The Olympics (1 Viewer)

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rettucs

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I suppose this could have just been included in the 'doping' thread, but we'll give it one of its own.

This is already turning out to be a shitshow of epic proportions. Firstly you have the golfers, correctly, not giving a shit about it. Then you have the 'good doper/bad doper' scandal with Russia which, I sincerely hope gets challenged at a human rights level. Justin Gatlin the doper is welcome. Ilnur Zakarin the doper is not welcome. One from the USA, one from Russia. I think in any language that equates to discrimination on the grounds of nationality.

Anyway, heres a couple of other stories that have caught my attention.

We all remember Caster Semenya from a previous olympics. Well shes back and now Paula Radcliffe is claiming that, if she wins gold 'it will no longer be support'.

Theres a campaign targetting Radcliffe's sponsors to pressure her into issuing an apology.

Stop the bullying of Caster Semenya | Awethu

This is a nice story. 3 Estonian triplets to compete in the marathon. First time thats ever happened.

(the story is in French, but you'll get the gist)

Pour la première fois, des triplées participeront aux JO
 

Unicron

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I feel really sorry for Semenya, there's been so much terrible shit said about her since she came on the scene. Almost all of it possibly misinformed as, as far as I know she's never really commented on her status, "I am what god made me" or similar is as far as she's gone.
 
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When we talk about it in terms of fully expecting no other result than Caster Semenya to win that 800m, then it’s no longer sport
That seems fair no? When the result is a foregone conclusion sport loses its excitement, just look at Scottish football - every year its either Celtic or Rangers that win the top prize, similarly in Spain its Barcelona or Real Madrid, terribly boring.
 

Unicron

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That seems fair no? When the result is a foregone conclusion sport loses its excitement, just look at Scottish football - every year its either Celtic or Rangers that win the top prize, similarly in Spain its Barcelona or Real Madrid, terribly boring.
I don't think that was Radcliffe's point though.
 
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rettucs

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That seems fair no? When the result is a foregone conclusion sport loses its excitement, just look at Scottish football - every year its either Celtic or Rangers that win the top prize, similarly in Spain its Barcelona or Real Madrid, terribly boring.
its still sport though.

Its up to everyone else to match the standards set by those who dominate.

Difficult in professional sports, admittedly.

I don't think Radcliffe was referring to it in the same way you're interpretting it though. She's making a comment simlar to those during the whole 'gender controversy' from a few years back.

Which is pretty dispicable. But then thats Radcliffe. A grade-A prick if ever there was one.
 
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I don't think that was Radcliffe's point though.
What is her point then?

its still sport though.

Its up to everyone else to match the standards set by those who dominate.
Technically, yes it is, but is it a sporting spectacle? I would say no.

If one person is dominating due to a super-natural advantage how can the others hope to match that standard? Semenya seems to be dominating to such an extent that its like expecting the piebald down the road to get up and win the grand national.
 

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My view on Caster Semanaya is that sport for the most part at the highest level is about a natural advantage over others. don't get me wrong, you also need to be putting in a lot of hard work but you can't suceed without a natural advantage. i'll never make a sports person due to this natural advantage (for one thing when it comes to soccer, controlling the ball and moving by other players at the same time is a real difficulty. for my best chance of doing well at soccer, you need the other players in the pub until 5am and have the game at 10 am. got four goals out of that, they say proudly)

all the best sports people have natural advantages -(some also have chemical advantages :( ) and this is why they are the best there is.

of course hard work also comes into.

in terms of some riders whose haematocrit levels are naturally high, (about 47%), they have special exemptions or are allowed higher levels from the the haematocrit tests (which were introduced as the purpose of epo (erythopoietin) was used to increase red blood cells, which improve level of stamina and recovery for the mountain stages). for these riders with high red blood cell count that is naturally, there is no talk that they should have to decrease their red blood cells because it is a natural advantage

and this is the same for caster semanaya. this is their natural ability.

there is a CAS ruling on the sprinter Dutee Chand which ruled along these lines
Sprinter Dutee Chand cleared to compete after CAS ruling
 
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rettucs

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My view on Caster Semanaya is that sport for the most part at the highest level is about a natural advantage over others.
yep. Some people are genetically disposed to succeed in a sporting field. As @IFF points out, this can be due to something like the constituent parts of your blood.

And its every sport. You don't get to play second row in rugby unless you're huge. Lionel Messi is helped hugely by his low center of gravity and his amazing balance. Ronaldo by his speed, probably, due to the high proportion of fast-twitch muscles in his legs.

I'd suggest reading the Sporting Gene by David Epstein. Its a book on this very topic and its a real eye-opener.

Of course the lines can be blurred when chemical enhancements come into it, but for the sake of this conversation, lets stick to genetics.

The same accusations levelled at Samanaya could also be levelled at other athletes (certain British track and field athletes, and American tennis players tennis players spring to mind).

