches a somewhat of a plateau though, and until 2007 his times in the 200 do not progress that dramatically. In the 2007 WC's, a 21 year old Bolt finishes second to Tyson Gay with a time of 19.91 (Gay runs a 19.76).

However, now Bolt's times suddenly make a leaping jump again, and he quickly progresses to times under 20.4, and famously sets a world record of 19.3 in 2008, and 19.19 the following year. These aren't modest leaps; it isn't like improving your bench press from 200 pounds to 210 pounds. It's making a gigantic leap when you are already in the upper limits of human performance. It's leaving other cheaters in the dust, completely.

Of course, Bolt could just simply so far of the bell curve that he—while completely clean—crushes world class competitors who are doped, and has become a notoriously dominant world record holder in a history of world record holders that posteriority have shown to be doped. However, it really shouldn't be hard to entertain the possibility that the dominant champ in these power disciplines, running on a team full of dopers, running against a field full of dopers, being a record holder in a line of formerly doper record holders, is also doping.
This is a well thought and rational post. You still have a typo in there (Bolt's times quickly progressed to times under 19.4...), but I think it is quite clear to anyone with an understanding of the history of the 100 meters race what you meant. While I don't agree with you completely on everything you write, it is certainly well thought out. It think Goosehead did not know how to respond to such a well thought and rational argument and that is why he instead chose to bicker and insult. Chanwan's response was a good counter argument for yours though. He made some good points as well.

You are correct that making the leap from 19.9 to 19.3 is an incredibly large leap. It's much larger than making a leap from 200 pounds to 210 pounds on the bench press. It's probably more similar to making a leap from 200 pounds to 300 pounds in the bench press after plateauing at 200 pounds for a few years.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
This is the right attitude to adopt towards professional athletes. If Armstrong and Gay and the multitude of other popped athletes have taught us anything, it's that everyone should always be suspicious of all professional athletes - even those that do not have a physique or results that indicate drug abuse. But that's where it stops. Suspicion is not grounds for accusation especially when the suspicion is because of a sports culture of rampant PED use, and not because of reliable scientific evidence. I'm suspicious of Bolt. But it certainly doesn't mean he's doping. If we scrutinized all athletes to the extent we try to scrutinize the successful ones or the physically impressive ones, I guarantee we'd have a much cleaner sport, no matter which it is.
I can't say I'm not suspicious either. I mean he's run faster than any human in history on distances where most of his peers have been caught either sooner or later. Still, he wasn't on today's list and he did have some absolutely stunning times from a very young age as well. He could very well truly be the freak of nature I believe he is and that I also (I admit that) want him to be.

The sports needs athletes that can dazzle our minds with the 'how is that even possible'-reaction without the answer always being: because he took such and such and such, which are all banned.

See also my post a few posts up to @Sysyphus .
 

jhhachamp

Hall of Fame
The ATP chose not to pursue punitive measures against Agassi given the context Agassi had provided them. This is FULLY within the purview of the ATP, indeed they have formal independent panel specifically to handle cases where an acussee can defend his integrity from positive tests. It was not a conspiratorial effort by tennis officials to protect their golden American boy, it was rather dishonesty by Agassi and gullibility by the independent panel which led to a false-categorization of Agassi's very intentional ingestion of cocaine metabolites. They did not release the test results because they threw the test results out. Not because of a willful attempt to fool the public, but because THEY THEMSELVES had been fooled by Agassi's testimony.
I'm sorry but I have to chime in here and state my opinion that it is you that is being incredibly naive here. Agassi made up some completely bogus excuse and did not ever expect anyone to believe it. He was completely surprised that the ATP just let him off the hook so easily. It was not because they were fooled by his testimony...his testimony was incredibly weak. The fact was that Agassi was one of the biggest stars of the 90s. Even though he was not at the top of his game at that moment, if the public found out about his test result, it would have been extremely damaging to the sport of tennis. Not pursuing punitive measures and making the test result had more to do with protecting the sport than protecting Agassi.
 

