Roidgby

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Roidgby

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 04 May 2018, 6:58 am

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/sport/the-truth-about-rugbys-drugs-problem-50bg9cct7

Not sure I can keep watching this sport.
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Re: Roidgby

Post by Pete330v2 on Fri 04 May 2018, 11:28 am

Can't read it without signing up for the times online.
Can you do a summary or a cut and paste?

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Re: Roidgby

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 04 May 2018, 11:42 am

Everywhere Rory Barker looked, he saw people fulfilling his ambitions. The unmistakable kit, an extra ounce of swagger in the corridor, the tie stitched with a simple crest, the prestige of being 16 and playing rugby for your county, of proving yourself more than just a big fish in the small pond of schoolboy sport.

His goals were not outlandish; Barker was a robust young prop who carried hard and went to a public school renowned for rugby, accustomed to its first XV members playing for their county and far beyond. As he moved closer to his target, though, an obstacle appeared; the same message repeated to him until its lasting consequences had taken hold.

“‘You want to be a prop, but you’re not that big and if you went away over the summer and came back a bit bigger, then we would probably have a look at you,’ that’s what coaches would tell me,” he remembers. “When I was 16, I wasn’t especially interested in being big, but playing for your county was a big deal.”

From where he was standing, staring upwards at his coaches and selectors’ predilection for size, the barrier seemed insurmountable. Insurmountable that is, without the additional help of drugs. “I was a fat, podgy 17st,” he says, “I knew a lot of the lads who were playing at that level and I was quite a lot smaller. That’s why I did it.

“I could tell myself that it was a normal thing to do,” he says, “because I just bought it over the internet. It made it justifiable.

“It was a simple pro-hormone [oral tablet, which converts to testosterone in your body], two a day, no side-effects and all that jazz, over eight weeks, you noticed the difference.

“There is no risk of getting tested at that age and there is so little information available to you. You just Google it. It came directly from coaches telling me that I wasn’t big enough.”

Sadly for rugby, stories such Barker’s are not uncommon. The RFU released its report into anti-doping in February and it raised serious concerns about an increased use of banned substances in schools.

Not that the upper echelons of the game are safe from doping either. There are 64 doping bans being served in the UK at present across all sports and 18 of those — 28 per cent — are for rugby union players. No sport accounts for more transgressions. In second place? Rugby league, with 13 bans. So why are rugby players taking the risk?

Barker’s tale shows how easy it is to take that leap. He expanded, quickly, and so did the range of products he was taking. From tablets bought over the internet to syringes of testosterone. With the incentive obvious, the rewards tangible and the risks invisible, there was no reason to stop.

“At university, I got exposed to a higher level of rugby and started to come across men more regularly,” he says. “You see what these people look like and how they play and you start to feel inferior again.

“The risk was minimal and the reward was big, I played for my county, so I did it again and again until the risk became bigger and the rewards got smaller. At that point, I had become so numb to risk that it didn’t matter.

“It is so f***ing easy to get hold of when you’re a student. I was injecting vials of testosterone, trenbolone, dianabol - stuff that yielded quick benefits. I said to people, if you’re not going to get caught, then you should do it too.”

Part of the problem, for Barker at least, was that the chances of being caught seem so low. “At every rugby club I have played for, there has been a running joke,” he says, “ ‘If the drug testers come, you can just jump over the fence.’ ”

The Times has learnt of players who have, indeed, slipped away over walls and fences when they noticed anti-doping control arriving. Similarly, a pair of drugs testers left one club without successfully collecting a sample because the groundskeeper had to close the clubhouse at 10.30pm.

The lack of testing certainly helps to explain why the numbers of failed tests at the top of the game are still relatively low, despite the recent bans for Yorkshire Carnegie forward Brandon Staples and provisional suspension for the Wasps forward Ashley Johnson.

Between UK Anti-Doping (Ukad), the RFU, World Rugby, the Six Nations and European Professional Club Rugby, 623 anti-doping tests were carried out on players from England’s top two divisions last season. In the 132 matches of last season’s Premiership, there were 16 tests.

By comparison, Ukad collected 1,494 samples from the English Football League clubs, while 1,171 samples were taken in the Premier League.

