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Forum: GLOBAL / Open Forum / How 8a.nu could assist in the fight against abuse of anabolic steroids. Login in to contribute
How 8a.nu could assist in the fight against abuse of anabolic steroids.
OffLine FBAI 2000
  2018-08-03 12:10:59    
As has been pointed out on this forum earlier: 8a.nu could assist the community in the fight against doping in sports, with the introduction of an "anti doping declaration" in the scorecard environment. The following could be done:



1. Each scorecard holder would have to write a 150 word long declaration where the scorecard holder rejects any abuse of anabolic steroids and performance enhancing substances.

2. When a scorecard holder registers a new boulder/route in the scorecard, the scorecard holder has to tick a "box" declaring that the ascent was done without "performance enhancing" substances.



FBAI asks Jens Larssen and 8a.nu to respond to this request. To introduce such an environment in the scorecard could be helpful in the fight against abuse of anabolic steroids and performance enhancing substances. The climbing community has had few discussions on this subject and it is time we take a stand: We must all reject abuse of anabolic steroids and performance enhancing substances.
OffLine Dick Puncher
  2018-08-04 18:28:00    
What if I can't send my 6C project without the roids tho?
Also, 150 words is a lot.
OffLine FBAI 2000
  2018-08-05 11:53:09    
Larssen and 8a.nu should take this problem seriously: It will be impossible for sponsors to take the climbing community seriously if there are no actions made in the fight against steroid abuse among crag climbers. This forum could - if properly managed and edited - serve as a forum where there are serious discussions on how to fight such abuse. The post above shows this problem is real and that there are people around that do not care at all about such abuse. If climbing is to be included as a sport in the olympics competition longterm, something has to be done about the problem. First of all: All sponsored climbers should be required by their sponsors to write a signed statement where they reject all forms of steroid abuse. This statement should be published online on the sponsor’s homepage. Larssen and 8a.nu could be helpful solving this problem, by posting articles on the 8a.nu site encouraging sponsors to introduce such policies. Posts such as the one above should be deleted by 8a.nu, with reference to a policy on the 8a.nu site saying that 8a.nu wants to contribute to the fight against steroid abuse, and that 8a.nu will censor all posts advocating for the abuse of steroids. Moreover, if there are rumors that ascents are made using banned substances, such rumors should be made explicit in an 8a.nu post by Larssen, with a reference to the origin of the rumor. Then the climber that is accused of abusing banned substances could prove its innocence publishing a dope test online from a recognized sports doctor. If a climber is being accused of abusing steroids and fails to provide a valid dope test from a recognized sports doctor, the climber's scorecard will be deleted on a permanent basis. The climber will for the rest of eternity be banned from the 8a.nu site.
OffLine Eddie Fowke
  2018-08-05 14:34:32    
So, how would you enforce this? And how would you define "performance enhancing substances"?
If you were to follow WADA guidelines you would strip an incredible number of climbers from the database.
Steroids are not an issue in climbing and it's doubtful they would provide benefits unless administered by a physician who understood the pro's, con's and correct dosages. That alone puts it out of the financial reach of most climbers. But if you take every climber who takes a toke to calm their nerves or change their headspace before an ascent... And that that is on the WADA banned list.

Asking climbers to provide doping tests is completely unrealistic. Even among top pro's, how many climbers do you see in the sport that could drop $3000 on a test every time someone challenged them?

In short, your recommendation is implausible in the extreme. If you want to know a climber is clean, look to the top competition climbers, they are tested regularly.

If a climber is testing themselves outside, or trying to make a name for themselves, there are far easier and more common forms of cheating. Chipping, lying about ascents, framing their achievements in a way that is hard to confirm (grade inflation, doing out of the way projects that few if any people will have the means or desire to repeat). Those forms of cheating, I use the term "media doping" are far more insidious in our sport.
OffLine FBAI 2000
  2018-08-06 10:11:23    
“Steroids are not an issue in climbing and it's doubtful they would provide benefits unless administered by a physician who understood the pro's, con's and correct dosages.”

