Am I too cynical? Usain Bolt/Lance Armstrong content

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  • Am I too cynical? Usain Bolt/Lance Armstrong content
  • Premier Icon dmorts
    Subscriber

    I hope that I am just being way too cynical about this, but I finally got around to watching The Armstrong Lie the other weekend. Then after that I saw Usain Bolt in the Commonwealth Games and something is bugging me, mainly the guy’s cockiness and what seems like his effortless performance. It’s like he knows he will win and I can’t help draw parallels with Armstrong.

    Please talk me out of my cynicism, I would like to believe he is a true athlete.

    Bolt can’t help missing about.
    Armstrong couldn’t help being a bastard.

    Jamie
    Member

    mainly the guy’s cockiness and what seems like his effortless performance. It’s like he knows he will win

    Confidence. He has it.

    Have you considered a career as a detecive?

    mikewsmith
    Member

    Have you considered a career as a detecivejournalist at the express?

    He’s fast must be on drugs.

    jfletch
    Member

    Performance is not an idicator of doping.

    Consider their physical make up.

    Armstrong was a big burley (relative to other cyclists) triathlete who suddenly was able to climb mountains faster than the skinniest lightest climbers. Alarm bells.

    Bolt is perfectly adapted to sprinting. I can’t remeber the exact anatomy but apprarently there is something special about the lenght of his limbs. He is a genetic freak. No alarm bells.

    None of this means he isn’t doping, he could be. But just because he is the fastest ever doesn’t mean he is doping so it’s perfectly OK to lay off the cynicism IMO.

    mrblobby
    Member

    There does seem to be a lack of cynicism in the mainstream media and an eagerness to embrace someone with the personality to extend the appeal of the sport. Given the recent history of Jamaican sprinting, and as its leading light, I’m surprised he doesn’t get the same sort of questioning as Froome and Wiggins did when in yellow.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
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    Bolt is perfectly adapted to sprinting. I can’t remeber the exact anatomy but apprarently there is something special about the lenght of his limbs. He is a genetic freak. No alarm bells.

    No alarm bells 🙂 Good one mate.
    You’re right in the sense that it’s not an alarm bell, as that’s not the right metaphor. Many forces at work with doping in 100m – no one wants to see the olympic 100m won in 10.01 seconds by some boring bstard.

    jambalaya
    Member

    The Jamaican 4×4 team was a shoe in for gold. Unless they dropped the battern they where going to win comfortably, so hardly surprising to see Bolt looking confident. Plus it’s all showmanship as we and the advertisers love it. Bolt knows he is likely to come under a lot of pressure in the 100m so he is now focusing on the 200m, he knows he is potentially fragile.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
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    apprarently there is something special about the lenght of his limbs

    They’re long?

    He does have a very long stride length so covers more ground with each stride and and has developed the ability to shift his huge legs at a high cadence.

    I don’t think Armstong’s brand of cockiness would extend to selfies with spectators.

    iolo
    Member

    The showmanship is all well and good but his celebration stank of “nah nah nah nah nah nah, I, your face infadels, I’ll milk this for for 30 minutes. “
    There were another 3 on his team but the camera just followed him and after a while it became boring.
    I’m sure he’s a nice guy but he should tone it down a bit.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    There was an article about the 100m on TV on the runup to the Olympics. How the record has evolved with time, etc. One of the critical points is that no-one can sprint flat out for even 100m.

    The race is in 3 distinct phases, start, middle and end.

    The start is all about how good reactions are, and how fast you can get into running at full speed; I don’t remember the exact details but that takes a number of strides to get fully upright and into form. It takes him longer than the ‘best’ exponents of this part, simply because his reactions aren’t as good and also he’s 6ft 5 (if you watch his 9.58, he ‘fluked’ a good start for once)

    The middle is flat out sprinting. All the top sprinters are basically the same here, there’s a pretty consistent number of strides they can manage at full tilt before they get fatigued and start to slow down. The difference is that his stride is substantially longer than his rivals, hence he can go further before hitting phase three – which is slowing down, as the fatigue sets in.

    The last third, iirc, of the distance is actually more about who slows down least rather than who’s running fastest, if that makes sense. If you look at Bolt, it’s around the middle of the race that he just pulls away, simply because his stride length gets him that bit further while at max power, so he’s further along the track before he starts to slow.

    Clear enough to me, he’s just the right mix of genetic freakery to overcome the downside of being too tall with the benefits of being so tall.

    jfletch
    Member

    as that’s not the right metaphor

    Why not?

    It is suprising to see a big beefy guy climbing mountains as fast as Armstrong did.

    It is not supprising to see a guy with a freakishly long stride length sprinting very fast. Other than guilt by association with other sprinters and other Jamaicans what do we have to give us doubt? There is no evidence to suggest Bolt is a doper. His performance is plausible is it not?

    So looking at sprinting with a sceptical eye does it look reasonable that Bolt would be the fastest ever? To me it does.

    Premier Icon shaggy
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    There is a really good TED lecture that talks about this, amongst other things. I think it’s this one but can’t see on my phone.

