Drugs and sailing.

Discussion in 'The Dockhouse' started by Chainsaw, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    America's Cup sailor's cocaine case reopened

    11:15AM Sunday March 23, 2008

    The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has reopened the case of New Zealand sailor Simon Daubney, cleared after testing positive for cocaine during the last America's Cup in Valencia.

    WADA's director general New Zealander David Howman last week lodged papers appealing Daubney's case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland, Auckland-based Daubney was suspended after becoming the first sailor in America's Cup history to fail a doping test after providing a sample containing two metabolites of cocaine during Switzerland's Team Alinghi's successful defence of the America's Cup in 2007.

    The yachtsman subsequently resigned from Alinghi but had his suspension lifted in January by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).
    The federation said it had based its decision on a ruling by the Swiss Olympic Association, whose disciplinary chamber ruled Daubney had not infringed any anti-doping rules.

    Announcing the decision to reopen the case Howman said: "At the end of the day, WADA has a mandate to look at all such decisions internationally to see whether they have been consistently applied.

    "If we feel there are some inconsistencies to discuss, we have the ability to put the case in front of the court."

    Daubney left Team New Zealand in 2000 to form the core of the Alinghi syndicate based in Switzerland.

    Papers are being served on Daubney, and he and the ISAF have 21 days to lodge a response or a defence.

    - NZPA
     
  2. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    I don't understand how a sailor like S.D. needs cocaine to function.

    Should trace elements of recreational drugs taken outside of events be a concern?
     
  3. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Cocaine is very addictive, so he may not have a lot of choice without some serious intervention and self will.

    Could you expand on what you mean by the question? Do you mean in high level competition? Any level? In life?
     
  4. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Everybody knows drugs can be horrible. Some are very addictive and can take over a persons entire life. Some kill you fast. Some kill you slowly. Some help you get over illnesses. Some help you cope. Some make you grow long after you would normally stop growing. Some help your body to produce more muscles.

    Some drugs are considered to be OK and some are available in virtually every store with a drug counter.

    Some drugs are only OK when a doctor has written on a little piece of paper "This person needs to ingest this drug."

    Some people pay doctors lots of money to write on little sheets of paper.

    Sometimes the government writes on sheets of paper and forces people to take drugs.

    Some people make their own drugs.

    Sometimes the government puts people in little rooms with bars for making, taking, or selling drugs.

    Sometimes people get caught with drugs and their records are expunged and later those people become President of the United States.

    Mostly? The entire drug thing is a huge complicated mess and it is further complicated by huge amounts of money.

    Some people make a living developing drugs. Some people manufacture drugs. Some people advertise. Some people make ads. Some get money for endorsing drugs. Some hold stock in drug companies. Some get paid to chase people who distribute drugs. Some get paid to offer rehab. Some get paid to write and sing about going to rehab. Some get paid to sit in robes and decide lots of things about drugs. Some have things stolen by addicts. Some run pawn shops....and on and on and on it goes.

    Currently the sports world has a huge group of individuals who spend time and even make a living regulating the use of drugs by athletes.

    The questions surrounding the reopening of the investigation of an Americas's Cup sailor MUST include questions about the financial motives of those who are reopening the investigation.

    Certainly some will believe the WADA folks are simply trying to "do the right thing." Others will believe it is totally about "getting some rich guys involved so the money will flow freely."
    From WADA folks to the Lawyers arguing the case on both sides to commentators writing for the media, money will flow and people will make house payments and send kids to college. None of them has any reason to stop and say, "This is a waste of time."

    Personally? I could care less who ingests what drug and when and how much. I am firmly convinced there are unreasonable fanatics on both sides of every part of every issue suggested above and there is nothing a person like me can do except sit back and watch the idiots on both sides waste their lives.

    I just wish they all could find something to do that does not waste so many resources that could be spent on something useful.

    That includes the time I just spent writing this note.
     
  5. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    I think I would have a problem "racing" on a boat with a person that was high or drunk. Things happen fast and people can get hurt. On a boat like an IACC boat the pressures on the rig, sails and hull are immense. In a Laser regatta I would have an issue with someone racing on the course when high or drunk as well for many of the same reasons. I don't have a problem with drug testing, but what someone does on their own time, (or likes to do to themselves) is their business. The problem comes when it infringes on others. The other problems is drug tests can't tell "when" the person took the drug. Some hang around for days in your system, some don't. I think as an individual you need to decide what's more important for yourself. Get high and possibly blow my high paying professional sailing job or stay clean? For me it would be an easy decision.
     