Of course steroids would benefit climbers. They have been used successfully in weightlifting AND endurance sports with much “success”. If steroid abuse could improve your finger strength in such a way you could do one arm on one finger, this would improve on your climbing. Soon you would climb 8b+. The problem is that there is NO debate on the issue and this is suspicious. FBAI has in fact at several occasions tried to initiate a debate on this issue, and this has been censored several times by Larssen and 8a.nu. What does this have to do with "democracy"? Larssen comes from Sweden - one of the worlds "leading democracies". Top climbers should take a stand and publicly state their opposition to steroid abuse – this should also be required by their sponsors. This would send a signal to younger and less experienced climbers that steroids are harmful and should be avoided. When 13 year olds are doing 8c+ after 2 years of climbing this should lead to suspicions in the community: Are their idols telling them "drug abuse is ok - you'll get as strong as I am in no time"?

If the climbing community could “apply pressure” on the producers of steroid tests and work for a lowering of the price for a steroid test, then this would be helpful in this fight. If a steroid test cost 25$, top climbers could do tests on a monthly basis and then there would be no problems – they could publish such tests on their “8a.nu-scorecard”.

“But if you take every climber who takes a toke to calm their nerves or change their headspace before an ascent... And that that is on the WADA banned list.”

Are you suggesting that many climbers are using dope to do hard ascents? This type of situation is what we must discuss. It seems to me you are suggesting that dope is accepted and commonly used by many top climbers to do hard ascents. Please clarify your statement.

https://www.wada-ama.org/sites/default/files/prohibited_list_2018_en.pdf

Attached is a link to the WADA 2018 banned substance list. Which substances are you referring to when you speak of "every climber who takes a toke to calm their nerves" in your post above? Please clairfy your statement.
OffLine Alexander Sairanen
  2018-08-07 18:20:09    
These post by FBAI gives rise to so many questions. This post does by no mean encompass them all, but here a few:
"Of course steroids would benefit climbers. They have been used successfully in weightlifting AND endurance sports with much “success”.

This argument is invalid, as climbing isn't directly comparable with conventional endurance sport, or weightliftning. It would be helpful, if you could specify how steroid use could be applied in climbing. As far as I know, it is not possible to isolate the anabolic response to the arms. But if it could, then perhaps? But if you could be more specific, rather than spurting out nonverified opinions. Also finger strength alone doesn't do it. If you have massive legs (which are the most prone to grow with use of anabolic steroids), then the climbing specific gains will be minimal.

"It will be impossible for sponsors to take the climbing community seriously if there are no actions made in the fight against steroid abuse among crag climbers"

Where does this sudden demand for action stem from? Athletes participating in the olympics will be under heavy scrutiny and drug testing, so I don't think we have to worry about them. As for the crag climber, who doesn't participate in competitions, I think your approach is wrong. If the sponsors only want athletes who take an active stance against doping, then they will naturally cut of those athletes who doesn't.( And that is a big if!) Simple supply and demand. I cannot see how 8a.nu, which is by no means an formal institution in the climbing world, should be policing what people can say on a free forum.
"FBAI asks Jens Larssen and 8a.nu to respond to this request"
What is the FBAI by the way? Google doesn't at first look reveal anything.

And finally. To "take a toke to calm their nerves" refers to smoking weed (and if you don't, which I might suspect, know what that is, I can reveal it is Cannabis. It is perfectly legal in many states in the US, so I cannot see what the issue is, unless it is used in a competition setting, which is highly unlikely.
OffLine Steve
  2018-08-07 19:50:29    
Doping has been an issue in other sports, too. For example bodybuilding, which was somewhat a niche sport in the 70s/80s (and actually always has been), similar to climbing. Even if steroids may not be most efficient for climbing, doping is certainly an issue we/the climbing community will have to face. Olympics coming up and the general rise of popularity in connection with increasingly serious training regimes do provide incentives for athletes to look for other ways of enhancing performance.

