Friday, February 1, 2013

Cheaters or Winners?

I was perusing through the Runner's World magazine online last night and I came across a couple of articles that caught my attention. Evidently, with Lance Armstrong's confession, there have been a number of elite athletes who have either died or tested positive for illegal substances. Case in point:

Claire Squires died last year at the London Marathon after they found this:

in her water bottle. There was also a report on an African runner, Ludwick Mamabolo, who tested positive for an illegal substance in his body when he ran at the Comrades Marathon.

The substance found in both Squires and Mamabolo was DMAA, which gives you a lot of energy and a "high" similar to running. DMAA has been banned by the Anti-Doping Agency.

It's difficult for me to grasp why an elite athlete would succumb to taking illegal substances to enhance their performance. For me, my journey through weight loss and learning how to run has served as my "high." Watching myself lose 80 pounds and going from a 14-minute mile pace to a 6.20-minute mile pace has been so fulfilling. The best part is the fact that I can purely attribute those accomplishments to dedication and will power. I don't think I would have felt the same way if I would have taken the easy way out.

So, do you think Lance, Squires and Mamabolo are cheaters or winners (that will do anything to fulfill their goals)?

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  1. I think anyone who takes any performance enhancing booster, be it natural or synthesized is a cheater. It is the human body's ability to change itself and perform in the way we challenge it and train it that is important here. It disgusts me to see even bulked up body builders inject synthesized or natural steroids to attain their goals as well. It is cheating at it's worst. Even enhancing with a naturally occurring hormone called erythropoietin stimulating hormone (a red blood cell growth promoter for better oxygenation)is cheating. These agents create an edge that those who don't dope and have elected not to do so do not have. The whole competitive edge is falsified and the body responds adversely with cancers, heart disease, diabetes and other anomalies that would otherwise not occur or not occur at quite a young age. That should say it all in a nut shell but it doesn't. Protein drinks and other supplements that are naturally occurring in our diets are just fine. These supplements encourage good eating habits and digestive health. If it doesn't come from a healthy diet and assimilated in our diets, it should not be allowed.

  2. Frank, I couldn't have said that better myself. Bravo!