The remaining tests on Premiership players were done out of competition. Although this is considered a more effective way of catching potential drugs cheats, there is a striking imbalance.

One source told The Times: “If you look at the side-effects of growth hormone [hair growth, more prominent brow and chin, low bodyfat, high muscle mass], you’ve basically got many Premiership back-rowers looking back at you.”

None of the failed tests from the 15-man game are from the highest level, where testing is naturally and justifiably more stringent, and the RFU and Ukad deserve credit, too, for some of the intelligence-led testing that they conduct in the community game. Beyond National One though, which is the third tier of English club rugby, the RFU conducted 25 anti-doping tests last season. The year before, there were nine.

In 2013, Laurent Bénézech, the former France forward whose 2014 book — Rugby, où sont tes valeurs? (Rugby, where are your values?) — addressed the code of silence surrounding an increasingly “medicated” game.

“The only thing that would have changed my mind was science,” Benezech told The Irish Independent on Sunday, “or someone who was able to explain to me how you can create a human being who weighs more than 120kgs [18st 12lb] with no body fat, only muscles.”

A source told The Times that the general attitude of ignorance was frustrating for players who strived to be clean. “It is known in the rugby world that there are people playing at a higher level who have taken stuff that they shouldn’t have done,” he said. “As a Championship player, that doesn’t seem fair.

“I can look at some players, knowing full well that they have taken something because I know their friends and they have told me. I can see why some people would say, ‘Well he has taken it and is playing for X club, so why don’t I take it and see what I can achieve?’ ”

Of course there is a medical cost. “There are cardiovascular effects of taking steroids because of the increase in lean muscle mass,” Professor Julien Baker, who is director of the institute of clinical exercise and health science research at the University of West Scotland, says. “It puts extra strain and stress on the heart when players are exercising. Particularly with the forwards and the bigger guys, but it is bad enough with the smaller ones.”

“The capacity of your heart is really only related to the natural size of your body, so when you increase the mass, you increase the pressure on your heart.”

From one perspective, the dilemma that Barker faced — images of big men succeeding where he wanted to — is the same problem that is running through the game. Players’ Instagram feeds, adverts for sports supplements and clubs’ topless calendars glorify perfect physiques.

One branch of those who transgress the boundaries in the lower leagues admit to having no substantial ambition to play beyond their present level, but are lured in by this “bigger is better” philosophy.

According to Barker, this was as powerful a driver of his drug use as any ambitions for improved performance on the field.

“There is definitely some psychological factors involved,” he says. “It’s the lads that like to go on holiday to Ibiza or have a sideshow doing powerlifting that use it. Of all the clubs I have been to, tier seven was the worst. I would estimate that of a squad of 30, around ten were using a performance enhancer, to varying degrees.”

One coach told The Times: “Guys using stuff is more and more common now. Not necessarily the harder line of drugs, like growth hormone, or testosterone, but more like the fashion-modelly drugs, your clenbuterol or anavar. They’re aesthetic as much as they are performance drivers. That has become more available as people’s perception of Instagram, social media influence has come in.”

For those who have been caught in the past four years, the range of drugs is broad.

There were three positive tests for testosterone — a so-called “harder drug” — among under-18 players in 2013-14 season and another in 2014-15 (a community player who was banned for four years).

Popular “bodybuilding” steroids stanozolol, methandienone (dianabol), trenbolone and drostanolone were also responsible for failed tests, the consequences of which are severe. “Impotence, mood swings, acne, hair loss, an increase in aggression,” Professor Baker says.

There was the one positive test for human growth hormone, which must be injected — and so carries the risk of infection that comes with using needles. In theory, high doses for long periods can cause acromegaly, which is the enlargement of fingers, bones and organs, though Baker says that this is normally only found in bodybuilders who take large doses over many years.

The RFU and Leeds Beckett University report said that 95 per cent of schoolboys had used sports supplements, with some spending up to £25 per month. Herein lies another problem; for all the sneering at manufactured excuses for failed tests made by professional athletes, (rogue masseurs, contaminated steaks, Chechen agents), it seems remarkably easy to stray into the forbidden, even when buying products over the counter.

