Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Zugzwang
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    28 Jul '16 21:115 edits
    First of all, almost everyone except for some Russian nationalists accepts
    that the Russian state has sponsored the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
    I believe that the IOC was right, however, not to impose a complete ban
    upon the participation of Russian athletes in the 2016 Olympics.

    One reason is that the use of performance-enhancing drugs is a much more serious
    problem in some sports than in others, and it would be unfair to treat them as alike.
    In equestrian events, for instance, I don't know how performance-enhancing
    drugs for the humans rather than for the horses are supposed to confer an advantage.
    So I have no objection to Russian athletes being cleared to compete in
    sports where performance-enhancing drugs seem to be a minor problem.

    Should exceptions be made for individual Russian athletes who have
    long perfect records of passing drug tests *outside Russia*? I believe so.
    That's why I am disappointed that the appeal of Yelena Isinbayeva
    (who, by the way, is partly of Muslim heritage) has just been rejected.
    She's known as the greatest woman pole vaulter ever, with the top 11
    pole vault clearances in history. Having already won two Olympic gold
    medals, she had hoped to make the 2016 Olympics her last competition.
    In about 20 years as an athlete, she never has failed a drug test anywhere.
    Now, at age 34, she has said that she intends to retire from athletics.

    So Yelena Isinbayeva, who never has failed a drug test, has been banned.
    (She suggested participating as a 'neutral', not under the Russian flag, but that was rejected.)
    But Americans may proudly cheer for Justin Gatlin, a sprinter who *already
    has been banned twice* for using performance-enhancing drugs.
    He will represent the USA at the 2016 Olympics. And if he wins, I suspect
    that many Americans will embrace him as a hero and excuse his doping record.

    Yelena Isinbayeva has said that she will follow the 2016 Olympics *except*
    for the athletics (track-and-field) events because it would be too painful for her.
  2. Standard membervivify
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    28 Jul '16 23:321 edit
    I would think that the ban has more to do with setting an example for other nations, than having an equal playing field. Banning an entire nation sends a more significant message than banning athletes individually.

    The IOC has not only been banning athletes for decades, but has also taken away medals from athletes after they've won their events ("Flo-Jo" and Marion Jones are two women who come to mind). I would imagine that the IOC is tired of the constant bans, and wants to make an example of Russia. If so, it makes sense; instead of a a country fearing only individual athletes being caught, they now have to fear being banned altogether.
  3. Standard membervivify
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    28 Jul '16 23:332 edits
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    And if he wins, I suspect
    that many Americans will embrace him as a hero and excuse his doping record.
    Don't be too sure of that. Lance Armstrong is forever vilified as a cheat, despite his impressive record as an athlete. He's considered a disgrace in the U.S.
  4. Zugzwang
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    29 Jul '16 00:271 edit
    Originally posted by vivify
    I would think that the ban has more to do with setting an example for other nation, than having an equal playing field. Banning an entire nation sends a more significant message than banning athletes individually.

    The IOC has not only been banning athletes for decades, but has also taken away medals from athletes after they've won their events ("Flo-Jo ...[text shortened]... ry fearing only individual athletes being caught, they now have to fear being banned altogether.
    I know of no evidence that Yelena Isinbayeva ever has used performance-enhancing drugs.
    I wish that the IAAF had made an exception in her truly exceptional case.

    It's FALSE that Florence Griffith-Joyner was ever punished on account of her suspected doping.
    She was born in 1959. Up until the middle 1980s. she was a good but not a great sprinter.
    Then, when she was supposed to be past her peak (late 20s), she suddenly made a
    historically unprecedented improvement, achieving times that no woman ever since has
    come close to matching. Other athletes also noticed her sudden change in physique,
    with 'marked gains in muscle mass and definition'. Some rivals (such as Evelyn Ashford)
    suspected or hinted that Florence Griffith-Joyner must be using performance-enhancing drugs.
    But 'FloJo' was then being celebrated by a jingoistic US media that prized winning at all costs,
    particularly defeating the hated Soviet and East German athletes. She retired
    immediately after the 1988 Oympics, thus avoiding any further testing.

