« military substitutionism | Main | how to storm a police station »

July 31, 2012

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d834518d3769e2016768f47ee3970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference they run, dive, swim etc among us:

Comments

Cian

Given the size of China you'd expect them to have more exceptional athletes, surely?

nick s

It's a template that's easily repurposed from the old days of the Soviet bloc. I can't help thinking that the Americans are especially quick to jump on the "faceless athletic automata produced in a lab" thing because the US media transforms its Olympic competitors -- especially swimmers and gymnasts, who sell NBC's primetime -- into celebrity endorsees and ubiquitous interviewees. Perhaps CCTV needs to make available a set of daft soft-focus profiles with English voiceovers to satisfy those demands.

Charlie W

Well, this, from the linked piece, seems reasonable:

... anyone who accuses Ye Shiwen of being a drug cheat, while ignoring preformances like those of Meilutyte last night, or Adlington last year, is either grossly ill-informed, or a racist.

As far as I know, anyone who wins a medal is tested. They might not face public accusations, but they are scrutinised by officialdom. On the other hand, to ask people generally to put out of mind the context of a history of doping in the Chinese swimming team (and for that matter spotted throughout all swimming / sport) seems unreasonable. Further, it seems that it is simply very hard to detect doping, with the implication that (a) it's likely that people think it's worth it to dope, and (b) there may well be undetected dopers now in competition. Put Shiwen's turns of speed into that context, and it's hard not to wonder what might be going on. Personally, I do wonder. So I think the issue is more one of tact.

As an aside, the claim, also in the linked piece, that Shiwen is really a product of the Australian system also looks doubtful.

guthrie

Even more amusing when you recall the milita like presentation of the US team in the opening ceremony, leading the 3 of us watching it to make comments about them being here to invade us.

nick s

there may well be undetected dopers now in competition.

Well, yeah. Given what's happened in high-profile sports with a history of doping (road cycling), it's obviously an arms race where the smartest dopers are one step ahead of the tests. Testers are increasingly focused on diuretics and other masking agents, not on the PEDs themselves. There's also the question of out-of-competition testing, and the ability to carry it out in countries where you can't just show up unannounced with a sample bottle.

China's emergence in various sports during the 90s was underpinned by institutionalised doping, but around the same time, BALCO was doing its thing in California with the same stuff. Even today, dodgy doctors are never out of work.

Charlie W

I admit that it wasn't until I read this fairly poignant piece on Michelle de Bruin just now that I had the thought that doping athletes might go outside their national training regimes specifically so as to be able to do what they do. Still, the money for it has to come from somewhere.

sf reader

"it takes them away from their parents at a young age and sequestors them in camps."

Unlike the US system, in which the parents turn the family into a single-focus, camp-like system, or turn their child over to an authoritarian coach running a private camp-like system. Totally different!

john b

Still, the money for it has to come from somewhere.

It's lucky that no athletes have sources of money other than their state athletics foundation. *boggles*

Charlie W

Well, actually I'd be interested to see an analysis of income sources for competitive athletes, and to know how many of those entered at the Olympics are working alongside training, and to know which nation has the highest percentage of part-timers. I don't believe everyone there is being paid by Nike.

Cian

I read somewhere that for track athletes, other than maybe the top 3, no athlete earns more than $10,000 from the sport. I'm sure there are a few exceptions (there's a crap hurdler in the US who is very pretty, and so earns more money than the US gold medalist who is black and not pretty), but that sounds like it would be right.

Cian

. On the other hand, to ask people generally to put out of mind the context of a history of doping in the Chinese swimming team (and for that matter spotted throughout all swimming / sport) seems unreasonable.

Well given Lance Armstrong, who has finally been outed as a cheat (though there seems to be a collective denial about this in the US media), it can apparently take years for the evidence to surface.

redpesto

"you get a general sense that Team China is regarded as a kind of multi-sport borg" - nicely put (and I also agree with the Soviet bloc comparisons).

The comments to this entry are closed.

friends blogs

blobs

Blog powered by Typepad

my former home