How Can an Egghead Nerd Clear Out a Room Full of Bodybuilders? Just Scream “Urinalysis!”

180px-Bodybuilder,1953200px-Lukáš_OsladilThere was an interesting scene at the Belgian bodybuilding championship when all of the competitors reportedly fled at the appearance of a lab nerd with an anti-doping testing kit. Note: neither of the bodybuilders shown here are accused of doping, but the standards have clearly changed in a few decades.

Doping official Hans Cooman reportedly exclaimed that “I have never seen anything like it and hope never to see anything like it again.”

Previously, anti-doping testers in northern Belgium’s Flanders region found that three-quarters of the competitors tested positive.

It is not clear if any screamed, ala Milo Perrier on Murder By Death, “I’m an Not a Frenchie, I am a Bulgee.”

For the story, click here.

25 thoughts on “How Can an Egghead Nerd Clear Out a Room Full of Bodybuilders? Just Scream “Urinalysis!””

  1. Mike Spindell,

    Great post. Agree 110%. People that hark back to the ‘golden days’ of the sport where everyone was an upstanding gentlemen are deluding themselves.

    There was a great article that I can’t find at the moment in SI this year about how the majority of pro athletes go broke shortly after not being in the league for a few years. Very interesting.

    Also, every time I see the NCAA in the news, it’s for something despicable.

  2. Willie Mays used amphetamines as did many of his contemporaries and almost all of the football players from the 50’s and 60’s. Painkillers too, of the narcotic variety were also used. I am a sports fan, but the hypocrisy of sport is intolerable. From high school on up, top athletes are coddled and made to feel important. How many high school athletes find that their heroics there becomes the highpoint of their lives? Then when they stop delivering on the field, their privilege ends and they discover that the education they sacrificed for “the game” has hurt their futures.

    The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) exploits the athletes further, making big bucks for their colleges and paying the students off with scholarships (and under the table incentives) as long as they are useful to the team. Academically most suffer and many never get their degrees. Many schools find football more important than academics or research.

    In pro sports the athletes who make it to the top level, at least make good salaries and many become wealthy. A lot more though don’t last that long and find themselves competing in a job market, where they lack the skill sets. The 3rd baseman of the 1953 National League Champion Brooklyn Dodgers wound up tending bar in a rural PA American Legion Post. Their star Right fielder who won the batting championship wound up a grocery store clerk and construction worker. Those that languish in the minor leagues are poorly paid and can waste many years on a treadmill leading nowhere.

    Many players have been so isolated from real life that they believe there are no rules for them, only to find that more than hero worship, the public enjoys being able to heap calumny upon them. Michael Vick, anyone? The public too, encouraged by the owners loves to disparage the stars huge salaries. However, unlooked at is the fact that in order to make it to the big league, or big time, an athlete has to be in at least the top 0.0001 of humanity in that occupation.
    Considering, that most CEO’s are probably not even in the top 10% of intelligence or skill set, the athletes deserve their rewards.

    This is particularly true because most seem to have shorter lifespans, lifelong disabilities and earn their employers far more than they are paid. We citizens add to this bread and circuses hypocrisy, by underwriting stadiums and supporting colleges more based on their sports prowess, than upon their teaching function.

    Given the risk/reward scenario of sports for the athlete, it would seem many would be afraid NOT to take drugs that would increase their competitive edge. I agree with FFN in that most of those “shocked” are in some sense hypocritical given the reality of the sports scene.

  3. I’ve never had any run ins with the law.
    And yes, there are those out there who like to create trouble for people for no reason. And I do believe that some people in positions of power abuse it.

    But I also believe that a person’s dishonesty and hateful attitude towards another person will come back to bite them in the end. No, it doesn’t undo what’s been done to those who have been affected by that person’s actions; but it could be a lesson to those who may have thought of acting in such a manner themselves.

  4. “If you run when you see the cops, then you must be guilty of something, otherwise, why run?”
    ______________

    ‘Cause gettin’ Tazed for no reason hurts?

  5. Sally,

    I know you are a regular reader of this blog, so what you are saying strikes me as a rather odd argument. People run from the cops because they often operate at a different level of legal immunity than the rest of us; that is, they get away with a lot. The legal code is so convoluted that cops can often make arbitrary arrests and justify it later with whatever law they deem you to have been breaking. How many more articles about police abuse/corruption/etc. does Mr. Turley have to provide us to convince you of this?

    To generalize, people in power always have the potential to abuse it. Again, Mr. Turley has provided us plenty of articles on the subject, mostly in regards to corrupt people in federal government.

    So that is why people avoid cops: because unless you are in desperate need of their help (e.g. about to get assaulted) interacting with them can only have downside. Perhaps in the form of a baton to the head, perhaps in the form of handcuffs, perhaps in the form of a ticket.

    At the very least, even if the law is upheld and you have the proper paperwork to prove your innocence, you have just gone through a tremendous hassle that has wasted many hours of your time (and in the meantime, the reactionary and alarmist and fear-mongering press has probably soiled your good name).

  6. No I am saying that if you come to America legally and have all the necessary paperwork to prove so, then why run?

    It’s like on the show “Cops” that have people on there who get arrested because they say “Oh I saw a cop car and I got scared and ran”. If you run when you see the cops, then you must be guilty of something, otherwise, why run?

  7. Sally,

    Your response is eerily similar to “Why do you mind us monitoring your communications if you have nothing to hide?”, an argument that everyone on this blog (minus the trolls) knows to be fallacious. You’re saying that a recently immigrated, poor Mexican laborer that is a citizen has nothing to fear because the INS (and police, and the rest of the country) is fair, rational and infallible? Give me a break.

