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Here we go again - Opinions on the Moninger Situation...(24 posts)

Here we go again - Opinions on the Moninger Situation...TJeanloz
Nov 21, 2002 8:04 AM
For those who haven't seen it in Velonews or Cyclingnews.com, Scott Moninger tested positive for some precurser to testosterone at the Saturn Cycling Classic. The USADA will announce the findings tomorrow.

The interesting thing is that Moninger apparently has a pretty solid defense that he took a tainted supplement that he had every reason to believe was legal. I can't do the whole background justice- but it can be found at :

www.velonews.com or
www.cyclingnews.com

So, is this another "those were for my dog"? or should we sympathize with his story, and conclude that he shouldn't be punished? Do we believe him but insist that ignorance is not a defense?
I'm beginning to think we should just allow the dopecollinsc
Nov 21, 2002 8:09 AM
dope em all to the gills.

would make for some pretty exciting speeds at least.

until someones heart exploded.

everyone always has a cover story, I frankly just getting sick of hearing them. If we let everyone dope as much as they wanted the playing field still wouldnt be even, but at least everyone would know.
Can you imagine a peleton of L. Alzados? (nm)onespeed
Nov 21, 2002 8:12 AM
Zero tolerance. Play with fire, you'll get burned. nmSpunout
Nov 21, 2002 8:17 AM
Zero tolerance = zero intellegence.SnowBlind
Nov 21, 2002 8:49 AM
Zero tolerence is just an easy way to avoid looking a the facts and making a decision. American schools are doing this and expelling kids for silly things like cold medicine or a having an eating utensil that is techincally a "knife". These policies take away the possiblity of the "criminal" from getting a fair hearing or a just pushishment for their "crime".

Setting up a knee-jerk policy that abdicates the need for responsiblity on the part of the enforcer to act in a just manner erodes their crediblity. Riders may decide that if the punishment is always the same, they might as well take the biggest risk they can.

Put a tribunal in place with competent people and let it investigate what happened and let them make a real decision about what is an approprate sanction for the "crime".
Ignorance is no defensepmf1
Nov 21, 2002 8:18 AM
Kinda makes you wonder what kind of legal amino acids he was taking that are made in a steroid factory. 28 mg is a pretty low dosage.

Is it just the search for drugs not yet banned with these guys?
Then you have no defense.Pack Meat
Nov 21, 2002 10:07 AM
Because your comments are ignorant. 19-nan is not a steriod, it is a testosterone precursor that is used to increase the amount of natural testosterone the body produces. If you use any vitamin supplements that are produced by a company that makes 19-nan, andro, dhea or any similar product you are at risk for similar contamination. Because these products are not regulated as drugs by the FDA there is nothing in place to prevent companies from producing products that are contaminated with trace amounts materials that are not listed on the label. And as I stated below, the recommended dosage to see some kind of performance enhancing benefit from the supplement that Moniger was busted for is 200 to 400 mgs, not 28 mgs.

I think it's a bunch of crap when guys that have been convicted of drug use try to pull the "it's for my dog excuse" and when guys that were never great suddenly in the closing years of their career win the Tour but Moniger has always been good and consistent.
Did you read my post?pmf1
Nov 21, 2002 10:44 AM
Did I say 28 mg is an optimal dosage?

My gut feeling is that Moniger is innocent and did not take the drugs knowingly. However, how can anyone really be sure? If you give him the benefit of the doubt, then doesn't Marco Pantani and everyone else deserve it as well? Or is it only for someone with a really creative story?
Prove is in the pudding...so to speakTrekFurthur
Nov 21, 2002 11:04 AM
Moninger has gone to great lengths, financial and otherwise, to prove that the situation is just as he states it . . . and I, for one, believe him. Kind of a different situation than VDB or Frigo.

I certainly don't think every cyclist who cries "Wolf!" is innocent, but this case certainly seems to be tied up pretty well.