Before the pre-workout supplement Jack3d was banned in Britain because the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency ruled that it was a public health danger, it was readily available. One player said that he paid for it using his mum’s Amazon account.

Jack3d was linked to deaths in Britain and the United States, while similar products were banned in Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

The Times has learnt of players who exceeded the recommended dose being forced to leave the field of play after 20 minutes, as well as vomiting during training sessions.

Moving past the aesthetes and the part-time powerlifters, there is a second group pulled along by something entirely different. Simply, performance and the rewards — financial and otherwise — that come with it.

Jamie Broadley, who plays for Sheffield Tigers in National League Two North and turned out for Rotherham for two seasons in the Championship between 2013 and 2015, has seen how the money flooding into the Premiership has created a financial incentive to break through, by any means.

“It is starting to bubble,” Broadley says. “If you look at the top end of the sport, it is the same as others, where the money has become significant.

“Rotherham are one of the poorest clubs in the Championship, most of the boys get there by being picked up out of the national leagues on some joke contract of £12,000 a year.

“Lads who are on that could do it for a couple of years in the hope that they get a starting Premiership contract of £50,000 and then a couple of years after that, they could be on £100,000 if they go well.

“The rewards for a couple of good seasons are massive. Any time those rewards increase, the risk-taking behaviour underneath increases too.”

There were 43 per cent fewer anti-doping tests in the Championship than the Premiership and one source, who has played in the Championship for six seasons, told The Times that he has never been tested.

“It is difficult because everyone throws allegations around,” Broadley says. “If someone is stronger than you, then it’s because they’re taking gear [PEDs] — it’s the default.

“At Rotherham, I knew that a lot of lads were using products that weren’t tested,” Broadley says. “Boys running the risk for minimal benefit. I know of people [from other clubs] who have used things which are on banned lists and have never been caught.

“I have known boys that have passed tests at championship level who are users. It’s an IQ test not a drugs test if you know what your different agents are.”

The remark is pointed. When Broadley was with Rotherham, a young player called Will Robinson, who was 21 at the time, tested positive for clomiphene, which is a physical masking agent taken to mitigate any potential feminising effects of using a steroid.

“The most testers ever came in at Rotherham was twice a season,” Broadley says, “End of pre-season and then sometime in the middle of the season. We were full-time and that was the most we saw them. They would come in and pick maybe four or five people, if that.

“Will failed for a masking agent, he used the wrong one basically. I don’t think it is difficult to get through them if you spoke to the right people.

One source says that it was no great surprise when Robinson tested positive. “When we found out that he had failed, we weren’t really shocked,” he says. “He was 21, of a slender build and he was bench-pressing more than some of the forwards, he was lifting a lot for a kid of his size.”

Rugby’s game of have and have-nots has become divided along educational, as well as financial lines. The RFU’s academy system, by all accounts, does a fine job in educating its players on the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs.

Every member of a junior Premiership academy is signed up to anti-doping testing. The RFU and Ukad carried out 108 last year on junior academy players, which is under-17s and under-18s. Seminars are delivered by Ukad, the Rugby Players’ Association and the RFU at all Premiership clubs, while the general nutritional approach is “food first”, not supplementation.

One Premiership academy coach said: “At academy level, the boys are pretty well educated. It is scaled up from under-15 into the full-time academy, where they work one on one with a nutritionist. In terms of additional supplementation, we don’t discuss until they come into the full-time environment.”

Again though, there is a division. What about those players who narrowly miss out on a place in a Premiership academy, who maintain aspirations within the game, but are denied the same quality of education?

“We deal with a lot of big rugby schools and I would say they need to invest a hell of a lot more in terms of actually educating their students and staff on the requirements and the paths that are involved,” the coach said.

When you move past the dividing line of the Championship, players are generally not salaried, and are instead paid match fees. This prizes the ability to stay fit, to perform and to keep your place in the team. If you don’t play, you receive nothing.

Broadley knows the effect that this can have, especially with the present commitment to testing.

“In National Two, it is a 30-game season, plus cup games, plus pre-season,” he says. “It is brutal. The injury lists are massive. I did two seasons at Harrogate, four at Tigers, 150-odd games in National Two and have never seen anyone be tested. I have played at three different National Two clubs and know an awful lot at others — and I have never even heard of anyone being tested.