Its the nature of sport though. You have to work with what you have, and you have to work hard. If, ultimately, you can't compete with an athlete thats genetically, better disposed to compete at that sport than you, well, put simply, its because they are better than you.

I don't think calls for Radcliffe to apologise are out of line at all. Radcliffe is a disgrace. She was almost certainly a drugs cheat. She had the brass neck to sit in an Olympics athletic stadium with an 'EPO cheats out' sign. Meanwhile, she was putting in performances that were, by any stretch of the imagination, not humanly possible.
 
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rettucs

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Anyway, the latest fuck-up is that the accommodation in the olympic village is not fit for habitation. The australians have refused to move into it until fire-safety checks are conducted, and modifications are made.

You'd really have to wonder why any country would actually want to host the olympics. Rio is getting nothing but bad press over it.
 

Unicron

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I'd suggest reading the Sporting Gene by David Epstein. Its a book on this very topic and its a real eye-opener.
That's a great book, introduced so many ideas to me about genetics and evolution and biomechanics and gender. And I can't put a word on it, the bit about baseballers not being able to hit that softball lady's pitches.

Edit: After reading it I tried to figure out what sport I'd have been best at. Possibly swimming, or wrestling, which is close to the sport I actually was best at, judo.
 
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rettucs

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Yet more double-standards

Armitstead cleared for Rio Olympics after anti-doping appeal | Cyclingnews.com

This is kind of outrageous. Lets look at the timeline here;

- early July Armitstead receives a ban. Armitstead, the current world champion. Armitstead, one of the top 3 female cyclists in the world currently. Armitstead, one of the most high-profile female athletes in Britain. Yet, not a single word was ever uttered about this ban.

- a week later, Lizzie pulls out of a race citing illness.

Lizzie Armitstead withdraws from Giro Rosa after suffering from illness

again, no mention that she's actually banned.

- last sunday week, the 'La Course' race. A one-day women's bike race that takes place on the final day of the Tour de France, around the same circuit the men's race takes later that day, finishing on the champ-elysees. A very prestigious event. No sign of Lizzie. Not a word from her.

- last sunday her team pull out of the 'RideLondon' cycling event claiming they can't find enough riders to compete. Possibly because everyone would be questioning her whereabouts.

- Last night a press release comes out saying that she has successfully contested her ban (first mention anywhere she was banned) after being able to prove negligence on the part of UKAD for her first missed test.

- It also comes out that British Cycling funding her legal defense. Basically British Cycling took on UK Anti-Doping, and beat them. The same British Cycling would would not involve themselves in other recent doping cases following British cyclists (Jonathan Tiernan-Locke and Simon Yates).

So Lizzie gets to go to Rio, where she'll almost certainly medal.

Imagine reading the story like the above involving a Russian athlete.

And its generally taken that a missed-test is pretty much always intentional cos 'glow-time'. Basically you have 2 free strikes, so dope away. There was an instance of Mo Farah missing a test, claiming he didn't hear the doorbell. Christ Froome missed a test due to some other wishy-washy excuse or other.

But its grand, they're brits. Brits don't dope.

British sport stinks.
 

Unicron

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Yet more double-standards

Armitstead cleared for Rio Olympics after anti-doping appeal | Cyclingnews.com

This is kind of outrageous. Lets look at the timeline here;

- early July Armitstead receives a ban. Armitstead, the current world champion. Armitstead, one of the top 3 female cyclists in the world currently. Armitstead, one of the most high-profile female athletes in Britain. Yet, not a single word was ever uttered about this ban.

- a week later, Lizzie pulls out of a race citing illness.

Lizzie Armitstead withdraws from Giro Rosa after suffering from illness

again, no mention that she's actually banned.

- last sunday week, the 'La Course' race. A one-day women's bike race that takes place on the final day of the Tour de France, around the same circuit the men's race takes later that day, finishing on the champ-elysees. A very prestigious event. No sign of Lizzie. Not a word from her.

- last sunday her team pull out of the 'RideLondon' cycling event claiming they can't find enough riders to compete. Possibly because everyone would be questioning her whereabouts.

- Last night a press release comes out saying that she has successfully contested her ban (first mention anywhere she was banned) after being able to prove negligence on the part of UKAD for her first missed test.

- It also comes out that British Cycling funding her legal defense. Basically British Cycling took on UK Anti-Doping, and beat them. The same British Cycling would would not involve themselves in other recent doping cases following British cyclists (Jonathan Tiernan-Locke and Simon Yates).

So Lizzie gets to go to Rio, where she'll almost certainly medal.

Imagine reading the story like the above involving a Russian athlete.

And its generally taken that a missed-test is pretty much always intentional cos 'glow-time'. Basically you have 2 free strikes, so dope away. There was an instance of Mo Farah missing a test, claiming he didn't hear the doorbell. Christ Froome missed a test due to some other wishy-washy excuse or other.

But its grand, they're brits. Brits don't dope.

British sport stinks.

Lizzie Armitstead’s Olympic reprieve questioned by fellow athletes
 

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