Chinese swimming/inside glimpse

Chinese swimming/inside glimpse

Post by James G. Ack » Thu, 20 Oct 1994 04:15:15


        During the peak of the discussion of possible performance-
enhancing drug use by the Chinese female swimmers, I received email
from an NCAA Division I swimming coach that cast a bit more light
on the issue, especially with regards to the organizational/
development structure for swimming within China.  After some
discussion with the coach, and some thought on my part, I've
prepared an edited version of his comments.  I am presenting
even less than he was willing to allow me to present, as I'm
concerned that this information could be misused.  As it stands,
it might still be possible to identify the parties involved.
BTW, the coach was not Richard Quick.  ;-)

        I stress that this is not a fabrication!!  If anyone
wants to know more for purposes of verification, I will supply the
name of the Chinese swimmer by private email ONLY if the requestor
indicates why their interest is swimming-related.  If the
request is only due to nationalistic loyalty, I will not divulge
the name.

        Basically, the coach who wrote to me has associated with
a Chinese female swimmer, a medalist at Barcelona, and her "regional"
coach, which is one step down (apparently) from being the head
coach or assistant coach of the international competition team.  The
association has allowed a degree of friendship between the Chinese
coach and the American coach.

        You may also read the first introduction I wrote to this
compilation.

---- begin here

     The following is an edited transcript of email received
from an NCAA Division I coach regarding the Chinese drug allegations.
Due to his expressed desire for anonymity, I have edited the text
to remove most details that would easily indicate who he is.  It
might nonetheless be possible to identify him, and the other persons
whom he discusses.  For ethical reasons, it would be impolitic to
attempt to identify who is being discussed.   Discretion is
advised.  The following is NOT a fabrication.  He has given me
permission to post the version that appears below.

     -----  edited text begins here -----

"James;

One of my swimmers here at XXXXXXXXX introduced me to the internet and I've
found it very interesting reading all the notices and debates, especially
about the Chinese swimmers.  I read some of your comments on the net the
other day.  You seem to be pretty level headed about all the steroid
controversy going on, so I thought I'd get in touch."

Speaking about the Chinese swimmer:

"...The question came
up many times between the two of us about steroid use.  Even when her
national team Coach visited for a week in 19XX, we discussed it.  Coach YYYYYY
is the XXXXXXX Province National Coach... ...XXXXXXX's and YYYYYY's opinion
seemed to follow the same lines, which was:  The former East German
coaches had immense control over the national team diets and
dryland training.  They also had major input into percentages of aerobic base
training and anaeobic training that the swimmers do.  The food on the Chinese
team diet is very *** compared to western standards.  They eat unborn
sheep fetus, pig uterus, and brains of some animals.  For a normal Chinese
diet, this is even a little far out, but the Chinese normally eat what most
western cultures would consider strange.  The athletes train with the
national team 12 months a year, and only get home to see their families for a
short period once a year.  The national team has total control over every
aspect of their training.  Coach YYYYYYYY felt that the opportunity was
definitley there for steroids to be used.  The Chinese had just come under
attack for this in Barcelona, and he was understandably defensive.  But after
dinner one night, he said he felt that even with all his years of experience,
something that the Chinese team was doing was causing extreme weight gain and
muscle bulk in his female swimmers, but added that he saw similar but not as
marked differences in his men too.  His concern seemed to be why the men
couldn't improve at the same rate as the women.  He's been a coach in China
for almost XX years and he's noticed that the women are improving at an
unbelievable rate compared to the men who he coaches as well.  He admitted it
could be steroids, but explained that no one had tested positive on any drug
test.  Remember, this was back in early 19XX, before a few Chinese had shown
up positive on a drug tests.

The point I'm trying make, is that if there is something going on with the
Chinese athletes, neither the athletes nor the coaches know about it."

(After receiving this message, I wrote back asking for clarification,
regarding the status of the Chinese coach in China.  The following
is from the reply.)