“You have a system that rewards people who stay fit. Someone who works or studies at the same time, what is going to be their thing? Are you going to do hours of pre-hab [training to prevent injury]? Or are you going to listen to someone down the gym whispering in your ear saying ‘this might help you out’?

“You take a gamble.”
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Re: Roidgby

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 04 May 2018, 11:46 am

Stuart Barnes view

I will come clean. Reading this chemical odyssey through rugby union, the first emotion that struck me was sympathy. For all the dreamers whose ambitions can only be realised through online assistance; the injured amateurs who see a shortcut back to playing; and the ones without the time and facilities to rehabilitate properly. Rugby has a problem and its scope cannot be measured by the numbers of its ranks being caught.

I am not thinking about professionals like Munster’s Gerbrandt Grobler, who served a two-year ban for using the anabolic steroid, drostanolone. Munster fans saw his signing last year from Racing 92 for the moral issue that it is. Nor Ashley Johnson, who failed a drugs test. But let’s wait for that verdict on the suspended Wasps forward.

What we should do is recognise the problems within the game, be they in English public schools or struggling small towns in the Welsh valleys. The quest for size is the overwhelming problem and those who have changed the historic culture of the game are as much the creators of this as the chemical pushers are the obvious villains.

Grobler, right, is back from a two-year ban for using an illegal anabolic steroid
Grobler, right, is back from a two-year ban for using an illegal anabolic steroid
ANDREW SURMA/NURPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES
There was a time when rugby union was regarded as a game for all shapes and sizes. As Rory Barker has testified in these pages, that is no longer the case. Now one size fits all: big. “Coaches telling me I wasn’t big enough,” Barker, 16 at the time, said. The same problem applied to Craig Chalmers’ son, Sam, who was banned for two years. He effectively made headlines for not being big enough. If any of these guys are breaking the rules, it is probably not for the sake of a shortcut but to, quite literally, stay in the game.

While there are clearly dedicated coaches through the ranks and age levels of the game, many of them believe size counts. Why wouldn’t they? How many tales have you read of players turned away from professional academies for not being big enough? In the early days of professionalism, the new age of fully paid and pressurised coaches had to prove that they were the right men for the job.

There are still a fair few owners who don’t understand the subtleties of the game but they’ll recognise the incredible physical condition of their team. From 1995 to 2015, internationals increased their weight on average by two stone. The first message that came from the elite changing rooms was that the new age was marked by size, by physique. There is a ladder with the best and more renowned coaches at the top. Slip down and you’ll find the willing amateurs who give up their time, such as schoolteachers. At the bottom are the players being told to bulk up. It is easiest to make an example of individuals when the system itself has sent the sport towards chaos.

One in which crash, bang and wallop are the ingredients. One in which commentators do not talk of tackles but big hits. One in which the collision is king. It is no wonder that nameless numbers may be taking supplements to keep pace with the rugby arms race.

Like many, I try not to have suspicions about certain players with neck muscles the likes of which I never envisaged. Plenty look like Olympic sprinters. It isn’t just size, it is definition. There are not too many fatties left. The days of the drinker’s tyranny, when the body-fat pincers grabbed at those excess parts are gone, bar for the odd glorious exception.

The size of Premiership or Top 14 wage packets is another area that encourages players to take risks. The gulf between the elite and the rest is huge and with testing hardly a threat according to our report, the risk/reward factor comes into play. Whereas it is hard not to have the utmost sympathy for the kid being told he is too small, there is very little for the aspiring big name looking for an edge. Cheating, in other words.

The third aspect of size that has grown beyond all comprehension is ego. We inhabit an online age where we package ourselves to best effects. Bodies tend to be beautiful. Watch a reality show and the men vie with one another for the biggest pectorals. The journey from the body beautiful to rugby player is only a short one. In public schools, the aspiring player may not be short on self-esteem but in other, more deprived parts of the country, that is not the case.

Thirty years ago any sort of crossover between rugby and bodybuilding would have been laughed off the field. Now, with size and physique the common factor the step from the one to the other is perilously small.

