Tag Archive for 'doping'

Doping, more tolerance is fair?

Since January 1st of this year, an athlete caught using drugs (cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, cannabis) after a control risks a disqualification of only three months, which can be reduced to 30 days if he/she shows regret and participates in a rehabilitation program. For WADA it is important that the drug has not altered the result of the performance.

But shouldn’t sport have an educational role? Wasn’t it supposed to keep young people away from drugs? Wasn’t it supposed to be an example of healthy living and wellness? Wasn’t it supposed to teach how to live frustrations and difficulties in a constructive way? Wasn’t it supposed to teach responsibility and work ethic? Okay, it failed!!!

Too much facebook and doping among runners

I read long excerpts from Carlo Esposito’s book on doping in the amateur running race entitled “Inferno 2019″. It documents what a terrible thing happens, bringing those who practice it closer to the multi-dopaths of top sport.

The author highlights the role of facebook in amplifying this phenomenon. This juxtaposition is not surprising, since it is a container used to cultivate the pathological narcissism of these people. The performance improvements that are achieved with doping and drug abuse become a way to gain status and popularity. Facebook is the space for spreading this self-image.

Doping like financial fraud is based on the concept of deception. I described how it happens in my book “The Lords of Traps”. Here I quote the definition.

For cognitive psychology “a deception is an act or trait of an M organism that has the purpose of not letting an I organism have true knowledge that is relevant to that organism, and that does not reveal that purpose” (Castelfranchi e Poggi, 1998, p.55). In this sense, it is an action that makes sense to perform only if one is inserted within a certain relational and social context, since it is precisely in that context that M and I subjects live, for whom fraud takes on meaning.

The concept of act referred to when talking about fraud essentially concerns conscious processes, carried out intentionally. In fact, the act of doping consists essentially in actions that are characterized in volunteer terms in the search for fraud strategies and ways to implement them. One of the disturbing and sensational aspects of this phenomenon certainly concerns the great social importance of the deception warped against those who, in top-level sport, admire these athletes for their exceptional sporting performance. This highlights another crucial component of the fraud process: the relevance of deception to the deceived. In fact, the lack of knowledge on the part of others, whether they are mere fans or opponents, of the real condition of the athlete, occurs through the theft of essential information, preventing the correct evaluation of the performance of doped athletes. In other words, it is made to believe the false, to the detriment of making the truth known.

Finally, the process of deception includes a further aspect, related to not letting the deceived know that he is being deceived. When you falsify, you do exactly this kind of operation, you give false information, with the declared intention of making people believe it to be true, and you take actions to convince the deceived of the goodness of what is being claimed.

Regardless of the fact that these abuses concern doping carried out to provide excellent performance at the Olympics, rather than that more simply practiced by recreational athletes, all the frauds have three elements in common that when compared with those used by Castelfranchi and Poggi to describe the process of deception are thus associated:

  • they are carried out in a secret way and this dimension can be attributed to the factor called meta-deception.
  • violate the relationship of trust between those who carries it out and the organisation/sporting environment that is a victim of it and, therefore, are based on the non-truth factor
  • are intended to bring economic and/or social benefits to fraudsters and, therefore, are identified in terms of their specific purpose.

Salazar, Nike coach, guilty of doping violations

Alberto Salazar, the famed Nike coach who guided Britain’s Sir Mo Farah to Olympic glory, has been found guilty of doping violations and banned for four years.

Watch this video an educational and informative investigative piece into the alleged doping in athletics.

Risultati immagini per salazar doping documentary

Accounting doping is a type of social deception

Doping contabile la Figc si muove per evitare il crac : alcune società di calcio in sostanza si servirebbero di transazioni fasulle tra due club, allo scopo di inserire nei bilanci i nuovi arrivi con una valutazione utile a iscrivere la squadra al campionato o a rispettare il fair play della FIFA.

Si tratta di una forma d’inganno che prevede l’ottenimento di un risultato vantaggioso per la società che lo ordisce, fornendo agli ingannati (Figc, FIFA, altre società di calcio e propri dipendenti) notizie false.

Si può definire, quindi, in termini di azione sociale finalizzata a nascondere gli scopi reali perseguiti da chi inganna e tesa a fare ottenere a loro benefici tangibili. Per la psicologia cognitiva “un inganno è un atto o tratto di un organismo M che ha la finalità di non far avere a un organismo I una conoscenza vera che per quell’organismo è rilevante, e che non rivela tale finalità” (Castelfranchi e Poggi, 1998, p.55). La concezione di atto a cui si fa riferimento parlando di frode riguarda essenzialmente processi consapevoli, condotti in maniera intenzionale. Infatti, le frodi … sono sostanzialmente azioni che si caratterizzano in termini di volontarietà nella ricerca delle strategie d’inganno e dei modi per attuarle. Un’altra componente cruciale del processo di frode consiste nella rilevanza dell’inganno per gli ingannati … La terza condizione, rappresentata dalla mancanza di conoscenza … In altre parole è stato fatto credere il falso e non è stato fatto sapere il vero.