    When she was asked to explain her unprecedented dramatic improvement (Had she changed
    how she trained?), FloJo liked to smile and say something like "I just always try my best
    and then it's up to God." And American journalists liked to regard such a banal platitude
    as a profound explanation of her astonishing success.

    In my view, there are two main possibilities:
    1) Without apparently significantly changing her training, at an unusually late age, FloJo
    succeeded in suddenly improving her times far in excess of any other sprinter in history.
    2) FloJo was using performance-enhancing drugs that the drug testing technology of 1988 could not detect.
  5. Zugzwang
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    29 Jul '16 00:342 edits
    Originally posted by vivify
    Don't be too sure of that. Lance Armstrong is forever vilified as a cheat, despite his impressive record as an athlete.
    He's considered a disgrace in the U.S.
    Vivify seems to have a short memory. A few years ago, there were some fierce arguments
    in this forum about Lance Armstrong being accused of using performance-enhancing drugs.
    As I recall, almost all the Americans who wrote (I was on the other side) completely supported
    Lance Armstrong. Some of these proud Americans denied--in the most emphatic terms--
    that it was even imaginable that Lance Armstrong could have cheated. The most popular
    apparent belief among Americans was that accusations of cheating against Lance Armstrong
    represented another lunatic 'anti-American' conspiracy. Even after many other people
    began to accept that Lance Armstrong had cheated but *before* he finally confessed,
    some proud Americans (particularly Normbenign) kept doing their disingenuous utmost to
    defend Lance Armstrong, including hurling insults at his perceived critics.

    "He's considered a disgrace in the U.S."
    --Vivify

    Not to every proud American. Even after Lance Armstrong had confessed, writers such
    as Normbenign and even Sh76 kept arguing, in effect, that he really had done nothing
    wrong because every other competitor supposedly must have been cheating too.

    If Justin Gatlin were to win the Olympic 100 meter dash--upsetting the great Usain Bolt--
    then I expect that he would be widely celebrated as a great hero of American athletics,
    and his record of using performance-enhancing drugs would be 'politely' ignored.
  6. Standard membervivify
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    29 Jul '16 01:542 edits
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Vivify seems to have a short memory. A few years ago, there were some fierce arguments
    in this forum about Lance Armstrong being accused of using performance-enhancing drugs.
    As I recall, almost all the Americans who wrote (I was on the other side) completely supported
    Lance Armstrong. Some of these proud Americans denied--in the most emphatic terms- ...[text shortened]... an athletics,
    and his record of using performance-enhancing drugs would be 'politely' ignored.
    Thanks for the correction on Flo-Jo.

    Despite what two posters on a chess forum have said, in American sports, Armstrong is NOT a celebrated athlete (any more). He once compared the public's treatment of him to "Voldemort", the main villain in the immensely popular "Harry Potter" series. It's not just him; the same goes for Marion Jones, who once tearfully acknowledged the "shame" and regret incurred for doping.

    I see no reason why Gatlin would be treated any better.
  7. Standard membersh76
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    29 Jul '16 17:21
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Vivify seems to have a short memory. A few years ago, there were some fierce arguments
    in this forum about Lance Armstrong being accused of using performance-enhancing drugs.
    As I recall, almost all the Americans who wrote (I was on the other side) completely supported
    Lance Armstrong. Some of these proud Americans denied--in the most emphatic terms- ...[text shortened]... an athletics,
    and his record of using performance-enhancing drugs would be 'politely' ignored.
    === Even after Lance Armstrong had confessed, writers such
    as Normbenign and even Sh76 kept arguing, in effect, that he really had done nothing
    wrong because every other competitor supposedly must have been cheating too. ===

    That is exactly right. The selective enforcement in a sport where, by most accounts, doping was routine, was a joke. It's kind of like the holier-than-thou baseball sportswriters keeping Barry Bonds out of the HOF even though they and everyone else know PEDs were routine in the late 90's and early oughts.

    Not that 99.9% of Americans give a damn who wins the Tour de France anyway.
  8. Zugzwang
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    29 Jul '16 17:331 edit
    Originally posted by vivify
    Thanks for the correction on Flo-Jo.

