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  • Eddie Hall Interview

    Quite insightful.

    Does Briton Eddie Hall risk death in his bid to become the World's Strongest Man?

  • #2
    Just watched the documentary. Interestingly there was no mention of drugs anywhere. Great investigative journalism.

    They were much harder on the people doing the Botox injections.

    Next time we have a "World Record" please can we know exactly what the person is taking and how much, especially given that there is "nothing wrong" with drug use in untested competitions.

    Anybody who is deliberately "risking death" when they have a wife and kids needs to get their head read in my opinion. Glad I am not the only mad person though.

    Comment


    • #3
      Couple of points for balance. One: his fitness was tested. He surprised them (so it was better than was expected) and Two: he himself talked about the dangers of what he does. Now ANYONE (inc you and me Gerrard) who want to do half of what we've both done lifting wise will have someone somewhere question why we do what we do. It does, as you suggest, take a certain kind of madness ha ha.

      It's also not a good idea to discuss the why's and hows of drug use in a show seen by kids.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Steve Gardener View Post
        Couple of points for balance. One: his fitness was tested. He surprised them (so it was better than was expected) and Two: he himself talked about the dangers of what he does. Now ANYONE (inc you and me Gerrard) who want to do half of what we've both done lifting wise will have someone somewhere question why we do what we do. It does, as you suggest, take a certain kind of madness ha ha.

        It's also not a good idea to discuss the why's and hows of drug use in a show seen by kids.

        Steve: The BBC have recently exposed the Russian doping scandal. This has been all over the news at any time of day. What you are suggesting re the "kids" simply does not stack up.

        I think a program discussing health such as 'Inside Out' ought to ask the important questions. To pass over completely the issue of drugs, which we all know is a major one in Strongman, represents very poor journalism.

        If anything the manner in which the program was presented would be more likely to promote PED use in the young by suggesting that a competitor in untested events deserves to be legitimized in such a way and described as an "elite" athlete with the validation of being praised by a household name such Geoff Capes (himself not squeaky clean as we know).

        They should have confronted him head on as to whether he is "using" and he should have been drug tested by the University team with the results made public. If he is not a PED user he would have had the chance to prove this on national television and set a good example to the "kids".

        I would venture that a person who is using PED's would be most at risk when performing at a high level of exertion because those drugs would allow this greater exertion, so this would be a major factor in evaluating the safety issues involved. Testing a person's resting heart rate and recovery following a bout of moderate exertion are not necessarily good indicators of the stress being placed on the heart by performing beyond the body's natural limits.

        Again, a very poor job by the BBC who themselves dropped the WSM and BSM shows some years ago for reasons unknown to me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Again two thoughts. Is it how they test?? He rated the highest on that exertion test they've ever seen 'are you kidding me?' etc and when I said 'whys and hows' I'll explain below.

          It's one thing to declare (as we both have) 'I am a PED user'. It's another, as I was suggesting, to go on TV at peak viewing times in front of what 3-6 million people and talk about injecting etc. More so when they've already done the hero thing by showing you competing in front of crowds etc. It's not new for someone, such as in athletics (as you say), to be exposed. Of course, any kids can google steroids and watch to their hearts delight subject to home internet controls.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Steve Gardener View Post
            Again two thoughts. Is it how they test?? He rated the highest on that exertion test they've ever seen 'are you kidding me?' etc and when I said 'whys and hows' I'll explain below.

            It's one thing to declare (as we both have) 'I am a PED user'. It's another, as I was suggesting, to go on TV at peak viewing times in front of what 3-6 million people and talk about injecting etc. More so when they've already done the hero thing by showing you competing in front of crowds etc. It's not new for someone, such as in athletics (as you say), to be exposed. Of course, any kids can google steroids and watch to their hearts delight subject to home internet controls.
            Steve:

            I would say that with the focus of the documentary being as it was on health the issue of drugs should have been discussed. Pertinently, injecting yourself with Botox was the topic earlier in the same program.

            I am not suggesting that EH even is definitely a drug user. I am simply saying that the topic should have been brought up, that he should have been tested, and that viewers were entitled to know the truth about what is going on in the activity, especially following the recent deaths that we all know about.

            I watched a documentary recently where Dorian Yates discussed his PED use from the point of view that he had actually been using far less than suggested by some internet rumours. At least he had the courage to be honest and in the process hopefully deter others from using the massive dosages that were being proposed in so-called "Yates Cycles".