  6. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    Mainly as it relates to sailing in a fleet (even match racing between two boats), but since people are living while sailing it could relate to life in general, say, your job too - if sailing wasn't your fulltime job - it's the same issue.

    this is what I mean - it is an assumption on my part, but to say someone has trace elements in their system suggests they are probably not under the influence any more. At least that would be the case if the cocaine metabolites came from cocaine and not some kind of designer cocktail. Like Rob B, I wouldn't want to be sailing with anyone on drugs, but I'm interested to know what is acceptable (how high?) to other people
     
  7. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    Is this a personal comment or would you support the use of performance enhancing drugs - legal or illegal in sailing?

    Would you sail on a boat with crew that you knew were using illegal recreational drugs, and for how long? A day cruise, or overnight race or even cross atlantic or similar.
     
  8. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    I would have to answer the above question on a case by case basis.
    I don't care if you put Visene in your eyes Tuesday and race sailboats with me the next Thursday through Sunday...The drug testing system we currently accept as tolerable oversight for the sake of a good sport would ban the user for years or life for such drug use.
    I care a lot if you get so damn drunk the night before a regatta you are hung over and incapable of competing at your usual level. I am especially pissed if I drove 250 miles just for thechance to race with younand you let me down by being a friggin drunk. The folks who do the drug use oversight couldn't care less about alcohol consumption and you are welcome to sail hung over in the Olympics, world championships or attend happy hour before sailing your local Wednesday night races.

    Translation?? I think teh Drug control proponents are driven by a need to control and a need to preserve their power and income. I do not believe the drug control testing, especially in sailboat racing, has a damned thing to do with making the competition better.

    Finally. About not caring>
    a. If you are so drugged you present a danger to others, certainly I care.
    b. I don't know of any drugs that would enhance performance for laser sailors. So, I don't much care what "performance enhancing" drugs folks take.
    c. Actually I am pretty certain aspirin, ibuprofen , and similar drugs enhance master sailor's performance. So what?
     
  9. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    For the purpose of this discussion why don't we keep it to alcohol, weed, coke, heroine, and steroids, and XTC, crack.

    Any I missed?
     
  10. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, Olympic sailors are tested for other drugs. They can't even take a decongestant like sudafed. So I'm not sure it's useful to exclude any drugs. What say you, Chainsaw? What do you intend with this topic?
     
  11. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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  12. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Re: trace elements from previous use...


    The sailing community is diverse. Our sole similarity and interest is sailing and in the case of Lasers, sailing little singlehanded boats around bouys as a contest.

    It is one thing to remove a fellow for punching another or bringing a cheater boat.

    It opens an entirely different can of worms to remove people whose particular moral choices do not match a politically active sect of fleet.

    While some of you might remove drug users. Others might remove those who are late on child support payments, or those who failed to vote in the last presidential elections, or frail old ladies, or bass players, or those who drive SUVs, or those who worked for Worldcom, or lawyers, or cokeheads, or those who have overdue library books, or muslims, or those with unpaid traffic tickets, or kids with poor grades (whose mom defines that one?), or potheads, or Sunfish sailors, or alcoholics, or those who have been fired for sexual discrimination, or those with bad penmanship, or those who go to the gym, or those with tatoos, or braless women, or hipsters, or those who can't sing in harmony, or those who take too many valium, or retirees, or those with over drawn bank accounts, or stay at home daddies, or vegans, or those who wear boxers, or liberals, or those who sail with gloves, or those who are addicted to chocolate, or kids with pimples, or those who use too much makeup, or illegal immigrants, or those who read Playboy, or those who eat meat, or long haired guys, or conservatives, or those who wet the bed, or those who drink coffee, or those who drink beer through a straw, or manic depressives, or blue eyes blondes, or prostitutes, or their johns, or those who take vitamins, or Jews, or those with piercings, or blacks, or athiests, or, as they do in the Farr classes, anybody who takes care of our racing toys.