    Despite what two posters on a chess forum have said, in American sports, Armstrong is NOT a celebrated athlete (any more). He once compared the public's treatment of him to "Voldemort", the main villain in the immensely popular "Harry Potter" series. It's not just him; the same goes for Marion Jones, who once tearfu ...[text shortened]... ame" and regret incurred for doping.

    I see no reason why Gatlin would be treated any better.
    There were many more than two Americans at RHP who fanatically supported Lance Armstrong.
    I know that Lance Armstrong has fallen far from what he used to be--one of the
    greatest American sports heroes--but he still seems to have some devoted fans.
    I suspect that even O.J. Simpson still has some fans. Oscar Pistorius, a convicted
    murderer, still has admirers who may attempt to excuse his killing of his girlfriend by alluding to
    the supposed greater societal importance of him being able to run fast on prosthetic legs.
  9. Zugzwang
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    29 Jul '16 17:361 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    === Even after Lance Armstrong had confessed, writers such
    as Normbenign and even Sh76 kept arguing, in effect, that he really had done nothing
    wrong because every other competitor supposedly must have been cheating too. ===

    That is exactly right. The selective enforcement in a sport where, by most accounts, doping was routine, was a joke.
    It's kind of ...[text shortened]... and early oughts.

    Not that 99.9% of Americans give a damn who wins the Tour de France anyway.
    Sh76 has confirmed that I accurately and fairly represented what he wrote.

    Lance Armstrong's far from being singled out for punishment on account of doping in bicycle racing.
    And the Tour de France's outcomes don't depend upon a popularity contest among Americans.
  10. Standard membersh76
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    29 Jul '16 19:49
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Sh76 has confirmed that I accurately and fairly represented what he wrote.

    Lance Armstrong's far from being singled out for punishment on account of doping in bicycle racing.
    And the Tour de France's outcomes don't depend upon a popularity contest among Americans.
    (This goes to the previous post as well.)

    Armstrong wasn't a hero just because he dominated the Tour de France. He was a hero because he did it after overcoming cancer. That's why he gained so much popularity in the US. As a race, relatively few Americans care about the Tour de France.

    As bad as baseball has been about PEDs, at least they don't pretend the home runs and consequent wins didn't happen. The Red Sox didn't have their 2004 title taken away because Ortiz and Manny Ramirez tested positive.

    You want to suspend Armstrong? Fine (though they should also suspend most other people in the sport at that time). But to pretend he didn't actually win all of those races is absurd.
  11. Zugzwang
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    29 Jul '16 20:113 edits
    Originally posted by sh76
    (This goes to the previous post as well.)

    Armstrong wasn't a hero just because he dominated the Tour de France. He was a hero because he did it after overcoming cancer. That's why he gained so much popularity in the US. As a race, relatively few Americans care about the Tour de France.

    As bad as baseball has been about PEDs, at least they don't pretend th ...[text shortened]... in the sport at that time). But to pretend he didn't actually win all of those races is absurd.
    I shall allow Sh76 and Vivify (both ethnocentric Americans) to argue about Lance Armstrong's celebrity status in the USA.
    But Sh76's comments so far already seem enough to show that Vivify's mistaken in
    apparently assuming that Lance Armstrong is nearly universally seen as a villain in the USA.

    Let the record show that Sh76 apparently believes that Lance Armstrong *still* should
    be recognized and honored as the real (or legitimate) winner of several Tour de Frances.
    Would Sh76 also approve of Ben Johnson (Canada) being recognized as the real
    winner of the men's 100 meter dash at the 1988 Olympics?

    So how disappointed was Sh76 when Lance Armstrong finally confessed to doping?
    Before that, didn't Sh76 love attacking non-Americans who accused Lance Armstrong of doping?
  12. Standard membervivify
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    29 Jul '16 22:22
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    I shall allow Sh76 and Vivify (both ethnocentric Americans) to argue about Lance Armstrong's celebrity status in the USA.
    But Sh76's comments so far already seem enough to show that Vivify's mistaken in
    apparently assuming that Lance Armstrong is nearly universally seen as a villain in the USA.

    Let the record show that Sh76 apparently believes that La ...[text shortened]... g?
    Before that, didn't Sh76 love attacking non-Americans who accused Lance Armstrong of doping?
    You don't seem to know what "ethnocentric" means.