Queste considerazioni introducono un quarto aspetto presente nel processo dell’inganno. Riguarda il non far sapere all’ingannato che lo si sta ingannando. Quando si falsifica si compie esattamente questo tipo di operazione, si forniscono notizie false con il dichiarato intento di far credere che siano vere e si compiono azioni per convincere gli ingannati della bontà di quanto dichiarato.

…  Se la frode consiste, ad esempio, nell’alterazione di bilanci societari o nel mascheramento della loro reale consistenza, allo scopo di ottenere vantaggi per la propria impresa … a consapevole discapito di altri soggetti, risulta abbastanza evidente che le quattro condizioni presentate per illustrare il concetto d’inganno si possono applicare anche al concetto di frode finanziaria e al doping”.

To fight doping we need to teach to thing more and more to coaches and athletes

We can fight the culture of doping teaching young people think while practicing sports. To move thinking is my motto, otherwise we give reason to those who think that sport is just a matter of iron muscles, hours of training or genetics. We must, therefore, work especially on the athletes’ mind and motivation to do something they have up to now never done or they thought for them unreachable. Everyone has limits but no one will know what they are, if he/she does not want to undertake what it has not yet reached. To teach young people to move thinking  we need coaches aware of the relevance of this approach to learning sports and confidents that the psychological qualities should not be pre-existing. Without this conviction on the part of the coaches it is very difficult for young people to develop this attitude, because they will never make training with this approach. We need to bring examples from the athletes who follow this approach and that also owe their successes to this mindset. This in brief should be the future of the sport training.  We should always take with us the words of Reinhold Messners to remember us that everything is achievable.

How it was training to climb the Eigh Thousand?
“I ran. And then I went two or three times a year in Himalaya. I was always more or less in shape. Today, there are climbers who train eight hours a day. I have worked mostly with my head. My successes are also the result of the ability to do something that others thought impossible. I kept trying to figure out who in 150 years of mountaineering did move things forward. I wondered why he did it, and how he did it. I have often did only the next step. I have a normal heart, my lungs are normal, and my body is normal. Only my mind was perhaps more determined than others. and I was much more cultivated than many climbers. Even today I’m ready to bet that if you take me ten thousand first-class climbers, no one can beat me on the history of mountaineering. For me, mountaineering is not just business, it is also culture “

The fall of Maria Sharapova

I always brought Maria Sharapova as an example to handle the compettive stress with her routine at the end of each point. “Learn from her,” I said to the girls and boys playing tennis, probably only Jonny Wilkinson, rugby, has a routine so well defined and effective way to stay cool under pressure. Young people had to take a cue from her, not by passively imitate a way of being but to understand that we must have an effective system to manage the anxiety, she was a model. Well now all this has disappeared, because this job to improve her ability to manage the stress was done by meldonium. And then I hear the talk of these days: “If you want to stay in the first hundreds you need an help”, “Look at so and so, they sometimes stop because someone have warned them that otherwise would have been accused of doping”. Writes Maurizio Crosetti on La Repubblica: “The superstar rigged almost always falls with a crash, like a redwood, but in that trunk failure was ancient and invisible, something very internal and dark.” Sports betrayed in its emotions, in being the realization of dreams, in that aesthetic beauty combined with the competitiveness that leads to deal with others, to fulfill the motto “every time the best wins.” Well, today we have discovered another top athlete who belongs instead to the category “mess”, Maria Sharapova as all the others who were caught in dope. We must accept that Sharapova is part of this category as many others who were inspired us loving their performances, were fake. We must however continue to be convinced that it is possible to reach the absolute level results even without the use of doping or drug abuse. Let us remember that the limits are often only mental. Before Reinhold Messner no one had ever gone on eight-thousand without oxygen because it was thought impossible. Before Roger Bannister everyone thought that it wa impossible to run the mile under 4 minutes, 60 years ago he did it. Sport is an experience in which the aim is to challenge the impossible, to overcome the supposed physical and mental barriers and realize perfromamces thought impossible. Prepare us for this, this sport is not for everyone, it is for anyone who wants to realize his/her dreams. We have to build a sports culture on these bases and train young people daily on these concepts. We seek “divergents people” as the saga of Veronica Roth, because they are the solution and defy the evil knowing they can do it. And this does not seem rhetorical, because it comes for all the day, when someone will propose not to play the fool and it’s time to do what they do all those who want to win and have money and contracts, otherwise you will remain a nobody. Beware, though, these characters are everywhere and can be your doctor or the parents themselves.