    About the only group the Laser class could afford to remove without modifying the size of the fleet is normal folks who live normal lives and have never ever done anything to offend anybody ever for any reason.

    Personally? I rather enjoy participating in a social activity / sport where people who would normally avoid or even despise one another , share fun times both on and around the water.

    So...as long as you play well with others during our events, I don't much care what you do with the rest of your life and I absolutely do not want the sailing community to police its competitors behavior outside the world of sailing.


    note: This is not in any way intended to imply I willingly accept improper or unsafe behavior on the course. Too damned drunk, stoned, hyped up, or even tired or fat to safely compete is unacceptable. Please don't do that to the rest of us.

    note 2: I gotta lose some weight
     
  13. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    Probably leaving it open is fine. I'm sure someone will argue that coffee is a performance enhancing drug that should be banned, but who knows, they may get a new angle on the whole thing which is more important.
     
  14. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    Here's the crunch. Most organisations have a culture of sorts and cultures have a moral element. Without a line drawn somewhere you do not have cohesion - the commonality that is required to label something a culture. It seems to be a modern argument that there is a choice as to what kind of morals you hold. Perhaps in the "old days" the majority all held similar views and the idea of arguing morals didn't come up much because of it, and certainly the idea of questioning whether you had the option of doing something immoral (and justifying it successfully) or against the "norm of your culture" wouldn't have been as predominant as it is now. We're going back before the laser was even invented now, but the point is to find a context.

    In the case of laser sailing you have that big, long, subjective, interpretatable by a politically active sect of the fleet, passage about "cheating". That seems to be an attempt to outline the moral limits or culture of laser sailing.
     
  15. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    and to maintain the moral element of a sailing culture, you do need to police some aspect of competitors "outside" life - although in a laser context this is always in hindsight and in the the form of penalties, rather than ILCA representatives making random visits to your house to make sure you aren't taking drugs.
     
  16. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Cohesion in the "old days" never existed, unless it was enforced. Maybe before the Tower of Babel!
     
  17. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    yes well that's the point. To have the culture you need the enforcement, and in the sailing/laser sailing case, if you want the anti-drug element of the culture you need to test for it/police it.

    Is there an argument for drug use in sailing? Are there any benefits?
     
  18. Ross B

    Ross B Guest


    It’s stuff like this that bothers me. The way I see it, there are two kinds of drugs/medicine: The kind you need to survive and the kind you can live with out. Examples:


    Example #1 The kind I need to survive:

    A:
    I am Type 2 Diabetic/Hypoglycemic. So I take 1000mg of Glucophage every night, and this keeps my pancreas in check to make sure I produce the correct amount of insulin, and do not become a full blown diabetic. Without this drug, my pancreas will not function properly, and I could become a diabetic, and lead a manageable, but difficult life. Death is a grave possibility. Ask my Mum, she is a full blown type 1 diabetic, life is difficult to say the least.

    B:

    I have Asthma. So I have to keep an inhaler, I use Albuterol. As we all know, we need to breath to survive. And it sucks when you can't breathe. So I use an inhaler. Rainy and moist conditions bother me a lot. Winter, even in SoCal, really sucks.


    Example #2 The kind I don't need to survive (but make life a lot easier!):

    A:
    I have ADD, without hyperactivity. Most people don't know I even have it, they can't tell. My biggest problem is I have a hard time remembering stuff. So I'm always writing notes. So I take Adderall every day I have school, and sometime for racing. Never more than 15 mg's, sometimes less depending on how many classes I'm going to that day. This is not necessary for me to take, but it makes life better as I can perform to my highest level, I can concentrate better, and remember more.

    B:
    Like some people, I have terrible allergies. Grass, pollen, some animal fur, stuff like that bothers me. When is really dry, it can also get bad. So I take an allergy medication every day. While not necessary, life would be bloody miserable without it. Would you want to go around every day with a box of tissues and a runny nose? I think not!

    C:
    I have various joint issue's, their too loose, and I'm too flexible for my own good. I've also had a wrist surgery. So I'm usually in some kind of pain. I get up in the morning and get out of bed and I snap, crackle and pop! So I've been known to take Aleeve from time to time. I even keep some in my life jacket in a pill case. (picked that idea up from the old Finn sailors at Pre-Trials.) This is probably the least necessary medication that I take, but who like to be in pain.

