Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Never alone with Metenolone

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  • Yamis, in reply to jeremy gray,

    Re looking like real people, the bbc has a page here to find your body double http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19050139</q>

    I match up with a 100m sprinter from the Bahamas.

    I'll take that. :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Luther, in reply to Hadyn Green,

    Haydn, you're not alone in wondering. Did Caster Semenya deliberately throw the 800 meters?

    Melbourne • Since Nov 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • headasunder, in reply to Hadyn Green,

    I saw that race and thought the same thing

    christchurch • Since Apr 2012 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Semenya ran a season best in the final after placing 3rd in her first round race and running a season best in her semi (which she then beat again in the final). If she had been throwing it then she wouldn't have had the same worries coming up to the Olympics because those middle distance runners are running hard in the leadup. Many will be running, or throwing or whatevering further, harder, faster etc in their training beforehand. Adams was apparently throwing it further in training than she did at the Games (though there's been some well publicised reasons why that might have happened).

    It did look like she let herself miss the jump down the back straight and had a hell of a lot of ground to make up late on but that happens to runners all the time.

    It's easy for us looking from an elevated side profile TV view, but on the track when your legs and lungs are burning and all you can see is peoples bums off in the distance, trying to work out if they're getting further away and if so at what speed, then it might take an extra second or two to realise your in the shit. And it's too late to make up for it at the death.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Al C, in reply to Hadyn Green,

    I note that the page Luther linked to links to this but thought I'd highlight it as these guys are always really interesting and usually quite balanced in their articles: http://www.sportsscientists.com/2012/08/womens-800m-analysing-semenya-other.html

    They also touch on Ye Shiwen in some of their previous articles as well as one of the other main talking points of the games (from a scientific/performance point of view), Oscar Pistorius.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2012 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Petra Jane,

    For some reason there is a consensus that our female athletes should look a certain way. One of Ostapchuk's track and field teammates, women's hammer throw contender Aksana Miankova, was lauded by Prime's commentators - not for her performance (she fouled half her shots and placed seventh of twelve) but because her curvy 80kg frame and pretty face were "proof you don't need to be a brute to succeed in this sport".

    I discovered something while reading about why Caster Semenya probably threw her final: while the Olympics generally encourages "freaky mutants" (supertall basketballers, hypermuscular swimmers, cyclists with 28bpm resting heart rates) and the IOC doesn't bar athletes for being abnormally tall or tiny or broad-shouldered, it does reserve the right to bar female athletes it considers to be too butch - having elevated levels of male hormones. Androgens like testosterone are naturally present in all women, but can be elevated in women with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome. As far as I can tell, hyperandrogenism is the only (non-doping-related) physical condition that can result in a qualified athlete being barred from Olympic competition, even though the links between female hyperandrogenism and athletic performance are tenuous at best.

    For whatever reason, the IOC and the public regard masculine traits in female athletes as unsporting. Even if they're not caught doping with androgenic steroids, or with man-junk or stray Y chromosomes, any female athlete who looks too butch and burly must have an unfair competitive advantage over her svelte and sexy sisters, and that (apparently) makes them fair game for ridicule and scorn. That's why Prime's commentators feel they can be leery jocks, why Facebook is awash with the keen observation that the dude looks like a lady, and I suspect this is why Semenya didn't push herself to take the 800m gold. She wouldn't just be bombarded with prying questions about her private medical history - she would also face an inquisition over how much of her success she could take credit for, and how much was due to atypical testosterone levels.

    Mount Eden • Since Jan 2007 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green, in reply to Petra Jane,

    For whatever reason, the IOC and the public regard masculine traits in female athletes as unsporting.

    Check my piece on Caster Semenya from a while back... and then all of the comments

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Petra Jane,

    Androgens like testosterone are naturally present in all women, but can be elevated in women with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome. As far as I can tell, hyperandrogenism is the only (non-doping-related) physical condition that can result in a qualified athlete being barred from Olympic competition, even though the links between female hyperandrogenism and athletic performance are tenuous at best

    It’s a bit more complicated than that. Anabolic steroids are derivatives of testosterone. Indeed, the first steroids used were testosterone. If there were no limits on serum testosterone, women would effectively be obliged to use it to compete at elite level in some sports – with hideous consequences for the health of those women, including birth deformities in their children. It's not regulated because the authorities are being sexist jerks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Knowing that there would be a hullabaloo if she won gold in the 800m, Semenya intentionally tanked and got silver. Still very respectable but she misses out on the inevitable bullshit that would come her way if she won gold.