Goosehead

Legend
This is a well thought and rational post. You still have a typo in there (Bolt's times quickly progressed to times under 19.4...), but I think it is quite clear to anyone with an understanding of the history of the 100 meters race what you meant. While I don't agree with you completely on everything you write, it is certainly well thought out. It think Goosehead did not know how to respond to such a well thought and rational argument and that is why he instead chose to bicker and insult. Chanwan's response was a good counter argument for yours though. He made some good points as well.

You are correct that making the leap from 19.9 to 19.3 is an incredibly large leap. It's much larger than making a leap from 200 pounds to 210 pounds on the bench press. It's probably more similar to making a leap from 200 pounds to 300 pounds in the bench press after plateauing at 200 pounds for a few years.
I responded with the truth. making a leap from 19.9s from age 17/18yrs to 19.3s age 22years is the measure of brilliance that marks him out as an alltime great.

for bolt it is normal and revolutionary.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
you brought up his 100m of 10.03 as evidence before, even though you were not aware it was his first ever 100m.

and bolt ran sub 20sec for 200m in 2004, 2005, 2006, I'm pretty sure he broke the world junior 200m world record in 2004.
And I then conceded that it was not the best example due to lack of material, and I have since focused on the 200 meters.
 

jhhachamp

Hall of Fame
True but, Probably guilty isn't a term any institution recognizes. I don't think it does anyone any favours to accuse someone without proof. Saying that Bolt is likely not clean backed up with no proof besides circumstantial evidence at best, betrays your intelligence.
I disagree with this reasoning. It doesn't matter if an institution recognizes the term "probably guilty" because we are not discussing institutions here. We are simply having intelligent conversations among human beings. You sound very politically correct if you think we cannot discuss the possibility that someone dopes without absolute proof. Suggesting that participating in such a such a discussion shows that a poster is unintelligent...I have no words.
 

Goosehead

Legend
And I then conceded that it was not the best example due to lack of material, and I have since focused on the 200 meters.
so what ?.you should have focused when you posted, I focus on the 100m and 200m which are now his events..

in the early days if you'd have known what you were talking about you would have known that bolt was meant to be going 200/400m in his career but bolt didn't like the training for 400m so he went for 100m,

if you'd know that you wouldn't just have used 10.03s in 2007 out as evidence in the first place.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
I do follow athletics a lot, although definitely not as religiously as tennis. And yes, I did look up a graph of his progression of times through different seasons on the 200.

Sure, he may have had some injury troubles. But he did compete a lot in both 2006 and 2007, so his massive leap in 2008 is still remarkable, no?

I'm not saying he peaked at 18. He had modest progress until after he had turned 21, which is what one expects. Once you're reaching world-class level, you are reaching a point of diminishing returns. Just like it's unrealistic for world-class lifters to add serious poundage on their lifts—progress is incrementally smaller. But after Bolt turned 21, he suddenly has a massive leap after 2-3 seasons of only mild progress.

Again, I don't dispute his undeniable prodigal talent at all, and I'm sure he'd be the best on equal terms. That he'd be head and shoulders way above the rest clean, while so many of his contenders dope, is a bit harder to conceive though. (Though he's a less flagrant offender than Fl

But kudos for giving reasons for your belief, unlike some others.
Cheers, you as well.

It's def. still remarkable, yes.
The progress was there, but it was beyond modest. Going from 19.93 to 19.75 in 3 years from age 17/18 to 20/21 is hardly even progression. He then ran 19.67 (iirc) mid 2008 a few months shy of turning 22 before shattering his previous times.

Fl as in Flo-Jo? Or who?
 

jhhachamp

Hall of Fame
It shouldn't and it isn't and that's part of why we're having this discussion in the first place.

As for his 200 progression, I have to ask. Do you follow track and field or simply happen to look up the progression? I used to follow it as much as I now follow tennis and it's still my 2nd favorite sport.

