/ NEWS: Dope Testing in Irish Bouldering Comp hits Headlines
“I'm still reeling at this news. I suppose we just hoped this day would never come....”
Read More: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/older.html?month=01&year=2009#n45568
Just what are you trying to say here Gelderd.... I mean Geldard?
"At odds with these tests is the fact that hard climbing in the UK has traditionally had a rebellious edge, with many of the top-level protagonists often dabbling in recreational drug use: Pushing the limits of body on routes during the day, and experimenting with the limits of mind during the evenings.
Luckily no-one is recommending drug-testing out on the crag, which is where these top performers may have to concentrate their energies, if they can no longer compete in local bouldering competitions.
Personally I am happy to undertake a drug-test for climbing, and invite any official from the International Federation of Sport Climbing to join me on the Enchanted Broccoli Garden belay at Gogarth, where I will be happy to offer a urine sample."
I think everyone has known for some time to stop taking fun drugs a long time before the world comps(one mate of mine being an exception).
Dont really understand why Sports Chiefs are furious though. Because it is an intrusion?
It's illegal for a start. But since it can affect your mental state, it could have a positive effect - less tense, less afraid, less over-gripping. Or perhaps the fact that it can make some people paranoid and aggressive.
I believe one of the first olympic medalists in snowboarding tested positive for marijuana - someone suggested it was like testing darts players for traces of lager
Ha ha ha!
Is that a joint you're sucking on in your profile pic?
Once again a bunch of bureaucrats with no interest in climbing try to tell climbers how to live their lives and how to conduct the activity they participate in. It would be nice if the Irish equivalent of MCofS told the Sports council to go and make love to themselves but I imagine there's far too much money at stake for that to happen.
I would suggest it is only significant if a sport is funded by a national sports body via the govt.
For example if Sport England funded and English climbing team, then that team should be expected to undertake testing - just like other sports funded by Sport England.
I find it very hard to believe that any of our top-end climbers have ever experimented with drugs. They're such a professional lot. You only have to read Jonny Dawes's description of his ascent of the Indian Face to realise just how lucid and clear-thinking he is.
> It's illegal for a start.
that is irrelevent surely? or do dutch athletes get an exemption?
Its under the list of banned items by the various sporting bodies, along with some of the Lemsips available and a surprisingly large amount of over the counter cold/Flu remedies
> Is that a joint you're sucking on in your profile pic?
I always recall the day when climbing at Frog in Australia, looked down to see my mate belaying with a reet big Splif in his face!
> I always recall the day when climbing at Frog in Australia, looked down to see my mate belaying with a reet big Splif in his face!
Standard belay stance in Spain. Oh and Thailand, and every other bloody place Ive climbed!
Thats why everyone uses Gri-gris.
Love the attitude Jack!
I think if British comps included drug tests for weed, then their would be a significant drop in the amount of people competing in them.
> I would suggest it is only significant if a sport is funded by a national sports body via the govt.
> For example if Sport England funded and English climbing team, then that team should be expected to undertake testing - just like other sports funded by Sport England.
The voice of reason.
However Dawes does mention on his IF video that he drank half a bottle of whisky the night before.
What's the verdict on things like Creatine, Jack? Folks like Neil Gresham use this as a matter of course and don't consider it cheating.
Creatine is currently legal (people in many Olympic sports use it) but I'd be a bit more circumspect in future just publishing names like that.
If comp climbing wishes to become a respected athletic sport with associated funding, commonwealth/olympic status then it must embrace drug testing like every other sport of that stature. Comp climbers must remain "clean".
Climbing outside, not for competition is different. Basically the top boys will increasingly need to stay "clean" if they wish to operate in both fields. I can see a future when a climbers sponsorship is withdrawn due to doping. If you want to play with the big boys you play by their rules.
Fortunately none of this will affect the vast majority of climbers who will just carry on as usual.
By "clean" I mean athletics/cycling clean - not getting caught, using the latest undetectable substance, or "retiring" for 2 years only to mysteriously return fitter than ever.