------  excerpts from the second message -------

"The Chinese national regional coaches train the best swimmers in their area,
and they have camps within their region sometimes, depending on what
competition is coming up, but when the swimmers make the national team, the
training is centralized in Bejing, (where XXXXXXXXX spent most of her time, and
had an apartment and driver that were paid for by the Chinese Federation of
Swimming), without coach YYYYYYY, the regional coach.  He would come to Bejing
sometimes, but he had his own team in XXXXXXXXX to worry about.  He felt this
wasn't fair to either him or his athletes.  He didn't like the current
arrangement...

..The coaches receive incentives from the government for how many athletes
they can put on the national team, (the team that travels to major competitions
for China).  Once you're a national team coach, you don't have a lot of say
in how to train your kids or what meets they go in or anything, the national
governing body of swimming in China makes those decisions for you, (training
camps, weights, and diet).  But the benefits you'd gain by being one of the
national team coaches would be spectacular compared to being a normal
swimming coach, even though you have to give up your swimmers to the national
team to do it.  The Chinese government paid all expenses for coach YYYYYY...
.. plus he lived better than most XXXXXXX, but he just had
XXXXXXXX medalist at Barcelona...

.. The swimmers didn't go
unrewarded either.  For a gold medal the athletes received $10,000, $5,000
for a silver and $2,000 for a bronze.  All this while the average working guy
is pulling down about $30 a month. Remember, this was a couple of years ago,
and things may have changed..."

        That's it.  I stress again, I didn't make this up.  Readers may
decide for themselves how this information affects their consideration of
the issue.

===============================================
|  James G. Acker                             |

===============================================
All comments are the personal opinion of the writer
and do not constitute policy and/or opinion of government
or corporate entities.

 
 
 

Chinese swimming/inside glimpse

Post by Feng Wa » Fri, 21 Oct 1994 00:17:11

James,

I believe you a gentleman. You presented some facts about swimming in
China. But why don't you present some facts about swimming in your country?

I think, as youself have pointed out, this is biased report, even if it's
fact.

Let's stop this debate and urge IOC to do a better job.

Regards.

Wang, feng
---
My name in Chinese is WANG Feng, it means "King of the Sharpest".

 
 
 

Chinese swimming/inside glimpse

Post by James G. Ack » Fri, 21 Oct 1994 03:22:51

: James,
:
: I believe you a gentleman. You presented some facts about swimming in
: China. But why don't you present some facts about swimming in your country?

        What would you like to know?  If I don't have an answer, I
can ask.  I can be in touch with several former world-ranked American
swimmers within a day.  I'm not as well connected with the
coaching establishment (except for my correspondent), but there are
some top-flight coaches in my area I could attempt to contact.

: I think, as youself have pointed out, this is biased report, even if it's
: fact.

        I didn't say it was biased.  I did call it a "glimpse".  I had
been unaware of how the Chinese sport/swimming system operated, and now
I've got a better idea.  (In fact, I took pains to include the comment
that neither the swimmer nor the coach were aware of any drug use.  
A more biased reporter would have cut that comment.)

: Let's stop this debate and urge IOC to do a better job.

        Absolutely.  I must point out that the coach invited me to
post the information for the enlightenment of those who had asked
how the "Chinese system" operated, as well as for my own information.
Now what I'm wondering is if I should advise U.S. Swimming of the
apparent benefits of having unborn sheep fetus and pig uterus for
dinner.

: Regards.
:
: Wang, feng
: ---
: My name in Chinese is WANG Feng, it means "King of the Sharpest".

        Your so lucky.  My last name means "field".

===============================================
|  James G. Acker                             |

===============================================
All comments are the personal opinion of the writer
and do not constitute policy and/or opinion of government
or corporate entities.

 
 
 

Chinese swimming/inside glimpse

Post by liming zha » Mon, 24 Oct 1994 00:17:36


Quote:

> OK, let's run through a scenario to show just how easy it is for the IOC
> to conduct a surprise test in China.  First, they show up at Customs, to
> get their visas, etc.  Now, if you're an IOC tester, it's kinda hard to
> hide it at this stage: "No, officer, that's not a *** analyzer/drug
> tester -- it's a very large, uhh, walkman, yeah, that's it"  So, at this
> stage, we assume that Customs knows who you are.