However, on the one hand doping controls do exist in competition climbing and on the other hand the approach followed by FBAI, including pushing the responsibility towards specific people, is certainly not the best way. Are there other ways FBAI is promoting doping awareness?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-08-07 22:29:52    
I totally agree with Eddie here. Why should you take steroids when it is so super easy to cheat in rock climbing. I guess I have over the years received at least 50 emails in regards cheating behaviour.
OffLine FBAI 2000
  2018-08-09 08:59:58    
FBAI wants to thank members of the community for participating in this discussion. This is an important subject that needs to be discussed. So far this theme has been inexistent on this site, it has even been censored by Larssen and 8a.nu and this sends the wrong signal to young climbers, sponsors and the olympics officials.

Sarainen: “This argument is invalid, as climbing isn't directly comparable with conventional endurance sport, or weightliftning. It would be helpful, if you could specify how steroid use could be applied in climbing. As far as I know, it is not possible to isolate the anabolic response to the arms. But if it could, then perhaps?»

Doping has been used in gymnastics to improve gymnasts preformance in exercises such as still rings. Still rings require upper body strength similar to the type of strength required in climbing and if steroids can be used to improve performance in still rings it can be used to improve performance in climbing. Finger strength is about strength in the forearm and arm and this can also be improved using anabolic steroids. Weight lifters need much finger strength when lifting weights up to 500 kgs and steroids have proved efficient for weight lifters. Surely it can also improve on finger strength for your climbing.

Sarainen: “Where does this sudden demand for action stem from? Athletes participating in the olympics will be under heavy scrutiny and drug testing, so I don't think we have to worry about them. As for the crag climber, who doesn't participate in competitions, I think your approach is wrong. If the sponsors only want athletes who take an active stance against doping, then they will naturally cut of those athletes who doesn't.”

What is needed is for atheltes in climbing to take a stand: In an ideal world sponsored athletes should in order to receive sponsor contracts, write a signed statement rejecting all forms of steroid or drug abuse. This is because we want sponsors and producers to send signals to younger climbers that steroids are unhealthy and should be banned. Since climbing is becoming more and more popular among young people this is a must. The problem today is that no one in the climbing community cares about such issues. As has been exposed on this site: Certain forms of drug abuse are seen as ok and these drugs are all listed on the “WADA banned substances list” referred to above.

Sarainen: “To "take a toke to calm their nerves" refers to smoking weed (and if you don't, which I might suspect, know what that is, I can reveal it is Cannabis. It is perfectly legal in many states in the US, so I cannot see what the issue is, unless it is used in a competition setting, which is highly unlikely”.

Well, cannabis is on the WADA banned substances list, hence if you use cannabis to “improve” your climbing, you are abusing banned substances according to WADA. Hence legally speaking, you are violating the WADA rules.

Larssen: “I totally agree with Eddie here. Why should you take steroids when it is so super easy to cheat in rock climbing. I guess I have over the years received at least 50 emails in regards cheating behaviour.”

Hard sport routes require much upper body strength and finger strength and as proved above: This can be improved using anabolic steroids and growth hormones. Since 8a.nu is a site with many readers, Larssen and 8a.nu should contribute to the fight against steroid abuse and this is the problem: Larssen seems to not want to do anything, claiming it is not a big problem in crag climbing. How can you tell when there are no doping controls? Larssen: Why not introduce an “anti doping statement” in the scorecard to make it completely clear: 8a.nu and scorecard-holders reject any form of steroid or drug abuse in climbing. If you want to be ranked on the 8a.nu site, you must write such an anti doping statement. This would send the correct signals to younger climbers.

Fowke: ”If a climber is testing themselves outside, or trying to make a name for themselves, there are far easier and more common forms of cheating. Chipping, lying about ascents, framing their achievements in a way that is hard to confirm (grade inflation, doing out of the way projects that few if any people will have the means or desire to repeat). Those forms of cheating, I use the term "media doping" are far more insidious in our sport.”