    If Armstrong is as popular in the U.S. as you make him out to be, why would he compare his public perception to that of an evil fictional villain (Voldemort)? Is he lying? Or do you claim to know more about his reputation than he does?
  13. Zugzwang
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    29 Jul '16 22:392 edits
    Originally posted by vivify
    You don't seem to know what "ethnocentric" means.

    If Armstrong is as popular in the U.S. as you make him out to be, why would he compare his public perception to that of an evil fictional villain (Voldemort)? Is he lying? Or do you claim to know more about his reputation than he does?
    Regarding being 'ethnocentric', Vivify has shown an obsession with American pop culture
    and an assumption that everyone else (including non-Americans) should be just as
    fascinated with it. I have no interest in following the personal lives (including romances
    or crimes) of various American celebrities.

    Vivify also misunderstands or distorts what I wrote. I never claimed that Lance Armstrong
    is extremely popular or admired in the USA *now*. I know (Sh76 has corroborated) that
    Lance Armstrong was extremely popular and admired in the USA for a long time.
    My point (which Vivify seems determined to miss) is that Lance Armstrong's *not*
    universally regarded as a villain in the USA today. Lance Armstrong still has some
    admirers or at least people who still respect and value his achievements in sport.
    My position is that there are a *variety of opinions* about Lance Armstrong in the USA,
    ranging from he's a lying cheater to that he's an American hero who was unfairly singled
    out for blame and punishment. I suspect that many Americans are indifferent to him.
    Sh76 seems to be a loyal fan of Lance Armstrong.

    Like other fallen idols, Lance Armstrong may exaggerate his perceived sense of 'persecution'
    (such as being asked to return sponsors' money that he had obtained under false pretenses)
    in attempting to appeal for sympathy. Only fools would accept everything that he says at face value.
    For a long time, Lance Armstrong was a very successful and aggressive liar in public.

    And I note that Sh76 apparently disagrees more than I do with Vivify about Lance Armstrong.
    But Vivify prefers to go after me--his usual enemy--rather than his fellow American Sh76.
  14. Standard membervivify
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    30 Jul '16 01:325 edits
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Regarding being 'ethnocentric', Vivify has shown an obsession with American pop culture
    and an assumption that everyone else (including non-Americans) should be just as
    fascinated with it. I have no interest in following the personal lives (including romances
    or crimes) of various American celebrities.

    Vivify also misunderstands or distorts what I w ...[text shortened]... rong.
    But Vivify prefers to go after me--his usual enemy--rather than his fellow American Sh76.
    Interesting that you're the only one on this forum who believes I'm "obsessed" with pop culture. There's a long list of things that you are quite alone on, as far as accusing me of.

    There are only two occasions i remember, where I mentioned U.S. pop culture on a thread you were a part of. One included Jay Z---who wasn't even the focus of my point---and the other, was Sharon Osborne (who was famous in England before having fame in the U.S.). Both are internationally famous. Assuming that people from other nations know who they are isn't evidence of "ethnocentrism". Again, you clearly don't know what that word means.

    "Vivify prefers to go after me..."

    You call this "going after" you? Apparently, your ego is as sensitive as your feet. Notice my first post didn't disagree with anything you said. My second post couldn't have disagreed with you in a more polite manner.

    As far Sh76, his view is that Lance shouldn't have been banned, considering how common doping is. My view is that Lance isn't a celebrated figure, but someone who has been disgraced. These are two completely different points of view that don't contradict the other. It's perfectly possible to agree that Armstrong may have been unfairly singled out, while also acknowledging that Armstrong has lost respect as an American celebrity. That's why I haven't disagreed with him on this thread. In fact, I even made a thread just to point out something I disagreed with him about; and guess what: Sh76 acknowledged being wrong (about Trump) with grace and the utmost amount of class one can have.

    I'm not sure what you see in my posts that make you think I'm your "enemy". Far from it. I've disagreed even with people I highly respect, like Zahlanzi. He doesn't take it personally; neither should you.
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    30 Jul '16 05:32
    Don't ban them.
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