Winning at All Costs…the Lance Armstrong Dilemma
1. Before you Jump into the Lance Armstrong Blood Doping, EPO, Growth-Hormone and Testosterone Pool: Read This
2. Are Blood Doping and Cortisone the Winning Cocktail for Sports Training?
3. Do you really need banned substances to be a great athlete?
4. What about cortisone? The other banned substance Armstrong admitted to using?
5. What’s the Best Answer for Military Sports and Military Training Performance?
The desire to “win at all costs” and his arrogance made him “willing to risk it all”. This is what was revealed by Lance Armstrong in his recent interview with Oprah Winfrey as he admitted to taking banned substances to enhance his cycling performance. And yet his 2-hour confessional with the media mogul maven seems to have left us with as many questions as there were answers.
- Is doing what everyone else is doing based on the sports training culture of the time really cheating if it levels the playing field?
- Does the mantra “Just Say No to Drugs” apply to sports if the drugs used are taken under supervision and are also used in other medical protocol such as the treatment of anemia, cancer or liver failure?
- Are there “safe” drugs and “dangerous” drugs…and who decides which is which and for what purposes? Afterall, chemotherapy is completely foreign to the body, killing both healthy and unhealthy cells, yet thousands benefit from the treatment every year to beat cancer.
- Why does Lance feel the need to confess now after decades of denial?
- How truthful was he?
- Should he be forgiven?
- Should he be banned for life? Does the punishment fit the crime? Or as Lance Armstrong admitted in his doping interview, “…I deserve to be punished…I’m not sure I deserve a death penalty…”
- Does the admission of using banned substances like EPO, blood doping, blood transfusion, human growth hormone and testosterone automatically take away the talent, hours of training, and dedication to the sport that Lance Armstrong demonstrated for so many years?
- If those banned substances worked for Lance Armstrong, should you take them too?
- And more…
Many of these questions will be discussed, dissected, and answered in the court of public opinion. And we will leave those ones alone in this article.
What we do want to discuss are the dangers of that last question. We know that when you’re training for the military, hoping to become a Navy Seal or part of another Special Ops force, and even training in sport for more than just love of the game, you are competitive. Many of you have that desire to win, and possibly even the thirst to win at all costs.
You are a warrior. You are a competitor. It seems logical to get the best that science has to offer, right? However, science is a funny thing. It can do a lot of good…in fact we formulate our Military Grade Dietary Supplements on the findings of sports medicine, military research for dietary supplements, and science to come up the with safest, most effective, non-doping formulas.
However, there is “bad” science too.
Before you Jump into the EPO, Growth-Hormone and Testosterone Pool: Read This
The danger of any high-profile “confession” is that others will merely be convinced that the “bad” thing the person did was really not that bad. After all, they lived to tell about it. And, in the case of Lance Armstrong he won a boat load of races in the meantime.
An aspiring athlete or soldier in military training can be tempted to believe that those banned substances really work, and since Lance still looks like a pretty healthy guy, what’s the big deal? The trick, continues this delusional line of thinking, is to not get caught using banned substances in sports or during military training. And…you sure as Hell don’t admit to it!
But is that really true? At the end of the day, are you willing to “risk it all” for what seems to be a shortcut to winning, to making the team, to becoming a Navy Seal, if risking it all means putting you, your team, or your career in jeopardy? Especially when there are safe, non-doping, legal ways to achieve peak performance?
Are Blood Doping and Cortisone the Winning Cocktail for Sports Training?
In the world of professional sports a myth exists that drugs are the only or best way to help achieve peak of physical performance. The Military Grade Science Team, in our capacity as professionals in the area of sports medicine, would like to expose this error.
In his Oprah Winfrey interview, Lance Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs, i.e. growth hormone, cortisone, EPO before participating in the Tour de France. Thus, Mr. Armstrong inadvertently served to advertise that these drugs were what purportedly helped him to achieve seven victories in the Tour de France competitions. He even says that he doesn’t think he could have achieved those victories without the use of his special “cocktail”.
And, if you only listen to that media sound-bite you could easily write off the hours of training that Lance Armstrong did, be convinced he cheated, and that he won those titles only because of that unfair advantage.