            I will also point out I have never declared that "I am" a PED user. I voluntarily admitted using them for a short period in 2002, at the age of 18. What you are suggesting would be the equivalent of somebody who got drunk when they were a teenager describing themselves as an alcoholic. I had an experience, learned a lesson and moved on with my life with no intention of repeating my mistakes. Your involvement with PED's may be vastly different, but please do not try to associate your life choices with mine.

            Having been up front about my own experience I am merely asking that others are up front about theirs. If I succeed in the near future of benching 500lbs in drug tested competition people can judge for themselves based on the facts as to whether this is a good achievement or is still a "drug enhanced" performance because of something I did 14 years ago.

            In the case of the untested events there is no transparency about what drugs are being used and how much, so there will be no way of evaluating as to what degree the performance was "enhanced". The public have a right to know, and if all is good and above board, what exactly is anybody afraid of?

            Comment


            • #7
              So change yours to 'I was...'.

              But my comment stands re Eddie. The issue is of presenting drug use, in all it's black and white glory, on a program where kids would watch. Do we show him injecting? The drugs he uses? Are you willing to take the chance he'll be seen as a hero by some and that you, as a producer for the BBC, have allowed kids to copy him?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Steve Gardener View Post
                So change yours to 'I was...'.

                But my comment stands re Eddie. The issue is of presenting drug use, in all it's black and white glory, on a program where kids would watch. Do we show him injecting? The drugs he uses? Are you willing to take the chance he'll be seen as a hero by some and that you, as a producer for the BBC, have allowed kids to copy him?
                Steve:

                I have never suggested that drug use ought to have been depicted on the documentary. Simply that questions ought to have been asked in the light of the stated topic, which was whether EH is putting himself "at risk".

                Are the audience supposed to make up their own minds as to whether PED's are one of the "risks" alluded to?

                We both know that there are risks associated with drug use, and that this is going on in professional strongman competitions largely unchecked (a fact which I largely blame the organizers for as opposed to the competitors).

                By using the term "kids" I am assuming you are not referring to primary (kindergarten) age. Most teenagers are aware of steroids, the dangers of which are well publicized in the education system and mainstream media. By suggesting that a person who could potentially be heavily using PED's (as many professional strongmen are in these untested competitions such as the "Arnold") is perfectly healthy could actually have the effect of promoting these drugs.

                I find the documentary to be very unbalanced and inconsistent with the BBC's general coverage of the issues surrounding drugs in sport.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Quite possibly (regarding the last comment). I'm reminded a little of Bigger, Stronger, Faster. There's a desire for ones country to do well in sports - mostly as a status / ego thing. Yet the news will show SOME bias regarding the use of PED. They 'don't want drugs in sport' but rarely address it properly (indeed even, it seems, well informed).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Further to my earlier reply. The issue, one which you've touched upon, is less the athlete and more the organization. The problem is, as has been looked at on this very site via this forum, is WSM is NOT a federation (although some feed it) as we'd know it (no one 'joins', signs up or pays to be a member). It is or was a private company. Even the league (SCL) which is also a feeder is also more or less run by one or two individuals. Once you get into the SCL or WSM level it's all professional level only.

                    Now if the Olympics (supposedly amateur but not really) can't sort it's house out why do we think WSM etc will??

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Steve Gardener View Post
                      Further to my earlier reply. The issue, one which you've touched upon, is less the athlete and more the organization. The problem is, as has been looked at on this very site via this forum, is WSM is NOT a federation (although some feed it) as we'd know it (no one 'joins', signs up or pays to be a member). It is or was a private company. Even the league (SCL) which is also a feeder is also more or less run by one or two individuals. Once you get into the SCL or WSM level it's all professional level only.

                      Now if the Olympics (supposedly amateur but not really) can't sort it's house out why do we think WSM etc will??
                      Steve: Everybody organizing events has a duty of care towards participants. This is why (to some degree) organizers have previously done health check ups and tests for stimulants prior to the comps, which proves that they are aware they could be sued or prosecuted if somebody died.

                      Sooner or later somebody will die during a live competition. Not to wish death on anybody, but when this does happen it will be a wake up call for everybody.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gerard Matthews View Post

                        Steve: Everybody organizing events has a duty of care towards participants. This is why (to some degree) organizers have previously done health check ups and tests for stimulants prior to the comps, which proves that they are aware they could be sued or prosecuted if somebody died.