This form of cheating is easy to uncover. If a climber is repeatedly lying about ascents, overgrading etc this will be uncovered sooner or later. But this form of cheating should not exclude us from fighting steroid abuse. The problem is that it seems to everyone that Larssen and 8a.nu is repeatedly refusing to clearify its position on the subject. To a reader it seems the debate does not even exist on the 8a.nu homepage. And this is strange when we know steroid abuse in other sports is a big problem. Since 8a.nu is one of the largest sites for climbers, it should clearify its position on the problem of steroid abuse. FBAI wants again to encourage Larssen and 8a.nu to include an “anti doping statement” in the scorecard environment, then everything would be clear and there would be no ambiguities.
OffLine FBAI 2000
  2018-08-20 10:54:57    
The community can itself verify that there is no response from Larssen and 8a.no on the request to include an "anti doping statement" in the scorecard. It is being ignored. How many of the people ranked on this site would be willing to sign such a statement? FBAI wants again to encourage Larssen and 8a.nu to include an “anti doping statement” in the scorecard environment, then everything would be clear and there would be no ambiguities.
OffLine Mark Nauser
  2018-08-21 09:49:30    
I definitely wouldn't sign anything. I couldn't care less for your "anti-doping" propaganda. I do not use any "steroids" or anything and I do not know of anyone who would be using, but I do not support any anti-doping BS that lists harmless substances such as previously mentioned marijuana as "forbidden". I do not use cannabis (or anything else) either, but I couldn't care less if someone does. Therefore I feel your proposals only reduce the freedom of our sport and try to push some kind of political agenda down our throats.

Therefore I completely support Jens not listening to you and not answering your proposals. I would prefer if WADA would stay out of recreational side of this sport for good. Doping tests on competitions are more than enough.
OffLine FBAI 2000
  2018-08-21 11:10:34    
Larssen and 8a.nu are juggling around with two cultures: Crag climbing where there is no doping controls and competition climbing, where there are doping controls. On the crag, 8a.nu is reporting about stories where 11 year olds are doing 8B boulders quickly, 13 year olds are doing 8c+ and 9a quickly. 9a is being flashed and onsighted and as has been pointed out: There is no debate on steroid abuse among crag climbers. Such a debate has in fact been censored by 8a.nu. There is not even an attempt by Larssen and 8a.nu to investigate or clearify if crag climbers are abusing steroids to do hard ascents. Larssen is claiming to be a “sports journalist” and 8a.nu claims to be the largest news site for climbers, but how can this be: Some questions are not allowed to be asked on this site, they are in fact being censored or boycotted by Larssen and 8a.nu as has been verified by FBAI. Wouldn’t it be a good idea if top climbers in the community (crag climbers and competition climbers) make it clear if they oppose the WADA banned substances list or accept it. At the moment the situation is ambiguous and no one knows if hard ascents on the crag are done with or without abusing steroids or other banned substances. Things would be much more clear if 8a.nu had the following policy:

If you want to be ranked on the 8a.nu site, you have to write your own personal “anti doping statement” where you make it clear that you accept the WADA banned substances list and that all your ascents are done “drug free”. Here “drug free” means you have not used any of the substances on the WADA banned substances list.

A ranking list such as the one on 8a.nu is introducing a “competition format” among crag climbers, hence it is natural to ask the question: When crag climbers are competing to end up on the top of the 8a.nu ranking list, receive glory, fame and sponsors, shouldn’t they make it clear if they accept or reject the WADA banned substances list? Currently the policy of Larssen and 8a.nu is suspicious and everyone is asking the question: Why does Larssen refuse to relate to this question? Why is this such a big problem? Would a lot of the people ranked on this site refuse to write such a statement, and is Larssen worried this might destroy the ranking system and make is less spectacular?
OffLine Mark Nauser
  2018-08-21 11:45:35    
I would refuse to sign such a statement, not because I use anything, but because I do not agree with a list that ranks some substances as forbidden not based on scientific data but due to a political agenda.