Also, lots of arguments about what to do with the supplement industry. Moninger is apparently suing the company; cyclingnews implies that folks should just stop using all supplements, which will hurt the supplement industry forcing it to clean up its act; USADA Wanninger says they cannot release the list it has of products that have found to be contaminated because a lack of production guidelines means to a product may be contaminated during one production series but not in another. All of this is well and good, but I think there SHOULD be a list of products that have, at anytime, been contaminated; then, athletes can avoid the substances, which will hurt the supplement companies in specific areas, which might have a better chance of making them police themselves a bit better. Another hope would be that Moninger's case is influential enough to create legislation for that industry. Otherwise, this situation will CONTINUE to rear its head, with only the athletes and the sport being punished.
I read your post.Pack Meat
Nov 21, 2002 12:12 PM
It left me with the impression that you think the supplement that Moniger tested positive for is a steroid and it's not. The supplement provides the testosterone producing gland (can't remember which gland does that at this time) with more building blocks to make more natural testosterone. A steroid is the same thing as testosterone If Moniger tested positive for a steriod (like dianabol) or had unnaturally high testosterone levels I think he would have a very difficult time defending himself.

Pantani had a history of very suspect situations for a long time before he was actually busted with anything.
Excuse my ignorancepmf1
Nov 21, 2002 12:44 PM
So nandol (or whatever) is not a steroid, but is illegal since it stimulates natural production of testosterone (which is a steroid). So he tests positive for nandol, but does not have a heightened testosterone level? I didn't gather that from the velonews article. I'll reread it. I didn't recall them saying anything about his testosterone level.

This would be similar to testing positve for EPO (if such a test existed), but having a normal (whatever that is) hemocrit level?
Ignorance is no defense.Pack Meat
Nov 21, 2002 12:54 PM
It's kind of like the EPO scenario but not really. There is a test for EPO. Testosterone levels can not be diluted like hematacrit levels can be. All a rider has to do to pass the hematcrit test is make sure he's well hydrated. Unless his levels are way out of wack he should be less than 50%. The article didn't specifically state that his testosterone level was normal but if it was abnormal I assumed they would report it, and I know what happens when I assume something.
Are you a girl?53T
Nov 21, 2002 1:51 PM
The gland that produces testoterone is the testicle.
Well duuhhh!Pack Meat
Nov 21, 2002 3:22 PM
awww nuts. I was actually attempting to come up with the precursor gland which is the pituitary.
Sad, but a good (very small) first step.MB1
Nov 21, 2002 8:30 AM
Where do you draw the line when you are trying to stop what is generally agreed to be cheating? It can be difficult but how else do you start?

Moninger is busted for this (shows at least that the testing is starting to work). Vaughters had to quit the TDF due to a bee sting that could not be treated under the rules put in place to stop cheating (the rules have since been changed to address this issue).

Sometimes the first steps to a different (and in this case I hope better) way of doing things are painful but necessary.
my 2 centsroadiebrodie
Nov 21, 2002 9:16 AM
After reading some of the statements made by Scott and the evidence against him I believe he should get a fair trial, isn't that what the U. S. is all about. If it is true that he used a legal product that was tainted how was he to know? If this can be proven (that the product was tainted) he should not be disciplined in any manner. To raise a further question.. many of us take all types of supplements from vitamin C to MSM, B vitamins and more; how are we to know that what we are taking is relly what we are intending to ingest? What if we take a vitamin or mineral that has been contaminted with something that could actually harm you, and not being aware that substance is there you drive a doctor crazy trying to diagnose your symptoms? The FDA has very loose or no control on this stuff and therefore the manufacturers do are allowed to do a sloppy job in production.

Like I said just my .02
re: Here we go again - Opinions on the Moninger Situation...j-son
Nov 21, 2002 9:19 AM
At the risk of sounding parochial, I side with Moninger. He and I are from the same home town. And although I can't say that I "know" him, I have met him and spoken with him on numerous occassions and I used to see his parents regularly.

Given his clean history and apparently valid defense, I feel that judgement should be reserved until after he appears before the "appeals" committee he referenced in his email.

I do fear, however, that this may likely be the end of his racing career. With the stigma currently attached to the doping in cycling issue, I think the majority of the racing community will view a positive as a positive, no matter the defense. And, the USADA is not held to any sort of legal standards (such as in a civil or criminal action). After the agency issues its findings and rulings, it's not as if there is a higher court to which one may appeal.

I'm saddened by Moninger's situation. Such an ignominious way to end a respectable career.

Jason
re: Here we go again - Opinions on the Moninger Situation...peter1
Nov 21, 2002 9:47 AM
I'd love to hear what an ethicist would say about doping...one the one hand, there are a list of banned substances, but on the other, there are dozens of "performance supplemants" just a molecule away from being verboten. Despite what the "zero tolerance" folks say, the range of what we put in our bodies is a continuum, and the question remains that if you assume doping is bad, where to draw the line? When the much-hyped "smart foods" start appearing on shelves, will they be banned, too? Already, they're producing eggs that claim to fight "bad" cholesteral...what about when they create granola that inhibits lactic acid production?

