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Rob W

Early Drug Fiends - "times"

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The Times August 05, 2006

 

Speed freaks who raced to an early grave

Past Notes by Graham Stewart

 

THESE ARE not days to turn to the sports pages for light relief. Nannina, the Royal Ascot winner, could be stripped of the Coronation Stakes after failing a routine doping test. Last Saturday, Justin Gatlin, the Olympic 100m champion, also tested positive. That revelation followed hot on the speedy heels of Floyd Landis, who won the Tour de France only for it to be revealed that he too had failed a drugs test. Both men assert their innocence, but is anyone still surprised by headlines linking the words “sport” and “drugs shame”?

 

There is nothing new about sport’s chemical weapons. Since the first Tour de France in 1903, cyclists have been ingesting a lot more than mineral water. One of the most painful images in the Tour’s history was that of Tom Simpson, the inspirational British champion cyclist, filmed as he lay dying by the side of the track on the heat-bleached Mont Ventoux in 1967. “On, on, on,” he murmured as he slipped into oblivion, the drug Tonedron having re-educated his body so that he could not recognise the warning signals of riding beyond physical endurance.

 

Such amphetamines had been criminalised in France only two years earlier. Brian Robinson, the Briton who won a stage of the Tour in 1958, even recalled witnessing cyclists in the Belgian classics with syringes in their hands during races.

 

It was not much better during the heyday of the Corinthian spirit. In 1897, Britain’s competitive edge in cycling was blunted when road racing was made illegal — unlike the drugs its racers were taking. Arthur Linton, the world champion, is often cited as the sport’s first drugs fatality after he overdosed on trmethyl in 1886. There is a problem with this story. Ten years later, on July 24, The Times reported that Arthur Linton “the Welsh champion cyclist died at Aberdare yesterday morning. He had been for some days suffering from typhoid fever.”

 

However, the campaign to restore Linton’s reputation may not get far. His coach was James “Choppy” Warburton, who with his top hat and moustache bore an uncanny resemblance to the comic cad Terry-Thomas. In the 1890s, Choppy coached three world champions only to be banned amid rumours that he was pumping them full of harmful pills. Suspicions were raised after one of his champion cyclists, Jimmy Michael, pedalling in what appeared to be a daze, collapsed in the middle of the track. Remounting, he rejoined the race without noticing that he was now cycling round the track in the opposite direction.

 

The kick provided by Choppy’s bag of tricks proved to be short-term. The super-fit Michael died aged 28. The super-fit Linton died aged 24, shortly after winning the 1896 Bordeaux to Paris race in a record-breaking 21 hours, 17 minutes.

 

Athletes who use drugs to push their bodies beyond their natural limits should beware. Those paths to glory lead but to the grave.

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The Times  August 05, 2006

 

Speed freaks who raced to an early grave

Past Notes by Graham Stewart

 

THESE ARE not days to turn to the sports pages for light relief. Nannina, the Royal Ascot winner, could be stripped of the Coronation Stakes after failing a routine doping test. Last Saturday, Justin Gatlin, the Olympic 100m champion, also tested positive. That revelation followed hot on the speedy heels of Floyd Landis, who won the Tour de France only for it to be revealed that he too had failed a drugs test. Both men assert their innocence, but is anyone still surprised by headlines linking the words “sport” and “drugs shame”?

 

There is nothing new about sport’s chemical weapons. Since the first Tour de France in 1903, cyclists have been ingesting a lot more than mineral water. One of the most painful images in the Tour’s history was that of Tom Simpson, the inspirational British champion cyclist, filmed as he lay dying by the side of the track on the heat-bleached Mont Ventoux in 1967. “On, on, on,” he murmured as he slipped into oblivion, the drug Tonedron having re-educated his body so that he could not recognise the warning signals of riding beyond physical endurance.

 

Such amphetamines had been criminalised in France only two years earlier. Brian Robinson, the Briton who won a stage of the Tour in 1958, even recalled witnessing cyclists in the Belgian classics with syringes in their hands during races.

 

It was not much better during the heyday of the Corinthian spirit. In 1897, Britain’s competitive edge in cycling was blunted when road racing was made illegal — unlike the drugs its racers were taking. Arthur Linton, the world champion, is often cited as the sport’s first drugs fatality after he overdosed on trmethyl in 1886. There is a problem with this story. Ten years later, on July 24, The Times reported that Arthur Linton “the Welsh champion cyclist died at Aberdare yesterday morning. He had been for some days suffering from typhoid fever.”