                        Sooner or later somebody will die during a live competition. Not to wish death on anybody, but when this does happen it will be a wake up call for everybody.
                        It won't.

                        2012 ASC Champion died. No one woke up.
                        "Action cures fear"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by igor heren View Post

                          It won't.

                          2012 ASC Champion died. No one woke up.
                          It is not the same if a person actually dies during a live competition. A death in the gym or at home is different because the competition organizers can distance themselves from responsibility. As I say, sooner or later somebody will drop dead right in the middle of a show like WSM or the ASC. I am surprised it has not happened already.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OD Wilson died during radio interview.
                            "Action cures fear"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Two points: Firstly, as I posted on another site earlier - there are no big old men. OD et al were born big, got bigger as kids and were damned huge as teens (Loz was 140-kilos as a teen and Terry Hollands 17st when he left school and was already semi-pro as a rugby player). Then they took PED's and got even bigger.

                              Secondly, those tests were down to the fact (I've had it from the athletes mouths) that a 23+ stone / 150-kilo or more athlete, no doubt less than healthy being the sheer size they are, taking stimulants is very much more likely to produce a death during a competition than ANY steroid. Hell, I was at the event when the former protege of Capes needed bringing back from the brink. Do we know of a single death during ANY athletic event ever that we can say was caused by steroids? Factual not guessed. Plus, of course, had they tested for steroids there would not have been anyone to take part.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Gerard Matthews View Post

                                Steve: Everybody organizing events has a duty of care towards participants. This is why (to some degree) organizers have previously done health check ups and tests for stimulants prior to the comps, which proves that they are aware they could be sued or prosecuted if somebody died.

                                Sooner or later somebody will die during a live competition. Not to wish death on anybody, but when this does happen it will be a wake up call for everybody.
                                I disagree. This, for me, is part of the 'someone else is responsible for me' culture that has been prevalent since the 1990's. It excuses personal choices made long before the athlete got to an event. The only way an organizer of the WSM etc should be held liable is death by equipment failure - like being run over and killed by an out of control and faulty truck during a truck pull. Else we'd have seen all manner of litigation by athletes for loss of earnings etc due to bicep tears and the like.

                                If being as big as the guys are shortens their life spans (and it does) then the WSM would need to introduce a 250lb limit. That's daft but it's where the logic takes us if we wanna talk about health and liability.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Steve Gardener View Post

                                  I disagree. This, for me, is part of the 'someone else is responsible for me' culture that has been prevalent since the 1990's. It excuses personal choices made long before the athlete got to an event. The only way an organizer of the WSM etc should be held liable is death by equipment failure - like being run over and killed by an out of control and faulty truck during a truck pull. Else we'd have seen all manner of litigation by athletes for loss of earnings etc due to bicep tears and the like.

                                  If being as big as the guys are shortens their life spans (and it does) then the WSM would need to introduce a 250lb limit. That's daft but it's where the logic takes us if we wanna talk about health and liability.

                                  Steve:

                                  You are right in saying that persons must take reasonable steps to keep healthy and that the responsibility for our welfare ultimately lies in our own hands to a large extent. This philosophy, however, is more applicable to the actions of private individuals outside of competition.

                                  From a legal perspective an event organizer would be required to show they had taken reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the event, the fitness of competitors to participate, and to ensure that the competition is fair.

                                  The organizers of WSM, ASC and SCL fall short on all of these three criteria by failing to ensure that those competitors who are using PED's are prevented from participating.

                                  I would certainly say that a claim against the organizers of the above events would stand a good chance of success if a competitor (or family member) could show that they had suffered loss or damage as a result of negligence. If a number of competitors were prepared to speak out and give testimony in court about what has been going on I think a good case could be made that organizers are deliberately putting competitors at risk.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    As an aside something akin to the notion you suggest was tried, as we know, in the IFBB. At one point I beleive Jay Cutler suggested he'd sue them after he failed a test for diuretics. Low and behold see what the IFBB said: http://www.bodybuildingpro.com/olympiareport11.html

                                    A quick search suggests he would have had them over a barrel for their lack of testing in spite of their own rules re using drugs. In another page he also suggests they did not follow IOC procedure.