This will be in Beijing airport going through Custom, if I understand
right. How do you know they will bring equipment in with them. My
impression is that they just come to collect urine samples, which needs
only some small bottles and a thermosbottle with ice to keep the samples
cold. They can hide their identity easily.

There are many sites where they can go through the Custom. I don't think
every custom official are trained to look into sport issures. The
assumption that every custom officials will report drug testers is
unfounded.

Quote:
> Since the sports program
> is run by the government, it's not a very big stretch of the imagination
> to guess that Customs would pass the word on to the Sports people.

Which sports people? Do the officials know whom will be tested? Runner?
Disc throwers? Shotputters? Weight lifters? Cyclists? Rowwers? swimmers?
restlers? boxers?.............
You name it! Are you suggesting all Chinese athletes should be clean up
immediately when a small team of IOC testers comes. Maybe they are here for
sightseeing.

 Then,

Quote:
> it's a simple matter of delaying the IOC testers (oh wait, there's this
> form and this form that you have to fill out, and they take a day or two
> to process.  Oh yeah, and you can't get into the sports complex for a few
> days -- they're really busy in there)

Wild imagination is no prove. Give some solid examples if you have any. It
has been said by many that it takes at least two weeks for drugged athletes
to clean up. Tell me how can the two weeks been killed by filling forms.

L. Zhang

 
 
 

Chinese swimming/inside glimpse

Post by Jie Yuan, Pharmacology, U. Cincinna » Sun, 23 Oct 1994 21:01:17


Quote:

> Not true.  Many East German athletes have repeatedly said that they had no
> idea that they were being administered steroids.  Often they were told it
> was a "vitamin injection".  There are any number of ways of concealing what
> the drug is.

You must have assumed that the athletes are telling the truth, which may not
be the truth :(

Has B. Johnson admitted that he took the drug.  Of course not.  Do you believe
his claim that he is set up?  Do most people believe him?  I, for one, do not.

I am not sure how the *** are typically administered.  If I were to take an
injection of vitamin, I'd definitaly ask what vitamin this is and why it has to
be injected instead of orally taken.  Why do I have to take the needle?  Most
vitamins are orally taken, not by injected.

It might be true that most steroids are orally taken.  Can someone confirm this?
Also, do these *** taste/smell strange/bad?  If so, it is not easy to mix
them in food/drink.

One factor that I favor the suspition of western athletes than the E. German
or Chinese is MONEY.  If B. Johnson wins the game, his commercial contracts
will be very good.  If he doesn't, he makes much less money.  There is not much
money to make for the E. German or Chinese athletes.  Most of them never have
commercial contract or big money.  Winning is an honor for all of them, which
might be enough to draw some of the players into drug abuse.  Money is
probably more important factor for B. Johnson to take drug than honor.

Peace!

Jie

 
 
 

Chinese swimming/inside glimpse

Post by Matt Simmo » Mon, 24 Oct 1994 02:56:06


: One factor that I favor the suspition of western athletes than the E. German
: or Chinese is MONEY.  If B. Johnson wins the game, his commercial contracts
: will be very good.  If he doesn't, he makes much less money.  There is not much
: money to make for the E. German or Chinese athletes.  Most of them never have
: commercial contract or big money.  Winning is an honor for all of them, which
: might be enough to draw some of the players into drug abuse.  Money is
: probably more important factor for B. Johnson to take drug than honor.
Of course the $15,000 award from the Chinese gov't might have something
to do with it, especially when you consider that the average Chinese
salary is $30/month
 
 
 

Chinese swimming/inside glimpse

Post by Matt Simmo » Mon, 24 Oct 1994 02:53:54


: This will be in Beijing airport going through Custom, if I understand
: right. How do you know they will bring equipment in with them. My
: impression is that they just come to collect urine samples, which needs
: only some small bottles and a thermosbottle with ice to keep the samples
: cold. They can hide their identity easily.
"And what is your business in China during your stay?"  Every customs
official on the planet asks this question.  And just think.  If your team
is whining and moaning and screaming racism just because of a normal drug
test, don't you think they would kinda lose their minds if the samples
were transported out of the country to be tested?  I can just see it now:
Those racist IOC testers crawled out from underneath America's ass, came
to China to test our wonderful, drug-free sports team, and they did
something to the samples on the way to their test sites.