  8. Mojo,

    You’re giving the defense that I hear most often in response to my objections (mostly given by baseball fans). I’ll call this the ‘sports purity’ argument: we have to keep the game the same as it has always been, or else we will not have a meaningful standard to compare today’s players to yesteryear’s players.

    My response: who gives? Is preserving the purity of the sport such that sport historians can go back and write polemics about who was better than who really worth it? I will note that changing sports have not prevented the same people from running their mouth on the subject (“Who was better: Jerry West or Shaq?”). Why is this the be all and end all justification for cementing the rules and regulations of the sport?

    What are we sacrificing by never changing the rules? Well, perhaps with changing norms, technology, and attitudes we have a game that nobody really wants to play. Or perhaps we are limiting athletes’ potential. Or whatever.

    I’m not saying I’m a huge proponent of any of the arguments I have made in the last paragraph, but my point is that these things should at least be discussed, especially when so many athletes’ careers are being ruined because they are caught red-handed doing something everyone else is doing. I think with that in the balance, we have a responsibility as sports fans not just to blindly accept the ‘sports purity’ argument without any scrutiny.

  9. BIL,

    Count me as one of those that finds that incredibly offensive. A friend showed me a similar video, and I thought it repugnant. It’s racist, classist, and certainly not funny.

  10. AY,

    I have a buddy who loves to drive by construction and lawn crews and yell “La migra!”. Every so often he makes one bolt or dive for cover.

    I know some will find that incredibly offensive, but then again, funny is just funny. On the other hand, some people find John Tesch incredibly offensive, but there’s noting funny about that at all.

  11. It always cracks me up to see these large muscular men working out at the gym I go it. They watch themselves in the mirrors and make very loud grunting noises while lifting an isane amount of weight. I have to crank up my ipod so that I don’t end up laughing out loud.

    Is it really necessary for a human to be able to bench press 300 to 500 lbs?
    Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing sexier than a man with broad, strong shoulders and in great physical shape as well, but those muscles are overkill.

  12. Great story.

    The use of steroids negates an athlete’s true accomplishment if their record-breaking feat is measured against a previous athlete’s non-steroid induced record.

    Today’s generals aren’t necessarily better strategists than George Washington or Napoleon simply because they now have an air force.

    It changes the game entirely and makes comparison unfair. It’s why Barry Bonds will always have the “X”.

    Why not create a new category that clarifies? “Most weight lifted by steroid-user” and “Most weight lifted by tested non-steroid user” …

    We could introduce the “Steroid Major League Baseball” association and all players in the league would be encouraged, in fact even required to use the drugs. All these pumped up giants swinging for the fences. Their bunts would fly over the wall …

  13. FFN,

    I agree with you. I think these things should be legal and studied. They evidently got Lance Armstrong through a really bad cancer and I would like to see that case opened to the public, so others with cancer might benefit. In general there do seem to be some benefits from steroids. We should examine and learn both the good and the bad.

  14. It annoys me that in every news story about athletes/bodybuilders/whoever ‘cheating’ by using certain substances there is (almost) never any editorial coverage beyond ‘ooo, look what these bad people are doing! Bad bad bad!’ (Alex Rodriguez comes to mind.) The following questions are totally undressed:

    1) Why is taking steroids ‘cheating’? (Presumably, because it gives an advantage to the steroid-taker over competitors.)

    2) So if everyone seems to be taking steroids to better themselves, why not just make it not cheating? (Presumably, some issue having to do with athletes’ health, but that strikes me as a disingenuous argument since, in the case of these bodybuilders, they seem to be quite willing to push themselves to unhealthy extremes anyway. Not to mention that in many other sports, such as football, if people really cared about the athletes’ health they would significantly modify the sport to have it bear less of a resemblance to gladiatorial combat.)

    3) Why the concern over ‘fairness’ when the competitions in other regards are so obviously unfair? For example, in the Olympics, only a handful of countries are ever able to win any medals because of their ability to afford training facilities, sponsor athletes, etc.

    4) Why is some of the stuff that is considered fair not considered cheating? For example, certain dietary supplements. Why are the lines drawn where they are and are those lines sensible?

    5) Is this whole ‘fairness’ debate going to make little sense as science progresses and we can increasingly control our bodies to a fine-tuned degree? What about all the body modifications that we will eventually be able to perform on ourselves to give ourselves a competitive edge? (If this seems farfetched, consider amputees that are able to compete in track events because of mechanical limbs.)

    The one article I have ever seen about steroids that was written by someone with half a willingness to question all the ‘cheating’ hysteria is this one: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=macgregor%2F090209

  15. When NERDS ATTACK! A new reality TV show. I’d like the show to include forensic accountants arresting Tim Geithner and Larry Summers!

  16. When I heard this on the radio this morning it reminded me a Video of the INS going to a construction site. People sure can run when they have an incentive. lol

  17. I had a friend. He became a body builder. What was a big ego to start with soon ballooned into one of the worst cases of self-love I’ve ever witnessed. Then snapped at me one too many times in a steroid induced temper fit. Needless to say, we are no longer friends. It’s a stupid, narcissistic culture. Today, I’ve heard from a mutual acquaintance that my former friend has liver trouble from ‘roiding all those years. Hard to be very sympathetic.

  18. And to think that I wasted all of that time and money on Charles Atlas Body Building Course/Magazines in the 1950s early 60s for nothing…I never did get the ‘sand’ out of my eyes…

    However, one day I growed up and had the “law” on my side and my, how things changed. The law = the great equilizer.

  19. This is hilarious. I think this quote is from the Bible: “By their pee shall ye know them.”–Something like that anyway.

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