And sure, he stalled. But that's where the interesting question comes in: why?
Mainly due to injuries.
Given that he ran (I'll repost)
"At 16, he was down at 20.13 (a month shy of turning 17) and 45,35 in 400 meters.
From Wiki: "his times in the 200 m and 400 m led to him being touted as a possible successor to (Michael) Johnson. Indeed, at sixteen years old, Bolt had reached times that Johnson did not register until he was twenty, and Bolt's 200 m time was superior to Maurice Greene's season's best that year."
He ran a sub 20 time before turning 18 (19,93)"

20.13 at 16 and 19.93 at 17, it's incredibly odd that he didn't improve on those times for another 3-4 years. Which other male athletes reach their physical peak before turning 18? None that I know off.
His progression stalled for various personal and injury related issues. Once back on track, he started running the times that his youth times indeed make fairly plausible and the kind of times the athletic world was even somewhat expecting from him.
This is a good post also. There's certainly an argument to be had that Bolt is more than likely clean or that he more than likely doped.

All that said, of course he could still be doping.
But the fact that he's not among the 800 athletes named is further indication that he might not be.
This is the only part of your post that I take some issue with. As others have explained in this thread, the fact that Bold is not on this list doesn't really mean much. This list is only for blood doping. If Bold were doping, he would likely not be using the types of substance that would land him on this list. If the list was for all doping, then the fact that he was not on it would be much more meaningful.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
so what ?.you should have focused when you posted, I focus on the 100m and 200m which are now his events..

in the early days if you'd have known what you were talking about you would have known that bolt was meant to be going 200/400m in his career but bolt didn't like the training for 400m so he went for 100m,

if you'd know that you wouldn't just have used 10.03s in 2007 out as evidence in the first place.
I know he was a specialist in the 200's early on.

I admit that I didn't realize how little he had raced competitively on the 100m early on. You got me there.

However, that doesn't affect the conclusion of my other arguments. Why don't you engage that instead of going on and on about an error I've already admitted a long time ago.
 

jhhachamp

Hall of Fame
I responded with the truth. making a leap from 19.9s from age 17/18yrs to 19.3s age 22years is the measure of brilliance that marks him out as an alltime great.

for bolt it is normal and revolutionary.
It's a valid opinion, but that is all it is.
 
The effects of EPO are shown to be at least be very significant (in terms of top athletic performance) a month after administration.

However, you'd be right in that EPO (probably) doesn't have serious effects for very long times after administration given that its effect on body composition isn't all that big.

But EPO is far from the only option of doping (the bio passport helps in detecting more than EPO) , and the effects of hormonal doping that seriously alters body composition, muscle fibers, and all that jazz, is much more long lasting, and the effects after stopping administration is more tapering.
If you mean anabolic steroids, then I find that even less credible. The effects of ceasing anabolic steroids are really severe, from voice changes to breast tissue increase, to testicular atrophy, weight gain, etc. I am no expert, but Nadal doesn't seem to suffer any of that.

Besides, steroids don't really increase stamina, which is what the "experts" seem to say Nadal has lost the most.

In the end, if you look at all the data you have on the table without any bias, Federer, Djokovic, Berdych, or any other player can be accused with the same certainty of the same things. Going just by Nadal's "loss of performance" this year is dumb to say the least.
 

Goosehead

Legend
I know he was a specialist in the 200's early on.

I admit that I didn't realize how little he had raced competitively on the 100m early on. You got me there.

However, that doesn't affect the conclusion of my other arguments. Why don't you engage that instead of going on and on about an error I've already admitted a long time ago.
I did..can't you read ?. under 20s for 200m since 2004, inc junior world record (I think).
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
Cheers, you as well.

It's def. still remarkable, yes.
The progress was there, but it was beyond modest. Going from 19.93 to 19.75 in 3 years from age 17/18 to 20/21 is hardly even progression. He then ran 19.67 (iirc) mid 2008 a few months shy of turning 22 before shattering his previous times.