Moninger's defense seems pretty solid, but certainly, it's only his side of the story. And a self-financed analysis is tainted evidence. I'm sorry that his career appears to be over.

Cycling has become a leader in drug testing, but ironically the end result has not been a cleaner image. The more positive tests, the worse the sport appears in the public eye. Contrast that with baseball, which is about to find out what happens when you turn a blind eye to steroid abuse.
A problem with supplement useMel Erickson
Nov 21, 2002 1:40 PM
The problem with letting people off the hook for unknowingly using supplements that contain banned substances is that pretty soon the word will get out which supplements have the "good" stuff in them. People will start using them, knowing they contain the "good" stuff and claiming they didn't know.

The NFL is going through something similar with supplements. They've banned ephedrin, which still shows up in supplements even though it's not listed. Several NFL players are facing or are serving 4 game suspensions for ephedrin use, claiming they didn't know they were in supplements they took. A proposal is being floated to have the NFL approve one or two supplement manufacturers products, have them tested by an independant laboratory thus insuring they contain what they say they do, and allowing them to be used by players. Here we have an independant sports body doing the job of the federal government because the feds oversight is so lacking. We can all thank congress and the supplement lobby for their fine work!
What about ...sacheson
Nov 21, 2002 2:34 PM
I've heard several stories about the banned substances getting into supplements damaging professional careers - what about health risks for any user?

I'm not very familiar with health risks associated with substances (sanctioning organization banned or not), but I know problems with allergies are a barrier for me taking any supplements ... and I would hate for someone to have an allergic reaction to some exotic herb that wasn't supposed to be in a product just because of some 'mild contamination'.

Does anyone know if this lack of accountability these companies are offered could pose a health risk to users?
sureMel Erickson
Nov 22, 2002 6:17 AM
ephedrin use has caused the death of several athletes and has been banned for that reason by the NFL. I would have to go back and refresh my memory on the amounts used but I would bet the amounts were greater than would be found as a contaminant in some supplements. However, ephedrin itself is considered a supplement. What I don't understand is why athletes take supplements at all. A well balanced diet provides everything you need and the risk of screwing up your life is too great in my estimation. Here's a link to a 1995 announcement by the FDA. http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/form1.html
..but the NFL doesn't suspend cokeheads. Go figure. NMSpunout
Nov 22, 2002 6:42 AM
As odd as it soundsMel Erickson
Nov 22, 2002 10:36 AM
I agree with the NFL's reasoning. Use of ephedrine is more harmful to the game because it is used to gain an illegal edge on the opponent whereas use of cocaine or other illegal, but not performance enhancing drugs, does not do as much harm to the game (certainly the image but not the game itself), but does harm the individual. Their policy is to come down harder when the use of a drug is performance enhancing because of how it affects the players and the game. I think the NFL has some of the most enlightened policies regarding drug use of all professional sports organizations. They have a very innovative and proactive process that allows them to act/react quickly to the changing nature of the problem. Their process includes a committee of players and managment that meets on a weekly or semi-weekly basis to review policies and make changes. They are currently reviewing their policies on supplement use, suspensions, etc., including considering doing the job the FDA should be doing.
I feel for him, but he is a professionalpeloton
Nov 22, 2002 8:27 AM
Monginger has never had a rep as a doper, and with a case such as this I'm inclined to believe that he unknowing took a contaminated supplement. It's sad to see his career end over a stupid mistake like this. Problem is that he is a professional athlete. He knows that there are things that he can't have in his system. The IOC has heard the defence so many times that a positive drug test came from a supplement that they no longer accept it. Basically, an athlete absolutely must know what they are taking into their system. Ingorance is no excuse, and everyone who makes their living off sport knows this. You need to be careful, and taking a product without knowing exactly what is in it puts you at risk.

This would be cut down drastically if the FDA had the resources to better regulate the supplement industry. Thanks to an act of Congress back in 94, the FDA doesn't. Can you imagine if we allowed this sort of contamination in the drug industry? If we better regulated this industry, we would have less of this sort of problem. Money talks though, and as a result you can't be absolutely sure that you are getting purity when purchasing supplements. The best you can do right now is stick to reputable companies. Professional athletes need ot be very careful- a career and reputation can ride on the line. It sucks, but that is the way it is. Too bad for Moninger.