Russia repeats the State doping by German Democratic Republic

“Several classified documents saved after the collapse of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1990 describe the promotion by the government of the use of drugs, notably androgenic steroids, in high-performance sports (doping). Top-secret doctoral theses, scientific reports, progress reports of grants, proceedings from symposia of experts, and reports of physicians and scientists who served as unofficial collaborators for the Ministry for State Security (“Stasi”) reveal that from 1966 on, hundreds of physicians and scientists, including top-ranking professors, performed doping research and administered prescription drugs as well as unapproved experimental drug preparations. Several thousand athletes were treated with androgens every year, including minors of each sex. Special emphasis was placed on administering androgens to women and adolescent girls because this practice proved to be particularly effective for sports performance. Damaging side effects were recorded, some of which required surgical or medical intervention. In addition, several prominent scientists and sports physicians of the GDR contributed to the development of methods of drug administration that would evade detection by international doping controls.”

(by Franke e Berendonk, 1997).



Robert Harting, discus thrower champion, and others athletes tell their bewilderment to the presumed silence of  the track and field international federation accused to have in fact covered up many stories of doping of the last years.

New doping scandal comes from Russia

In these last days we read about the concrete  hypothesis that doping was implemented in Russia in recent years and this brings to mind what happened in the 70s in German Democratic Republic which I quoted in my book “The lords of the pitfalls.”

“What happened in the GDR since the 70s is a typical form of implementation of a fraud, wih a socio-political significance, as determined by the top of the government and pursued in a rational and mass way for all athletes, to senior and young people who showed good ability to succeed. In the  following years this choice was rewarded with excellent sports results. in this case, the doping substances used by athletes, as well as false accounting cannot be defined in terms of negative deviance, which involves the rejection of the rules of the sporting world and the economic one. It’s a deviance that does not reject but adheres in a conformist way to the key values as are the success, victory, gain money, social status and popularity. The deception was pursued with a scientific process, as in East Germany in 1974 the politicians were faced with a dilemma that had to quickly resolve: to win they had to use androgenic hormones, but at the same time as most of the other nations the  GDR fighted officially against  the use of these practices. Therefore, a general strategy was developed, centrally organized to ensure the efficient development of doping and hormonal systems to hide it. Given the political importance of this choice, the decision was made by the Central Committee of the Socialist Party and the final decision, classified as Top Secret, was approved on October 23, 1974 by the Commission for the High-Performance Sport (Franke and Berenonk, 1997 ). This document of 1974 argued that the doping administration to males and females and in particular the administration of androgenic steroids, should be:

  • integral part of the process of training and preparation for major international competitions;
  • organized centrally, including regular assessments of the results and experiences made by the doctors of the sport;
  • further developed and optimized by the research carried out on doping in sport high-performance, with special emphasis on the development of new substances and best mode of administration;
  • taught to sports doctors and coaches through courses and special documents;
  • carried out in total secrecy and be classified as a state secret official (Franke and Berenonk, 1997). “

Doping or commitment

I often wonder who has the sense to keep talking about excellence in sport when continually discover how doping has got into this world and how the ethics in many athletes confuse with the code of silence. The ethics in these cases is to protect another athlete who dopa, according to a pathological definition of morality, according to which you must protect your environment regardless of the actions are illegal and immoral. The main reason given to justify this approach to doping consists in thinking that it’s not possible to excel without this help. Taking this point of view, those who oppose, condemning this kind of sports culture, he is considered a moralist who wants to impose  anachronistic rules, since all dope. Domina Embé philosophy: “Have you seen that that athlete took doping”, “Embé that will never be, so they do it all, if you want to win there is no alternative.” This philosophy is characterized by two main ideas: “So much the worse, the better” and “They’re all thieves.” When this view is widespread among adults, many have begun to take drugs to participate in Master events; there are cases in which parents have asked the doctor a “little help” for their son, increasingly gyms have become places of sales of illegal products and there are doctors and physiotherapists who have undertaken this type of advice to increase their earnings. It’s instead starting from the wide distribution of this bleak conception of sports culture that we must respond and continue to talk about excellence. Regards the absolute level of sports performance, depending only on the commitment and dedication of the athlete, prepared by teachers and programs as value. We must not give in to the philosophy dell’Embè because this devastates our young people and their teachers. The doping in sport and any illegal action must be fought by spreading the culture of commitment and the right to dream that it is possible to achieve any result. We have to legally pursue who uses doping but at the same time we need to change this culture of sport deadly. Children and young people are our future and they have to learn that they can have success thanks to their efforts. We must do more and better because the coaches are not only professionally competent but totally involved in a  work ethic vision of their work.