Fl as in Flo-Jo? Or who?
Yeah, fair enough. I could see the reasoning that he might have had a delayed progress, so to say, because of some injury troubles and so on. But shedding 2 tenths of a second of your time from 18 to 21 isn't really that modest when you were already at such a high level. The difference between his 2005 season best of 19.99 and 19.75 in 2007 isn't that small at all on this level, IMO. Many athletes work long and extremely gradual to achieve such improvements.

Was about to write Flo Jo, yes, but I thought I had ereased it as I decided not to go off on that tangent :D But whaddya reckon? She had flagrant progress..
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
I did..can't you read ?. under 20s for 200m since 2004, inc junior world record (I think).
No need to continue with the insults.

Yes, Bolt was extremely quickly out with strong times, but this isn't inconsistent with what I have said. He stalled a bit in 2004-2005, and the resumed modest and realistic progress through 2007, and then completely smashed his own times, and the rest of the world's.

 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
If you mean anabolic steroids, then I find that even less credible. The effects of ceasing anabolic steroids are really severe, from voice changes to breast tissue increase, to testicular atrophy, weight gain, etc. I am no expert, but Nadal doesn't seem to suffer any of that.

Besides, steroids don't really increase stamina, which is what the "experts" seem to say Nadal has lost the most.
From the Journal of Physiology:



  • Training studio folklore suggests that previous strength training, with or without the use of anabolic steroids facilitates re-acquisition of muscle mass even after long intervening periods of inactivity. This ‘muscle memory’ has previously been attributed to motor learning, but our data suggest the existence of a cellular memory residing in the muscle fibres themselves.

  • Muscle fibres have multiple nuclei, and the number of nuclei increases when muscle mass increases.

  • When mice were briefly treated with steroids the muscle mass and number of nuclei increased. The drug was subsequently withdrawn for 3 months and the muscle mass returned to normal, but the excess cell nuclei persisted. When such muscles were subjected to overload they grew by 30% over 6 days while controls grew insignificantly.

  • Our data suggest that previous strength training might be beneficial later in life, and that a brief exposure to anabolic steroids might have long lasting performance-enhancing effects.
In the end, if you look at all the data you have on the table without any bias, Federer, Djokovic, Berdych, or any other player can be accused with the same certainty of the same things. Going just by Nadal's "loss of performance" this year is dumb to say the least.
I don't see any reason for this at all. Clearly Nadal's gradual loss of performance since USO 2013 is clearly more consistent with such a theory than these other three players.

That doesn't mean that he used and they didn't. Not at all. I'm merely commenting on the consistency of the theory, which is what you put in doubt.
 

Goosehead

Legend
No need to continue with the insults.

Yes, Bolt was extremely quickly out with strong times, but this isn't inconsistent with what I have said. He stalled a bit in 2004-2005, and the resumed modest and realistic progress through 2007, and then completely smashed his own times, and the rest of the world's.

saying "can't you read" when you can't read isn't an insult.

he stalled abit in 2004 ?..so you think he stalled in the process of breaking the world junior 200m world record do you ?. ok. and 2005 he had injuries. as he did in 2004 Olympics actually.

that chart does notsay anything I didn't..under 20s in 2004 age 17/18yrs then injuries/lack of discipline allowing he kept improving.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
saying "can't you read" when you can't read isn't an insult.

he stalled abit in 2004 ?..so you think he stalled in the process of breaking the world junior 200m world record do you ?. ok. and 2005 he had injuries. as he did in 2004 Olympics actually.

that chart does notsay anything I didn't..under 20s in 2004 age 17/18yrs then injuries/lack of discipline allowing he kept improving.
Yawn, you're not actually engaging my argument.

And that's alright. You may stick to your opinion, but the fruitfulness of this exchange seems fairly limited.

And I most certainly do read better than you write ;)
 

Goosehead

Legend
Yawn, you're not actually engaging my argument.

And that's alright. You may stick to your opinion, but the fruitfulness of this exchange seems fairly limited.

And I most certainly do read better than you write ;)
yes, please do feel free to run away now that you have been demolished.

if bolt wins gold with 9.58s in the wc you can still claim he has stalled.
 
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