Creatine is not on the banned list ergo it is not doping. If the banned list extended that far stuff like carbohydrate drinks/protein shakes may have to be considered also.
Testing for dope in Ireland,Why?
No chance of testing positive for intelligence.
Runs for cover.
I think you're missing some detail here. The IBL (irish bouldering league) is a relatively small competition with maybe 50-80 climbers attending at any given round. Mostly it's just folk along for a laugh, hang out with their mates, etc. Whereas no doubt there are some good climbers competing the high standard there isn't exceptionaly high & it is in no way representative of say sending a team to an international competition.
The issue has arisen because the IBLs receive a small amount of funding & insurance from the MCI (mountaineering council of ireland). The MCI is in turn dependant on funding from the Irish Sports Council. As per of the sports councils rules a certain amount of drug testing is unfortunately compulsary. No one involved in competetion from either the organising to competing side feels this is necessary as it's a local competition for a few folks having the craic.
Which is where the controversy has arisen out of as one of the organising committee put the word out that there would in all probability be testing at a number of rounds. That should people like to keep there prizes they better be clean. If it had been the case where this was some sort of qualification to get on the national team (there isn't one as far as i'm aware) & hence get to compete internationally then it might be different. But this is not the case in this particular instance. Now i'm not sure how this reached the mainstream media (probably a tip off from someone in authority who wasn't pleased with the idea?) but really it's just a storm in a teacup to meet certain quotas for the irish sports council.
> Creatine is currently legal (people in many Olympic sports use it) but I'd be a bit more circumspect in future just publishing names like that.
Why so? It's not like he makes a big secret of it. He recommended it for use in one of his magazine articles that I read a while back.
Yeah I missed some details, thanks for filling the gaps.
However, we all should take responsibility for our actions. If a climber smokes some dope or takes a performance enhancer then they can surely expect to be disqualified from a national event. Drug (mis)use is a choice after all.
But it's not a national event, atleast that's to say not in the context that is say in the UK. Like i said it's a series of local competitions where people come out to have a laugh. There's nothing serious about it. If there was a serious element to it people might take it more seriously. Though like i've all ready said it's only happening to keep the wheels of bureaucracy (sp?) oiled & is being blown out of all proportion.
> Climbing outside, not for competition is different. Basically the top boys will increasingly need to stay "clean" if they wish to operate in both fields. I can see a future when a climbers sponsorship is withdrawn due to doping. If you want to play with the big boys you play by their rules.
> Fortunately none of this will affect the vast majority of climbers who will just carry on as usual.
corporate sponsors will not sponsor those who don't compete or provide urine samples before hard ascents as it will be assumed to be an admission of drug-taking.
you want to be a full-time professional climber or want sponsorship for your expeditions or lecture circuit you have to prove to a corporation that you are drug-free first.
kills the spirit of climbing on a lot of levels.
It'll be interesting, if this comes into effect, to see how top climbers that don't take part in competitions are portrayed. You can be at the top of your game and don't feel the need to compete.
I disagree, it keeps the spirit of climbing alive. Climbers climbing what they want, when they want, how they want without having to answer to corporate sponsors.
This is how Birkett, Raeburn, Smith, Brown all climbed like this.
If this IBL is just for fun, when the dope testers come just tell them to piss off. You'll get stripped of anything you've won but it would be so much fun.
I race my bike here in France just for fun. If the dope testers came to me for a piss test or even worse a blood test I'd tell them where to go, give them back the bag of shopping I'd just won, give the trophy back and stick the bunch of flowers where the sun don't shine ;-)
> I race my bike here in France just for fun. If the dope testers came to me for a piss test or even worse a blood test I'd tell them where to go, give them back the bag of shopping I'd just won, give the trophy back and stick the bunch of flowers where the sun don't shine ;-)
> The Ent
Why? If you enter a competition you shouldn't use performance enhancing drugs. Never. No excuses. Whatever sport it may be. If you don't take drugs then there's nothing to worry about. Being p*ssed off should be directed at drug cheats.