Also, if someone is so stupid that he would harm himself and abuse steroids in order to climb a piece of rock, that's his choice and I couldn't care less.
OffLine Endre Verden
  2018-08-21 23:16:44    
To think there is not doping in climbing is being naive.
Are we as affected as other sports? Probably not, however the corrupt Olympics will see to it, that it increases some.

Competitions with a certain size and credibility should have doping control, but outdoors? Outdoor climbing is "whatever", it's a fight against yourself, not others.
Do it drugged, do it clean, do whatever you want, it does not concern me, nor can I control the actions of others. People cheat on routes everyday, in the end they are just cheating themselves, and their bloated ego.

So is there doping and cheating in climbing? Yup! Is it a big problem? Not really, at least not for everyone not being professional climbers.
OffLine John Render
  2018-08-22 04:19:09    
Endre, could you give some evidence that professional climbers dope and cheat, perhaps in a big way?
OnLine Till Teufel
  2018-08-22 08:59:26    
I also agree that national and international competitions should have doping controls but for outdoor climbing it is different. The majority of climbers here at 8a.nu are random dudes, who cares if they do doping or not? I would also refuse to write a 150 words-statement

Nevertheless, since there is certain fame and popularity for hard ascents, I would support sponsors to demand such an anti-doping statement from their sponsored (competition as well as outdoor)climbers.
I would indeed be sad if I many years later heared that the first ascent of the first 9c, 10a or whatever would have been by a doped climber.
OffLine FBAI 2000
  2018-08-22 10:13:32    
Larssen is a "sports journalist" in some sense, and this means there are some "uncomfortable" questions that needs to be asked. Such as: "Is this ascent done drug free?". But Larssen refuses to ask such questions and censors any attempt to initiate such a debate. With the introduction of an "anti doping statement" in the scorecard, Larssen will no longer have to ask this uncomfortable question. The question is answered by the scorecardholder him/herself. In a 150 word long anti doping statement, the scorecardholder clearifies his/her position on abuse of banned substances, and everything is then clear: This scorecardholder has read the "WADA banned substances list" and clearly states that "I do not abuse substances on the "WADA banned substances list" and all my ascents are done drug free".

The reader can find the list on the following link:

https://www.wada-ama.org/en/content/what-is-prohibited

The scorecard introduce competition and ranking lists to crag and outdoor climbing. Isnt it logical that the same rules apply to "crag competition" as in "indoor competition"?

8a.nu is "writing the history of sport climbing" in the sense that first ascents and new grades are being recorded as "historic" on this site. As in the comment above: When someone is making a hard first ascent and this is being described as "historic" on 8a.nu - it would in say 10 years look bad for the "history of sport climbing" if this ascent turned out to be a "fraud" and done with the use of steroids. How do we avoid ending up in such a situation?
OffLine Endre Verden
  2018-08-22 13:21:25    
John Render: I'm not talking about professional climbers, but climbers in general(which will include professional climbers). As there probably are not any studies on climbers or climbing, there are no proof. Other then finding individual cases, but that does not constitute a status of the sport, compared to the norm in the society in general and other sports.

But as I said it's naive to think that there is not any doping/cheating in our sport.
Where there is human ego, there will be cheating/doping.
OffLine John Render
  2018-08-22 15:39:24    
First, who or what is FBAI 2000? Someone else asked this question, and I don't recall seeing an answer.

Second, I think FBAI should show there really is a steroid problem among top climbers. Take World Cup finalists. Does FBAI have confessions from them of drug use? Witnesses? Videotapes? Admissions from drug suppliers? Symptoms of steroid use in World Cup climbers and/or 9a (and up) climbers? Reports of failed tests after WC comps?