    Junkyard
    Member

    It’s like he knows he will win

    We all know he will win because he his world records times are massively faster than anyone else so he will win if he runs anywhere near his best

    Same for the Brownlee brothers in the triathalon

    Given the recent history of Jamaican sprinting, and as its leading light, I’m surprised he doesn’t get the same sort of questioning as Froome and Wiggins did when in yellow.

    Its a reasonabl;e point and most of the fastest 100 m runners have doped

    the event is at leats as dirty as cycling ever was.

    Premier Icon convert
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    Well this list:-

    Marvin Anderson,
    James Beckford,
    Dominique Blake,
    Johan Blake,
    Veronica Campbell-Brown,
    Julien Dunkley,
    Allodin Fothergill,
    Shelly-Ann Fraser,
    Patrick Jarrett,
    Suzette Lee,
    Aston Morgan,
    Steve Mullings,
    Merlene Ottey,
    Asafa Powell,
    Donovan Powell,
    Allison Randall,
    Dorian Scott,
    Sherone Simpson,
    Traves Smikle,
    Lansford Spence,
    Bobby-Gaye Wilkins,
    Christopher Williams

    of Jamaican athletes with positive doping records in the last few years, from a nation that only recently started an effective OOC regime. That’s a hell of a lot of athletes for a tiny place that didn’t really test out of competition (reducing your chance of getting caught, unless a complete muppet).

    Bolt can’t be seen as guilty just by association but he is patently a product of a broken (ethically) system. He might just be the fastest of them all and have been clean all his life too……might.

    Premier Icon richmars
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    but he should tone it down a bit.

    What, ignore all the children in the stands reaching out to high five him, or the older ones trying to get a selfee?
    He made an awful lot of people happy doing that.

    Jamaican sprinting is rife with doping scandals but for some reason (perhaps naively) i reckon Bolt to be clean

    He was winning world championships as a junior so he’s always been amongst the best of his peers so the career progression is there. Wish i could find footage of it but i remember Michael Johnson talking about him years ago (probably about 2005 or 2006) saying there was a young guy coming up who if he could manage to improve his start and transition would go on to dominate sprinting for the next decade.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    He might just be the fastest of them all and have been clean all his life too……might.

    Nail/head

    piemonster
    Member

    Bolt is nothing like Armstrong, personality wise. That’s no indicator of drug use.

    Converts post is probably the closest to the mark. Although I’d like to see a list of sprinters caught doping, reckon it’d be another fair sized list.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
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    iolo – Member
    The showmanship is all well and good but his celebration stank of “nah nah nah nah nah nah, I, your face infadels, I’ll milk this for for 30 minutes. “

    Hes a doper and Arabic? The daily mail will probably be all over this thread by tomorrow.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
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    jfletch – Member

    as that’s not the right metaphor

    Why not?

    It is suprising to see a big beefy guy climbing mountains as fast as Armstrong did.Sry, I was trying to say that Bolt doping would not be something I find particularly alarming – I think there is a tacit acceptance of doping in some sports (like the 100m) between fans, consumers, governing bodies and athletes.

    I don’t find his performances plausible myself, but YMMV. Two facts seem important – doping is endemic in 100m sprinting, and the Jamaican drug testing regime is soft. You can go from there and construct biomechanical theories for why Bolt is exceptional – but it’s typical suspension of disbelief stuff (Nowt wrong with that, btw, it’s part and parcel of watching sport and hoping for the right outcome).

    biomechanical theories

    Indurain had a massive lung capacity and long levers.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_Indurain#Physical_attributes

    Premier Icon metalheart
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    Indurain, hmm. Perhaps not the best example to pick! He’s all but confessed to epo doping…

    Bolt’s really very very fast and has the perfect surname. He’s funny and does silly stuff on camera. You can sell that.

    PEDs – is he? Isn’t he? Who knows. He can probably afford the best, if he is, and thus be a lot less likely to get caught.

    Dilwyn
    Member

    There’s a huge difference between being ‘within the rules’ and being clean.
    Once a substance is classed as illegal, it has to be tested for and a limit has to be defined on the amount which is legal. Depending on how you interpret the rules, this also means that as long as you take below that amount (or are below that amount when tested) then you are within the rules
    It’s the same in all sports, whether it’s cycling, tennis, football or whatever.

    kudos100
    Member

    Peoples naivety when it comes to doping in sport is quite amazing.

    At the top level doping is rife. Lifetime clean and clean for testing are two different things.

    PED’s allow athletes to exceed their natural genetic potential. Some of this gain is maintained after they have stopped the drug. What this means is that athletes can dope a number of number of times during their career (In the offseason) never get caught, and still have a slight edge on those that are lifetime clean.

    The trouble is, everyone at the top level of sport knows this, and realise they may have a dope at some point to stay competitive.