> Creatine is currently legal (people in many Olympic sports use it) but I'd be a bit more circumspect in future just publishing names like that.
If it's a legal substance, then is it any different to saying "Gresham particularly enjoys a cup of tea in the morning"?
> Why? If you enter a competition you shouldn't use performance enhancing drugs. Never. No excuses. Whatever sport it may be. If you don't take drugs then there's nothing to worry about. Being p*ssed off should be directed at drug cheats.
Maybe there should be 3 comps. One for the squeaky clean, one for the performance enhanced "druggies", and one for the folk who've been out partying all night on booze, skunk and pills. No more problems!
I definitely don't agree with this.
Are you just guessing?
I know most people who compete nationally and this is not an opinion I can share.
Drug use amongst top competing climbers is not half as common as you think it is (or would like to think it is).
I took the post as a heads up to those who like to indulge in illicit substances to be wary, otherwise they might end up with the Garda knocking on their door a few days later!!!
Not sure how correct that statement is.
The nazi's you refer to have always been there, competition climbing approached them when it made moves towards status as a recognised competiton sport.
All a climber would need to do is light a fart and they'd soar to "Infinity and Beyond", never mind the top of the route.
I don't know how many of that group took other drugs, it was probably still only few but still an appreciable fraction.
It is only fair that people know where they stand. I could get drugs tested randomly at work, but I know that. Many competitive sportsmen and woman can get tesed randomly, but again they know that.
If a competition is subject to CDT then it is only fair that participants know that in advance.
We don't have a national champs or international trials or anything like that. We have a competition that has been in solid existence since 1992 which attracts 100-150 competitors from novice to "not bad at all" at each and every round no matter what rural community centre the competition venue happens to be located in. There's not too many comps about the place where you will see contenders for the top spots helping each other with beta or marking their own cards without complaint. I managed to lose the 2008/2009 league standings after three rounds there before Xmas. Somehow I don't think that'd go unnoticed in the British Champs :-)
However there's no denying our current obligations. This was never about performance enhancing substances in competitive climbing, nor being seen to condone illegal drug use. It was all about a situation where those 100-150 climbers attending what they thought was going to be a fun day out being subject to a process and potential sanctions that they weren't necessarily aware of.
Its been a tough week so it was good to swing by here every now and again and see that the world hadn't gone completely crazy overnight.
Needless to say if you're ever over this side of the pond between Nov-Mar then I'm sure there's a wee bouldering shindig going on somewhere and you're all more than welcome.
> I disagree, it keeps the spirit of climbing alive. Climbers climbing what they want, when they want, how they want without having to answer to corporate sponsors.
> This is how Birkett, Raeburn, Smith, Brown all climbed like this.
a good point but sadly how many of those were able to climb/train full-time? (as is now required to be a cutting edge climber/athlete)
read the rest of my post
> a good point but sadly how many of those were able to climb/train full-time? (as is now required to be a cutting edge climber/athlete)
So, if you want to be a cutting edge comp climber, stay "clean". A no brainer really.
> So, if you want to be a cutting edge comp climber, stay "clean". A no brainer really.
it goes further than that - to get sponsorship you will have to prove you are clean by taking drugs tests whether or not you wish to compete. north face of the matterhorn in under-2hrs? assumption in the media will be that ueli is taking drugs unless he proves otherwise through supplying samples. If doesn't wish to, then he has to finance his climbing in other ways and we will lose out as a community because one of those pushing the envelope won't be pushing it quite as far because when he could be training he will now have to be working.
regardless, the argument "if you're innocent then you have nothing to hide" is facile and is on a par with saying that you don't need to clip the bolts if you don't want to....
" I would suggest it is only significant if a sport is funded by a national sports body via the govt.
For example if Sport England funded and English climbing team, then that team should be expected to undertake testing - just like other sports funded by Sport England."