Once upon a time, to be a back, you needed to be smart, in possession of skills and vision. Now such assets are seen as a bonus. Be big. The drug problem is not primarily professional rugby’s problem but it is the I am a twonk of the highest order son. It is not a witch-hunt that is needed so much as a recognition of the culture created by our obsession with size. While big is beautiful the game will retain its ugly elements. Rugby’s main concern is as much its coaches’ mindsets as its drug cheats.
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Re: Roidgby

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 04 May 2018, 12:21 pm

In general it seems that the steroid abuse is at a level just below the pro game. I do still wonder if there is enough testing at the top level though - even if the RFU does more tests of pro players and the total number of tests they do is increasing every year, is it enough?

That teenagers feel pressured into taking such drastic measures so they can be "big enough" is the most worrying part.

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Re: Roidgby

Post by The Oracle on Fri 04 May 2018, 12:44 pm

But these are the ones that didn't get in, by the sounds of it. There must be ones that managed to get to the right size, or strength, or power and did make it to pro level. So I reckon there's bound to be some carry over into the pro game too. The rewards are much bigger too (once in the pro game and staying in it) than just getting too it from the amateur game, so the temptation would be higher in the pro game I reckon, e.g. maintaining that level of strength, power, endurance, size in order to maintain the pro level salary and career.
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Re: Roidgby

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 04 May 2018, 1:48 pm

Anyone who thinks this is restricted to the levels below the very top is utterly deluded.
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Re: Roidgby

Post by Brendan on Fri 04 May 2018, 2:07 pm

An issue I have with this is the first guy took all the stuff and his opinion was it was the coaches fault, They told me to get bigger. For all we know they said you're to fat, no muscle and don't run around would you get bigger not fatter. So instead of spending hours in the gym he takes the easy choice and does drugs. Seems entitled as he felt it was his right because he went to a certain school to play rugby

Some people aren't built for pro sport but can't accept it. More testing does need to be done

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Re: Roidgby

Post by Pete330v2 on Fri 04 May 2018, 2:09 pm

An interesting and worrying read indeed. There's no doubt that there are some athletic freaks trundling around rugby pitches and with size, strength and performance being the difference between it being a hobby and being a career you can see where the temptation would be just to try and keep up in many cases. I'll be keeping an eye on this.

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Re: Roidgby

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 04 May 2018, 2:13 pm

Stone Motif wrote:Anyone who thinks this is restricted to the levels below the very top is utterly deluded.

Oh I do not believe it is not present at top levels and do believe that we need a lot more testing. I found the self congratulatory statements from the RFU in the autumn about the number of the tests they were doing to be extremely smug, yet I do have to accept that they are moving the testing program in the right direction.

It is just that the cases being detected (from a much smaller sampling level) is at that lower level - suggesting that the issue may be bigger at that level.

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Re: Roidgby

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 04 May 2018, 2:15 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:An interesting and worrying read indeed. There's no doubt that there are some athletic freaks trundling around rugby pitches and with size, strength and performance being the difference between it being a hobby and being a career you can see where the temptation would be just to try and keep up in many cases. I'll be keeping an eye on this.

I read it over my tea and toast this morning and agree both interesting and worrying - and perhaps sad too.

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Re: Roidgby

Post by The Oracle on Fri 04 May 2018, 2:47 pm

Brendan wrote:An issue I have with this is the first guy took all the stuff and his opinion was it was the coaches fault, They told me to get bigger.  For all we know they said you're to fat, no muscle and don't run around would you get bigger not fatter.  So instead of spending hours in the gym he takes the easy choice and does drugs. Seems entitled as he felt it was his right because he went to a certain school to play rugby

Some people aren't built for pro sport but can't accept it.  More testing does need to be done

Steroids don’t work like that! You don’t just sit at home and get muscly. You take them AND have to do a shed load of training with it. The drugs help with training volume, recovery (so fitting in more training), etc. but you still have to put the hours in.
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Re: Roidgby

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 04 May 2018, 3:39 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Brendan wrote:An issue I have with this is the first guy took all the stuff and his opinion was it was the coaches fault, They told me to get bigger.  For all we know they said you're to fat, no muscle and don't run around would you get bigger not fatter.  So instead of spending hours in the gym he takes the easy choice and does drugs. Seems entitled as he felt it was his right because he went to a certain school to play rugby

Some people aren't built for pro sport but can't accept it.  More testing does need to be done

Steroids don’t work like that! You don’t just sit at home and get muscly. You take them AND have to do a shed load of training with it. The drugs help with training volume, recovery (so fitting in more training), etc. but you still have to put the hours in.