: There are many sites where they can go through the Custom. I don't think
: every custom official are trained to look into sport issures. The
: assumption that every custom officials will report drug testers is
: unfounded.
Well, let's see... The following questions will trigger the proper response:

"Are you in China on business or pleasure" Business "What company?" IOC
"What is the purpose of your visit to China"
(In the case of bringing in the equipment) "Do you have anything to declare?"

All of those are common questions.. It's a good guess that any Chinese
Customs official with the brains God gave a squirrel would pick up on the
purpose of the visit.

: Which sports people? Do the officials know whom will be tested? Runner?
: Disc throwers? Shotputters? Weight lifters? Cyclists? Rowwers? swimmers?
: restlers? boxers?.............
: You name it! Are you suggesting all Chinese athletes should be clean up
: immediately when a small team of IOC testers comes. Maybe they are here for
: sightseeing.
If they're there for sightseeing, they will say it upon entry.  Yes, I'm
saying that all national teams would have to stop or hide the people who
were.  This is one of the things that you have to do if you have an
institutional drug program.

: Wild imagination is no prove. Give some solid examples if you have any. It
: has been said by many that it takes at least two weeks for drugged athletes
: to clean up. Tell me how can the two weeks been killed by filling forms.
I'm sorry, you must have been reading a different r.s.o than I have... I
distinctly heard somebody say 6 days.

 
 
 

Chinese swimming/inside glimpse

Post by liming zha » Fri, 21 Oct 1994 20:05:35


Quote:

> In fact, I took pains to include the comment
> that neither the swimmer nor the coach were aware of any drug use.  

If there was a systematic drug program involved, all swimmers and coaches
would have known it with no doubt.

Quote:
> Now what I'm wondering is if I should advise U.S. Swimming of the
> apparent benefits of having unborn sheep fetus and pig uterus for
> dinner.

There are a lot of valuable knowledge in traditional chinese medicine which
westners know little about, yet they don't respect these knowledge in most
case. Animal parts (turtle soup, fetus, uterus, tiger bone....) is only one
part of traditinal chinese medicine. I doubt the west will ever be able to
compete in this area with chinese in near future. But Japanese do have some
good knowledge in this.
 
 
 

Chinese swimming/inside glimpse

Post by Jie Yuan, Pharmacology, U. Cincinna » Tue, 25 Oct 1994 22:20:23

Quote:

> You're wrong. They must state their business in the country upon entering.
> They would be known immediately.

They could say "tourist" if they want to hide the identity.  You may say that
the embassy/consulate may find them when the visas are applied.  But, I doubt
if the athletes can know this 2 weeks in advance to stop drug use and get
clean tests.

If you want to speculate, there are always rooms for you imagination.  Since
many western swimmers skipped some tournaments, I can speculate that they are
using *** any way.  No big deal.  As long as they are not caught, I don't
have proof.  I think they are now in financial difficulties because they have
not won enough medals to warrent their commercial contracts, therefore they are
unable to attent these meets.  Very sad.  Very sad indeed :(

Jie

 
 
 

Chinese swimming/inside glimpse

Post by Joshua Saunde » Sat, 22 Oct 1994 14:05:49


Quote:



> > In fact, I took pains to include the comment
> > that neither the swimmer nor the coach were aware of any drug use.  

> If there was a systematic drug program involved, all swimmers and coaches
> would have known it with no doubt.

Not true.  Many East German athletes have repeatedly said that they had no
idea that they were being administered steroids.  Often they were told it
was a "vitamin injection".  There are any number of ways of concealing what
the drug is.

--
Joshua Saunders
Department of Pharmacology, Sydney University