But don’t jump to conclusions too quickly. He also said it was, “…not possible to win in that generation without doping – I didn’t invent the culture, but I didn’t try to stop it…I’m sorry that the sport is paying the price for that and I’m sorry for that. I didn’t have access to anything that anybody else didn’t have access to…”
So the question begs to be asked: “If ‘everyone’ was doing it, and the playing field was leveled because ‘everyone’ was doing it, is it possible that Lance Armstrong would still have won 7 Tour de France titles if the sport as a whole was actually non-doping and clean?”
Do you really need banned substances to be a great athlete?
What Lance Armstrong did or didn’t do, and to what degree, is not what this article is about. What we would like to address is the conclusion that some people will arrive at that drugs are what’s needed for success. Sure, it would be great to be able to pop a pill or take an injection, and become invincible. But this is nonsense.
In every type of sport there exists the genetic predisposition of an athlete. Being tall and lean, Mr. Armstrong would not be able to achieve success in other types of sports, for example, in weightlifting. He is built for cycling, running, and other types of endurance sport. So you have to ask: What is the purpose of injecting growth hormone, which stimulates an increase in muscular weight, to a professional bicyclist not intending to participate in body builder competitions?
And what about testosterone? We hear a lot about it thanks to the multi-billion anti-aging industry and to the “average Joe” it can easily be assumed that all testosterone is equal. If you’re a guy, you need it, right?
We certainly don’t disagree with that. However, testosterone applied in the form of injections is artificially synthesized and it is not identical to the human hormone. It is necessary to take into account the fact that when an athlete injects artificially synthesized testosterone his own hormone stops to be produced by his body, and the activity of his sperm can actually decrease by 70 – 80 % on the average! If he injects testosterone for more than two weeks it leads to the increase in the level of female hormones, that, in turn, is fraught with the development of pain symptoms in the breast glands and is a harbinger of hyperplasia and prostate cancer.
A vivid example of the unwelcomed side effects of injected testosterone from our personal practice was confirmed by a married couple composed of a top fashion model and a body builder. According to the patient, when marrying the body builder she expected him to be a muscular and strong man, whereas he proved to be a person who constantly nagged and suffered from lack of erection.
What about cortisone? The other banned substance Armstrong admitted to using?
Cortisone is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. The amount secreted depends on the level of physical activity of a person. If you take cortisone before the start of a competition what you actually do is block the secretion of your own and the dosage which you swallowed may turn out to be lower than what is necessary for victory.
Given the proper nutritional foundation, your body and all its systems will be fortified to respond properly to the amount of physical exertion and stress placed on it. A brilliant machine by its own right, your body works hard to rise and meet the challenges you give it, such as your sports and military training, and will pump out all the necessary hormones, blood and oxygen, needed to complete your mission or complete your competition at the top of your abilities.
Those abilities are the result of nutritional fortification, training, and your personal genetics.
We know that he took banned substances…that fact cannot be disputed any longer. However, how great of an influence did those banned substances have on his athletic ability and talent?
Unfortunately, the only way we would be able to know that answer with 100% certainty would be to race the exact same person, under the exact same conditions, with the exact same mental desire to win, against the exact same people, on the same day.
Is it possible that there was a “placebo” affect where the belief that the blood-doping cocktails would help, allowed him to push himself and his team harder? Is it possible that other training methods like altitude training aided in increasing his level of fitness and blood composition?
Is it possible that Armstrong attained victories in seven Tour de France races not because of drugs, but, on the contrary, thanks to his own genetic profile? To his training? To his overall nutritional fortification?
We think that it’s possible.
After all, there are non-doping formulas, such as what we formulated for our dietary supplements, which improve your blood for endurance. So why resort to what’s “illegal” when you can get better training results with non-doping formulas, backed by science, researched by the military, and allowed in sports?
What’s the Best Answer for Military Sports and Military Training Performance?
It is important to remember that military sports are regulated by the same anti-drug norms as other kinds of sports. Even one dose of the above-named drugs leaves traces in the body which can be identified even after 6 months.
Certainly, in any kind of physical activities, in military sports or military service, stimulants are occasionally required. From something as simple as extra protein to maintain muscle, to brain-enhancing nutrition to keep you sharp and focused, nutritional science has helped us learn a lot about what our body needs under extreme condition.
Yet, you don’t have to resort to something that may be unsafe. It is better to employ safe stimulants and dietary supplement which are herbal and amino acid preparations which are not considered forbidden substances. You want a mix of ingredients that do not block the body’s own endocrine system and are multifaceted in action. For military and sports performance, the Military Grade NavySeal Formula and Super Army and Professional Sports Mega Endurance Formula, in particular meet your performance requirements.