Actually no, you can get away with less because it will help you retain what you got better. Arguably you could cheat your way to a minimum standard as well. Let's not pretend juicers are all working hard in the gym 24/7, most bodybuilders are relatively weak for their size and get out of breath walking upstairs.
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Re: Roidgby

Post by Tramptastic on Fri 04 May 2018, 3:42 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Brendan wrote:An issue I have with this is the first guy took all the stuff and his opinion was it was the coaches fault, They told me to get bigger.  For all we know they said you're to fat, no muscle and don't run around would you get bigger not fatter.  So instead of spending hours in the gym he takes the easy choice and does drugs. Seems entitled as he felt it was his right because he went to a certain school to play rugby

Some people aren't built for pro sport but can't accept it.  More testing does need to be done

Steroids don’t work like that! You don’t just sit at home and get muscly. You take them AND have to do a shed load of training with it. The drugs help with training volume, recovery (so fitting in more training), etc. but you still have to put the hours in.

Maybe this whole situation says a lot about the approach to mental health and proper emotional development for young people, particularly young men at school;

We aren't taught that it's ok to lose, that you can still have fun despite losing. A lot of schools, particularly public and private schools, will teach the whole "Joy comes from winning" ethos. Even at my rugby club (the deep dark pit of east region 3 in the scottish leagues) we give ourselves a proper hard time for losing rather than just going "ah scupper it, lets have a pint and have a good time instead". We all gym and do the extras etc but we find losing the worst thing in the world.

If you aren't taught that sometimes things just aren't going to work out the way you want them to, how else do you expect young, naive, men to behave? they will take a gamble and it will not always pay off

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Re: Roidgby

Post by The Oracle on Fri 04 May 2018, 3:55 pm

It’s a tough one because recently schools have been actually been criticised for going too far the other way and removing competition because, according to them and according to some campaigners, losing develops resentment in sport and reduces participation going forward. So some schools have events with no winners; or everyone gets a winners sticker; or even worse - I’ve read of some schools banning sports day altogether due to stress it causes kids. I think this is mainly at primary school level. And then I’ve also seen the counter arguments and people in education saying that they need competition and winners and losers because that reflects the reality of life. It sets them up for the reality of winning and losing in relationships, work, etc.

Sorry, a bit off topic perhaps.
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Re: Roidgby

Post by Tramptastic on Fri 04 May 2018, 4:03 pm

The Oracle wrote:It’s a tough one because recently schools have been actually been criticised for going too far the other way and removing competition because, according to them and according to some campaigners, losing develops resentment in sport and reduces participation going forward. So some schools have events with no winners; or everyone gets a winners sticker; or even worse - I’ve read of some schools banning sports day altogether due to stress it causes kids. I think this is mainly at primary school level. And then I’ve also seen the counter arguments and people in education saying that they need competition and winners and losers because that reflects the reality of life. It sets them up for the reality of winning and losing in relationships, work, etc.

Sorry, a bit off topic perhaps.
]

I think its very much on topic - why do some people cheat at sport? because they can't process the very thought of losing out. So they cheat, steroids etc, and "win".

On the flip side, somebody who is mentally healthy and had lost out would, for example, process how and why they lost and do everything they can, without gambling/cheating, to win the next time.

It's the same in the rest of life, how you react to losing/loss whether it's a failed relationship or stress from bills and mortgage - if you are in a mentally and emotionally stable place 9/10 (insert correct statistic) you most likely won't do something risky, you'd process and try and correct.

Mental and emotional health is so important in these circumstances

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Re: Roidgby

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 04 May 2018, 4:41 pm

Tramptastic wrote:
The Oracle wrote:It’s a tough one because recently schools have been actually been criticised for going too far the other way and removing competition because, according to them and according to some campaigners, losing develops resentment in sport and reduces participation going forward. So some schools have events with no winners; or everyone gets a winners sticker; or even worse - I’ve read of some schools banning sports day altogether due to stress it causes kids. I think this is mainly at primary school level. And then I’ve also seen the counter arguments and people in education saying that they need competition and winners and losers because that reflects the reality of life. It sets them up for the reality of winning and losing in relationships, work, etc.