    Bolt is the greatest sprinting talent the world has ever seen. He is also cocky and a bit full of himself. Is this anything to do with him doping? No, the majority of them are at it.

    andyfla
    Member

    Anybody who has had a hand in the progression of the men’s 100-metre record between Donovan Bailey and Usain Bolt – anybody who has been the fastest man in the world between Bailey’s 9.84 seconds at the 1996 Atlanta Games and Bolt’s 9.58 set in August of 2009 in Berlin – has either failed a drug test or been connected to performance-enhancing substances.

    Bailey and Bolt are the only two men’s 100-metre Olympic champions since 1984 who have not tested positive for drugs at some point in their careers.

    Err, not cynical enough

    I cant believe that he can run faster than all the other ten fastest times and be clean – freak or not

    mrblobby
    Member

    One thing Bolt and Armstrong do (or at least did in the latter case) have in common is massive marketability and an appeal much wider than is typical for the sport. In Armstrongs case this (allegedly) led to much turning of a blind eye by the sports governing bodies.

    Premier Icon BigDummy
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    Indurain had a massive lung capacity and long levers.

    Armstrong had an oversized heart and developed better “muscle efficiency” through “smart training”

    🙂

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    At the top level doping is rife

    Is there is evidence to support that claim or is it what you reckon?

    I cant believe that he can run faster than all the other ten fastest times and be clean

    How fast would you accept for him to be clean?

    piemonster
    Member

    Is there is evidence to support

    Well, with sprinting it’s not hard to find.

    jfletch
    Member

    Anybody who has had a hand in the progression of the men’s 100-metre record between Donovan Bailey and Usain Bolt – anybody who has been the fastest man in the world between Bailey’s 9.84 seconds at the 1996 Atlanta Games and Bolt’s 9.58 set in August of 2009 in Berlin – has either failed a drug test or been connected to performance-enhancing substances.

    Bailey and Bolt are the only two men’s 100-metre Olympic champions since 1984 who have not tested positive for drugs at some point in their careers.

    Nice anecdote.

    But that only represents 4 people. And there is another way to spin this.

    Dononvan Bailey’s 1996 time was very good, a freak but natural perfomance. Since then nobody has been able to break it except by cheating, until Bolt came along. With better equipment and better tallet ID at an earlier age times are bound to drop with time and doped performances are just noise getting in the way.

    Fast guys who dope will rise to the top and get popped but that doesn’t preclude there still being genetic freaks, outliers, who can do it naturally.

    Another way of looking at this is that of the top 10 fastest men ever 7 have been associated with doping or failed a test. So a valid hypothesis is that there is a high likelyhood of getting caught if you dope and therefore if you don’t get caught it’s likely you are clean.

    Like I said before neither can be proved and that is why performance can not be evidence of doping and nor can be performance vs known dopers.

    So I don’t think it is naive to belive in great performances as long as you view them secptically.

    One thing people forget is that there is no smoke without fire and for Lance there was a lot of smoke. I’m not aware there is the same issues with Bolt and in this modern age of Twitter I’d suspect we’d hear about it pretty quickly. Who is Bolts David Walsh?

    chewkw
    Member

    There are 4 in relay but what I don’t understand is the media focusing on one person only. 😯

    slimjim78
    Member

    Having read this thread it smacks of the Armstrong love-in pre his admittance.
    I can’t see how anyone (on a diet of chicken nuggets) can run 5% faster, at a canter, than every other dedicated pro on the planet over 100m, clean.

    Unfortunately in my eyes, he can’t win either way.

    I do however suspend disbelief when it comes to Michael Johnson, watching him at the Atlanta Games was the most incredible thing ive ever seen in athletics (and seemingly a really great person to boot, perhaps blurring my cynicism).
    Jonathan Edwards in Gothenburg smashing 18m twice in a row in 95 easily my second fave moment.

    I just can’t put Bolt up there with them, yet.

    Duggan
    Member

    Jamaican anti-doping control undertook out of competition tests in only 2 out of the first 7 months of 2012. Described as ‘woefully inadequate’ by WADA.

    Asafa Powell and Sherome Simpson tested positive already.

    I’d be amazed if he’s not doping.

    Premier Icon totalshell
    Subscriber

    well a couple of things..
    firstly bolt must be doped every 30 seconds on average and thus far his tests must have been positive .. so on that count hes clean.. hes what you call a show man.. he can run .. FAST.. faster than any man alive or dead.. end of.

    Armstrong was a drug cheat at a time now widely accepeted as when every bloke on a push bike was filling himself with epo and steroids.. taken that as a given he was one heck of a bike rider, the best in the world for some time to be consistantly ahead when all around him were using just as many drugs as he was..

    I’d be amazed if he wasn’t doping too. And I’d be amazed if he wasn’t. I’m generally amazed by his running anyway. I think this is what a lot of people feel these days about the likes of Bolt ie one is never quite sure how to feel about the whole thing.

    andyfla
    Member

    Armstrong was a drug cheat at a time now widely accepeted as when every bloke on a push bike was filling himself with epo and steroids

    Don’t forget Armstrong has never been caught, so he must be clean as well …. oh no, hang on ….

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
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    I reckon anyone married to a doctor would have access to “stuff” and be able to get away with it. I mean, Andyfla has never failed a drugs test either…. 😆

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