    That was an interesting race to watch. She was mowing through the field down the home straight, from a long way back. And then when she finished she didn't look tired like all the other competitors. If she'd started her charge 10 seconds earlier...?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    It was a spy who dun it.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    It was a spy who dun it.

    We're through the looking glass here people*.

    *I would pay to see a movie with Valerie Adams in a Jason Bourne-type role

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Very little about this case makes much sense. As has been pointed out by everyone the steroid found in two samples is ridiculously easy to detect now. Nobody in the sport would imagine they could get away with using it. And yet the drug was definitely in her samples and her performances were unusual enough to create suspicion.

    It's sad for everyone involved.

    I'm happy the Val has been awarded the gold. But I can't say I really understand what happened, it would be nice if the media took a balanced attitude, but I guess balanced reporting doesn't sell papers - sigh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hadyn Green,

    *I would pay to see a movie with Valerie Adams in a Jason Bourne-type role

    Fuck yeah. But more of an action movie. Already have mental imagery of Val laying waste to villains.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Hadyn Green,

    *I would pay to see a movie with Valerie Adams in a Jason Bourne-type role

    A LOT of money. Maybe we should just go to see the new Bourne movie when it comes out, and do a alternate commentary*?

    * We'll probably have to be drunk.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    I used to know a bloke from Belarus. Nice bloke, organic chemistry student. Whenever he went home, he used to buy up a load of chemistry supplies and take them back to the lab at his old university. I asked him how it was taking a load of lab equipment through customs. He shrugged, and said that he also had to buy a lot of cigarettes to give to the customs agents so they let him through. "I'd have to do it anyway," he said, "you've always got to give the customs agents something." He was quite matter-of-fact about the level of official corruption - obviously it wasn't something he particularly liked, but it was just how it was.

    Tie this in with the general "win at all costs" mentality that both athletes and coaches have, and I have no trouble believing any of the various theories floating around. Though, as said, the choice of such an easily discoverable doping agent (which can be administered orally) would tend to indicate that the athlete herself may not have been aware that it was being used - as she said, you'd have to be an idiot to dope that blatantly.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Meanwhile, Eric Young is an unprofessional dick.

    It would be nice if some of these people could take a moment to consider that Nadzeya Ostapchuk might as much a victim in this as Valerie Adams.

    Valerie will get her gold. That doesn't ignore the sadness of not getting the gold awarded at the games.

    This will be the end of Nadzeya Ostapchuk's career.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Meanwhile, Eric Young is an unprofessional dick.

    Yup - and this from Sky's head of corporate communications Kirsty Way wasn't exactly gold-worthy PR.

    "It was disappointing to see that language used in a tweet and it certainly is against Sky Television's policies to use language like that,"
    [...}
    "Although I think Eric's followers may have seen the humour in it and many people may have seen the humour in it, especially when it's read in context with all of his tweets."

    I think if anyone talked to Ms. Way like that in the workplace, she would neither see the humour nor be willing to put it in a larger context. Still, nice way to send mixed signals Kirsty!

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Wood, in reply to Sacha,

    Sacha (and everyone!) -- it's about to happen. You really want to check out Channel 4's amazing game-changing Paralympics ad: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/paralympics-channel-4s-superhuman-effort-7956894.html

    Reframed my view entirely.

    Now back in Aucktown • Since Dec 2006 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Greg Wood,

    You really want to check out Channel 4's amazing game-changing Paralympics ad

    Clip is fricken geoblocked, but thanks.

    I should also note my wariness about how elite sports framing affects the overall disability discourse. We all contribute without being superhuman.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Stupid,

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Clip is fricken geoblocked, but thanks.

    Oafs. But there's a non-geoblocked one here:

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Ta. I have seen that one on telly somewhere. Great edits.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green, in reply to Greg Wood,

    Paralympics

    Was it Sydney where the Paralympics were held at the same time? I wanna see that happen again! Double the sports in the same amount of time.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

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