Couldn't agree more. If a team is funded by sport england as it is representing the country then they have a duty to be respectful of that. I can also to an extent understand testing for performance enhancing drugs..Forgetting legal stances here for a minute, if people are climbing for the love of the sport and taking part in competitions, and want to use recreational drugs then why should anyone tell them what they can and can't do.
We all choose to climb at our OWN risk, so what we choose to do before/after we climb is our choice and our choice only. I have a friend that is a great climber, but seems to be only able to focus/remain calm enough to climb really hard after a spliff....as far as I'm concerned that is his lookout as its his neck on the line....
Why do people find it odd that testing should happen at comps?? And why do they equate what happens there with what happens on the crag. On the crag you're a free spirit doing what you like for nothing other than your desire to climb. In a competition you're competing for position/rank and for money/prizes. Why it is fair that someone who has taken performance enhancing drugs takes the prize money because of it, over someone who has not?? In competition there have to be rules and accepted codes of conduct.
I long had the suspicion that some of those I competed against many years ago were not exactly 'clean' but could do nothing about it. If you want to take drugs that's your own choice but in official competition, especially at national and international level, it's simple. It's called cheating! If climbing wishes to be seen as a true competitive sport it's participants simply have to comply with sporting norms of conduct.
> It's illegal for a start. But since it can affect your mental state, it could have a positive effect - less tense, less afraid, less over-gripping. Or perhaps the fact that it can make some people paranoid and aggressive.
> I believe one of the first olympic medalists in snowboarding tested positive for marijuana - someone suggested it was like testing darts players for traces of lager
I guess the testing for recreational drugs in sports has more of an "ethic" profile.
Even if you can demostrate that it does nothing for your performance, you still should be a role model...
well, I am not doing any serious competition in any sport so I am happy I don't have this kind of responsibility :P
I don't know why there is such an outcry against drug testing in competitive climbing. It serves you competitive 'sports' climbers right! If you want to act like 'rock' athletes and show off by entering these ridiculous competitions then expect to be treated like most other athletes and live with the drug testing. Alternatively stick to real climbing, just for the joy of it, at whatever standard suits you and snort, smoke, swallow or inject anything that fits with your personal preference or morality.
Have they sinned?
Read the news report Morgan
As a self confessed traditionalist old fart I obviously think so. It seems to me that it was the introduction of (more or less) organised competition that 'killed the spirit of climbing' to paraphrase an earlier contributor, not the 'bureaucrats' or drug testers which are the result of competition which turned an activity into a sport. Introduce competition and prizes or titles into an activity and you start the inevitable slide into competitors trying to gain an unfair advantage through chemical enhancement and so on..thence on to rules, regulations drug testing and so on.
Now where are those wonderful articles that Ian McNaught-Davis wrote?
Hey Ben, You might be surprised to hear that those who came top in the Finals of the 1989 World Cup Finals, at Leeds, (last century!)and a random selection of other competitors were drug tested to Olympic standard. (It was very interesting being tested!)Johnny Dawes was not highly placed, but as a person randomly selected & tested, he was, I believe, the only competitor found to have used drugs: marijuana!It was publicised at the time.
'Formal' climbing competitions at any level could perhaps still be seen as 'outside' mainstream climbing culture. I know there's always been informal and intense comp between climbers. Once climbers get into formal comps, it's a 'sport' not a 'recreation', so rules should apply.
I totally support drug-free performances if a person advertises (or profits from) their achievement. Get smashed, do great climbs, enjoying it privately - that's your business.
Pen y Bryn
Elsewhere on the site
F ounded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear are a pretty young mountaineering clothing and equipment manufacturer but are also one of... Read more
This years ROCfest will be slightly different. We've decided to run a Climbing Festival, not just a competition! Over... Read more
With four photos in this week's top ten, and a UKC gallery of stunning images we thought it was time we had a chat with... Read more
The Epicentre Mega Winter Sale starts in store 9am Christmas Eve. We have a great selection of in store only deals from... Read more
On Saturday 13th December Greg Boswell and Guy Robertson kicked off their Scottish winter season early by making the... Read more