 

However, the campaign to restore Linton’s reputation may not get far. His coach was James “Choppy” Warburton, who with his top hat and moustache bore an uncanny resemblance to the comic cad Terry-Thomas. In the 1890s, Choppy coached three world champions only to be banned amid rumours that he was pumping them full of harmful pills. Suspicions were raised after one of his champion cyclists, Jimmy Michael, pedalling in what appeared to be a daze, collapsed in the middle of the track. Remounting, he rejoined the race without noticing that he was now cycling round the track in the opposite direction.

 

The kick provided by Choppy’s bag of tricks proved to be short-term. The super-fit Michael died aged 28. The super-fit Linton died aged 24, shortly after winning the 1896 Bordeaux to Paris race in a record-breaking 21 hours, 17 minutes.

 

Athletes who use drugs to push their bodies beyond their natural limits should beware. Those paths to glory lead but to the grave.

171265[/snapback]

 

Excellent read Rob, thanks

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So whats the difference between drugs that "teach" the body not to recognise the warning signs and footballers having painkilling injections for cracked toes etc, etc? The drug may be different but the result is the same - "fooling" the body.

 

I'm against performance drugs in all sports but sometimes I think the boundaries between enchacement and medicine are blurry.

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Guest alex
The Times   August 05, 2006

 

Speed freaks who raced to an early grave

Past Notes by Graham Stewart

 

THESE ARE not days to turn to the sports pages for light relief. Nannina, the Royal Ascot winner, could be stripped of the Coronation Stakes after failing a routine doping test. Last Saturday, Justin Gatlin, the Olympic 100m champion, also tested positive. That revelation followed hot on the speedy heels of Floyd Landis, who won the Tour de France only for it to be revealed that he too had failed a drugs test. Both men assert their innocence, but is anyone still surprised by headlines linking the words “sport” and “drugs shame”?

 

There is nothing new about sport’s chemical weapons. Since the first Tour de France in 1903, cyclists have been ingesting a lot more than mineral water. One of the most painful images in the Tour’s history was that of Tom Simpson, the inspirational British champion cyclist, filmed as he lay dying by the side of the track on the heat-bleached Mont Ventoux in 1967. “On, on, on,” he murmured as he slipped into oblivion, the drug Tonedron having re-educated his body so that he could not recognise the warning signals of riding beyond physical endurance.

 

Such amphetamines had been criminalised in France only two years earlier. Brian Robinson, the Briton who won a stage of the Tour in 1958, even recalled witnessing cyclists in the Belgian classics with syringes in their hands during races.

 

It was not much better during the heyday of the Corinthian spirit. In 1897, Britain’s competitive edge in cycling was blunted when road racing was made illegal — unlike the drugs its racers were taking. Arthur Linton, the world champion, is often cited as the sport’s first drugs fatality after he overdosed on trmethyl in 1886. There is a problem with this story. Ten years later, on July 24, The Times reported that Arthur Linton “the Welsh champion cyclist died at Aberdare yesterday morning. He had been for some days suffering from typhoid fever.”

 

However, the campaign to restore Linton’s reputation may not get far. His coach was James “Choppy” Warburton, who with his top hat and moustache bore an uncanny resemblance to the comic cad Terry-Thomas. In the 1890s, Choppy coached three world champions only to be banned amid rumours that he was pumping them full of harmful pills. Suspicions were raised after one of his champion cyclists, Jimmy Michael, pedalling in what appeared to be a daze, collapsed in the middle of the track. Remounting, he rejoined the race without noticing that he was now cycling round the track in the opposite direction.

 

The kick provided by Choppy’s bag of tricks proved to be short-term. The super-fit Michael died aged 28. The super-fit Linton died aged 24, shortly after winning the 1896 Bordeaux to Paris race in a record-breaking 21 hours, 17 minutes.

 

Athletes who use drugs to push their bodies beyond their natural limits should beware. Those paths to glory lead but to the grave.

171265[/snapback]

 

Excellent read Rob, thanks

171267[/snapback]

CTRL C + CTRL V TBH.

 

I once read Olympians in ancient Greece used to eat animals’ testicles (sheep’s I think) to boost their testosterone levels.

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aye but get caught and it wasn't a two years supension

 

A lightening bolt from Olympus was the punishment

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Guest alex
aye but get caught and it wasn't a two years supension

 

A lightening bolt from Olympus was the punishment

171700[/snapback]

When I were a lad, etc. :lol:

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