    Now here is where it gets tricky, with example 1,B, I believe an inhaler for asthma is described as a stimulant/steroid. So say a person is out the water and has an asthma attack, and he (or she) uses their inhaler, all before the first race. This person finishes top ten, and since it’s a Worlds, he gets drug tested. Now because he used a stimulant/steroid, he gets thrown out the regatta, and possibly banned for two years. The same example works for 1,A and 2,A. But fortunately, if you play for game right, and file for an Exemption,( within the correct time period) you should be fine.



    Another example that comes to mind is that of Kevin Hall, the 2004 US Olympic Finn rep at Athens. I had testicular cancer, and had to have his testicles removed. He has to take a hormone shot (don’t know how often, but enough to keep him alive) because he can’t produce any. I don’t know the specifics of how it all works out, but I believe it went like this: He placed well at a regatta, they test him, and his trainer had not filed for an Exemption for him because of his need. So they nailed him, and his Olympic berth was put in severe jeopardy ( they were considering a replacement), it eventually got worked out, and they figured no balls=needs hormone. The world is at piece again. I beleive he placed fourth at Athens.



    The way it works is, if you need a drug to survive, file for an Exemption. Info can be found here:http://isaf.org/1147.php

    A drug that is deemed necessary is seen as, and I directly quote from ISAF/Anti-Doping:

    “The sailor would experience significant health problems without taking the prohibited substance or method”

    There’s the banned substance list:

    http://www.wada-ama.org/rtecontent/document/2008_List_En.pdf

    ISAF and Anti-Doping:

    http://isaf.org/1153.php

    I believe that ISAF and Anti-Doping are currently doing the best they can. Obviously, you don’t want to sail drunk. Things like weed, extacy, crack, coke, heroine, and meth are NOT performance enhancing drugs, you will NOT get to the top mark faster, maybe to a candy bar, but that’s it. They should obviously be avoided. Things like HGH/steroids, lets get real here, it’s not baseball or a Strong Man competition. We don’t require brute strength, we need stamina and endurance. Just avoid it, and hit the gym. But special considerations should be taken into account, as with the case of David Howman, drink spiking is possible. The one thing I hate about drug testing in our culture, is that it always seems like if the test comes out positive that said person had a drug of any sort in their system, they are guilty until proven innocent. The damage is done to their reputation, and life is suddenly a lot harder. In the case of David Howman, I believe he is innocent, and the drink was spiked at the party he attended. Unfortunately he was promptly banned by ISAF, and forced to leave by Alinghi, the damage has been done. But that is the only flaw I can think of at the moment.


    Rant over, I have a headache, so I’m going to take a pain killer. My blood sugar is running low, so I can’t see straight and I’m shakin all over the place, so I’m going to eat something. And no matter what anybody tells you, that was not me with Roger Clemens trainer last week!
     
  19. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    Well if they decide to look at caffine that'll do it for me. As a, uh, "heavier" laser sailor I MUST have my morning coffee or else I can't, um, "empty my ballast tanks" and it really makes a BIG difference in my performance!
     
  20. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    I AM old enough to remember when drugs meant aspirin. Generic drugs were those that were not Bayer Aspirin.

    Then really big pain was handled with Anacin.

    For sensitive tummies we had Bufferin

    A few years alter the Excedrin Headache was invented

    Now, between our commercially distributed foods and the drugs everybody is a walking chemistry set.

    I am admittedly somewhat cynical but I can't help believing the only difference betwween legal drugs and illegal drugs is a few well placed campaign contributions. The same contribution and lobbying process works for keeping a drug off the "performance enhancing" list.

    I do not believe for one second that the WADA is about maintaining the quality of the games we play or protecting the health of those of us who play.

    WADA is about providing income for those who run and work for WADA and serving the interests of those who fund WADA.

    Those involved may even believe 100% in their mission. I believe they do a lot of unnecessary harm while failing to properly accomplish their mission.

    Finally: It may be imposible to accomplish WADA's mission without harming occasional innocent players.

    I would choose to abort the mission rather than harm innocents.
     

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