It would be good to see something more solid than accusations and innuendo.

Third, I think FBAI should show that steroids help top climbers climb better. From what I just read online, steroids could HARM climbing achievement, in several ways. For example steroids often make the people who use them bigger and heavier. The opposite of what top climbers typically want.

Also, steroids can trigger bouts of uncontrollable anger. The common term for this is 'roid rage.' In some sports that doesn't hurt performance and may actually help. But climbing is extremely mental. You must stay calm, continually solving ongoing problems, on the spot as you climb. Having a fit of rage strike when you're trying to figure out the next sequence of moves, while clinging to a tiny, uncomfortable crimp in a World Cup final, seems to me counterproductive.

I'm not saying there is no doping in our sport. I really have no idea. I'd like to see some evidence that it is a problem before imposing a whole new set of rules and requirements.
OffLine pbla4024
  2018-08-23 12:44:56    
What happened to the rule "no anonymous profiles"?
OffLine FBAI 2000
  2018-08-28 11:01:39    
Tha FBAI organization is a non-profit annonymous organization with the aim of "exposing and combating steroid abuse in climbing all over the world". The community and the world can observe Larssens reluctance to respond when it comes to the "WADA banned substances list" and the problem of steroid abuse in climbing. For Larssen there are two separate worlds: The world of indoor competition climbing and the world of outdoor competition: For indoor climbing Larssen has accepted that the WADA rules apply. For outdoor competition, there are other rules. Why? These two worlds are not separate and the same rules should apply.
OffLine John Render
  2018-08-28 11:50:55    
FBAI, go ahead and expose the abuse. I'm eager to see your evidence.
OffLine Mark Nauser
  2018-08-28 15:48:38    
Anonymous organisation? You gotta be kidding, right? What is your budget, who are your sponsors, how many members do you have?

You should answer these questions in full before putting forward your lunatic proposals.
OffLine FBAI 2000
  2018-08-28 15:59:49    
If Larssen and 8a.nu introduced a "personal anti-doping statement" in the scorecard, where a scorecardholder had to write a 150 word long anti doping declaration, declaring he/she has read the WADA banned substance list and that no ascents on his/her scorecard has been done abusing such substances, this might give some evidence: If some of the people ranked high on the 8a.nu scorecard refused to write such a statement and suddenly disappeared from the ranking list, this would be evidence. Of course it is not a proof of abuse, but 8a.nu should clearify its stance on the subject. The current situation is all about ignoring the problem and a refusal to relate to it. Do you honestly believe climbers differ from everybody else and never abuse anabolic steroids or other drugs?

There is a rumour that the top onsight level on indoor competitions where the WADA rules are respected, is around 8a+ or 8b. Outdoor top onsight level is 8c+ or 9a. Since routes on indoor competitions are taken down after the competition and the grade of the indoor route is never discussed, this difference in level is not mentioned by 8a.nu or other climbing publications. Hence this is never discussed in the media. If this claim is true: Don't you think this is suspicious and indicates there is something wrong?
OffLine Mark Nauser
  2018-08-29 09:47:29    
No, we don't.
OffLine Steve
  2018-08-29 18:53:43    
[... top onsight level on indoor competitions where the WADA rules are respected, is around 8a+ or 8b. Outdoor top onsight level is 8c+ or 9a ...]

Yes, clearly, the only explanation for this are steroids! And we all know who's fault it is: Larssen and 8a.nu!
OffLine FBAI 2000
  2018-09-02 10:14:35    
There are two debates Larssen and 8a.nu are refusing to relate to (and in fact censoring): The drugs debate and the inclusion of an anti doping statement in the scorecard. There is also the competition format debate:

https://www.8a.nu/forum/general/weight-top-level-beta-classes-and-anorexia-in-climbing

These are serious issues and the community and Larssen needs to relate to them. If the community and 8a.nu does not relate to these issues, people that are not climbers will have difficulties relating to "sport climbing" as a sport.