                                    That throws up a quandary suggested ages ago in Bigger, Stronger, Faster. The apparent desire to see, a la strongman, bigger and heavier weights moved, thrown or repped from bigger, stronger and faster athletes while suggesting drugs are evil., So tests, of a kind, are carried out (mostly to prevent a death on stage) but neither properly (so they can be thrown out as faulty) or for the actual PED's that anyone who suggested a test thought should be tested for. As Jay points out in an IronMan interview ALL competitions (according to the rules) should have been tested not just the Mr O. That's in both amateur and professional segments. As he came second and nigh on lost $60k there's an argument about removing his living by the fed not following it's own rules.

                                    I've touched upon the cost issue before. Other than the Olympics where countries put in hundreds of millions (check out what the IOC top bods get paid) most organizations simply could not afford to pay for the tests to be done as they should be - maybe soccer, baseball etc can but bodybuilding, weightlifting and the strength sports - no. Not even close. IF the costs came down maybe. But they wont. As testing gets better the costs remain the same.

                                    The only way round this is a change of the moral stance. I'm reminded of a documentary on the history of the Olympics. Wayyyyyy back when if you came back defeated you ran the risk of being thrown out of the city etc. Ditto if you cheated in some way. The idea of cheating needs to be fundamentally so bad that kids at school would get it. But when we've parents lying about where they live to get said sprog into a good school they're not passing on the morality needed.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Steve Gardener View Post
                                      As an aside something akin to the notion you suggest was tried, as we know, in the IFBB. At one point I beleive Jay Cutler suggested he'd sue them after he failed a test for diuretics. Low and behold see what the IFBB said: http://www.bodybuildingpro.com/olympiareport11.html

                                      A quick search suggests he would have had them over a barrel for their lack of testing in spite of their own rules re using drugs. In another page he also suggests they did not follow IOC procedure.

                                      That throws up a quandary suggested ages ago in Bigger, Stronger, Faster. The apparent desire to see, a la strongman, bigger and heavier weights moved, thrown or repped from bigger, stronger and faster athletes while suggesting drugs are evil., So tests, of a kind, are carried out (mostly to prevent a death on stage) but neither properly (so they can be thrown out as faulty) or for the actual PED's that anyone who suggested a test thought should be tested for. As Jay points out in an IronMan interview ALL competitions (according to the rules) should have been tested not just the Mr O. That's in both amateur and professional segments. As he came second and nigh on lost $60k there's an argument about removing his living by the fed not following it's own rules.

                                      I've touched upon the cost issue before. Other than the Olympics where countries put in hundreds of millions (check out what the IOC top bods get paid) most organizations simply could not afford to pay for the tests to be done as they should be - maybe soccer, baseball etc can but bodybuilding, weightlifting and the strength sports - no. Not even close. IF the costs came down maybe. But they wont. As testing gets better the costs remain the same.

                                      The only way round this is a change of the moral stance. I'm reminded of a documentary on the history of the Olympics. Wayyyyyy back when if you came back defeated you ran the risk of being thrown out of the city etc. Ditto if you cheated in some way. The idea of cheating needs to be fundamentally so bad that kids at school would get it. But when we've parents lying about where they live to get said sprog into a good school they're not passing on the morality needed.


                                      Steve:

                                      Anybody competing as a natural in an IFBB sanctioned event could sue the organization. As for their association with the IOC I find this laughable.

                                      Similarly to Cutler the penalizing of Mariusz Pudzianowski was also questionable given the situation among many other athletes. He could have also gone down the legal route but probably realized it would not be a good move given the split that took place around that time between IFSA and TWI and the potential ramifications for his career.

                                      One issue that comes to light here is that of unions. I read an interesting story some time ago called "The Crucifixion of Kal" by John Hansen which discussed the efforts by a very talented bodybuilder named Kal Szkalak to start a union for athletes. Needless to say he did not get very far given the subjectivity of bodybuilding judging and the power of the company he was opposing.

                                      Whilst IFSA described itself as a "federation" it actually operated more along the lines of a company, as does IMG/TWI and also the IFBB with its inseverable links to the Weider empire.

                                      The last thing any of these companies want is athletes grouping together and pushing for changes in the sport which would improve their quality of life. And the issue of drugs is one that I am sure many athletes would want tackled, given the enormous costs and health risks involved in trying to fight the chemical war.

                                      It would certainly be a step forward if we could have a union involving those who compete in physical culture as I certainly feel the balance of power is tilted heavily against the athletes. It is only without the involvement of the companies that these issues can be brought into the open and tackled head on.

                                      Comment

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