Sorry, a bit off topic perhaps.
]

I think its very much on topic - why do some people cheat at sport? because they can't process the very thought of losing out. So they cheat, steroids etc, and "win".

On the flip side, somebody who is mentally healthy and had lost out would, for example, process how and why they lost and do everything they can, without gambling/cheating, to win the next time.

It's the same in the rest of life, how you react to losing/loss whether it's a failed relationship or stress from bills and mortgage - if you are in a mentally and emotionally stable place 9/10 (insert correct statistic) you most likely won't do something risky, you'd process and try and correct.

Mental and emotional health is so important in these circumstances

It's a factor, but more than growing up playing with he man toys? The massive financial rewards and celebrity some crave? The fact that most people especially those like teenage boys who read the sh1te about instant guns perpetrated by the mainstream fitness industry don't understand that most things worth having like strength and fitness take a lifetime of work?
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Stone Motif

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Re: Roidgby

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 04 May 2018, 5:40 pm

Apologies all. In retrospect, 'Drugby' would have been a far better thread title.

Will shape up in future, unless it gets difficult, in which case I'll hit the nandrolone like a Premiership back rower on....ah...steroids.
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Re: Roidgby

Post by Brendan on Fri 04 May 2018, 5:45 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Brendan wrote:An issue I have with this is the first guy took all the stuff and his opinion was it was the coaches fault, They told me to get bigger.  For all we know they said you're to fat, no muscle and don't run around would you get bigger not fatter.  So instead of spending hours in the gym he takes the easy choice and does drugs. Seems entitled as he felt it was his right because he went to a certain school to play rugby

Some people aren't built for pro sport but can't accept it.  More testing does need to be done

Steroids don’t work like that! You don’t just sit at home and get muscly. You take them AND have to do a shed load of training with it. The drugs help with training volume, recovery (so fitting in more training), etc. but you still have to put the hours in.

When I said the easier choice was doing less gym. The kid could have spend 2 hours in the gym with juice and probably got the results that could have taken him twice as long without. And as you say it speeds up recovery aswell

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Re: Roidgby

Post by Brendan on Fri 04 May 2018, 5:53 pm

The upcoming generation aren't as capable of dealing with rejection and take loss as a rejection of them as opposed to their skill set.

Losing matches sucks and if you didn't care about losing you would probably lose interest in sport. But it's not knowing how to deal with a loss and taking it as a personal failure every time that worries me about people. They lose a game and so they can't see any positive in it and feel no enjoyment from having participated.

Sure we all strut like we are the be all and end all when we get on a winning run but I would hope we still enjoy the match and the experience when we lose (you can feel rubbish after some games but can't be every game you lose)

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Re: Roidgby

Post by doctor_grey on Fri 04 May 2018, 8:05 pm

Living here in America, one thing they seem to do better than us is the drug testing. In the high school, in my town they use a policy similar to many school systems: All students in sports, regardless of the sport, get tested randomly through their season and during the whole school year. Most kids get tested twice per year. The information is handled carefully and confidentially with the parents. Testing is for PEDs and so-called recreational drugs.

The process has gone through the court system (as everything in America) and is validated as legal and established a benchmark process. Also generally effective. Refusing the random testing means immediate suspension for the team and possibly the school.

In American pro sport, I know baseball performed over 10000 tests last season in the Major Leagues. Each player gets tested a minimum of 2x per season, many much more than that. Also random. Previous offenders receive more frequent testing.

For the NFL, I don't recall the number of in-season random tests, but the off-season testing requires each player under contract to be tested up to 6 times. That's an average of once per month when not with the team. The off-season is when most of the PED use is found.

Universities have their policies as well.

This is obviously not a bullet-proof system, but is a hell of a lot better than ours.

Of course, none of that deals with the peer pressure in the schools to get bigger, more chiseled, or faster which can be very important at those ages. That's part of the problem too. And very sad.

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Re: Roidgby

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