Performance Enhancing Drugs in Professional Sports (Long)(Interview)
Interview is with an insider whistle-blower who understands 'the game' that is played between sporting cartels (drug testers) and athletes (drug takers).
Original article (in german) here:
Heredia was a 'dealer' who supplied athletes with what they wanted. During the time of this article she was under investigation and entangled in the court system with various allegations.
Angel Heredia, once a doping dealer and now a chief witness for the U.S. Justice Department, talks about the powerlessness of the investigators, the motives of athletes who cheat and the drugs of the future.
He had been in hiding under an assumed name in a hotel in Laredo, Texas, for two years when the FBI finally caught up with him. The agents wanted to know from Angel Heredia if he knew a coach by the name of Trevor Graham, whether he carried the nickname “Memo”, and what he knew about doping. "No", "no", "nothing" – those were his replies. But then the agents laid the transcripts of 160 wiretapped telephone conversations on the table, as well as the e-mails and the bank statements. That’s when Angel "Memo" Heredia knew that he had lost. He decided to cooperate, and he also knew that he would only have a chance if he didn’t lie – not a single time. “He’s telling the truth,” the investigators say about Heredia today.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Heredia, will you watch the 100 meter final in Beijing?
Heredia: Of course. But the winner will not be clean. Not even any of the contestants will be clean.
SPIEGEL: Of eight runners ...
Heredia: ... eight will be doped.
SPIEGEL: There is no way to prove that.
Heredia: There is no doubt about it. The difference between 10.0 and 9.7 seconds is the drugs.
SPIEGEL: Can drugs make anyone into a world record holder?
Heredia: No, that is a misapprehension: “You take a couple of tablets today and tomorrow you can really fly.” In reality you have to train inconceivably hard, be very talented and have a perfect team of trainers and support staff. And then it is the best drugs that make the difference. It is all a great composition, a symphony. Everything is linked together, do you understand? And drugs have a long-term effect: they ensure that you can recover, that you avoid the catabolic phases. Volleyball on the beach might be healthy, but peak athletics is not healthy. You destroy your body. Marion Jones, for example ...
SPIEGEL: ... five-time Olympic medallist at Sydney 2000 ...
Heredia: ... trained with an unparalleled intensity. Drugs protect you from injury. And she triumphed and picked up all the medals.
SPIEGEL: Are you proud?
Heredia: Of course, I still am. It is still a tremendous achievement, and you must not believe that Marion’s rivals were poor, deceived competitors.
SPIEGEL: This isn’t just an American problem?
Heredia: Are you kidding me? No. All countries, all federations, all top athletes are affected, and among those responsible are the big shoe companies like Nike and Adidas. I know athletes who broke records; a year later they were injured and they got the call: “We’re cutting your sponsorship money by 50 percent.” What do you think such athletes then do?
SPIEGEL: Tell us what you did for your clients.
Heredia: Athletes hear rumors and they become worried. That the competition has other tricks, that they might get caught when they travel. There is no room for mistakes. One mistake can ruin a career.
SPIEGEL: So you became a therapist for the athletes in matters of drugs?
Heredia: More like a coach. Together we found out what was good for which body and what the decomposition times were. I designed schedules for ****tails and regimens that depended on the money the athletes offered me. Street drugs for little money, designer drugs for tens of thousands. Usually I sent the drugs by mail, but sometimes the athletes came to me.
SPIEGEL: With Marion Jones ...
Heredia: ... it was about the recovery phases. In 2000 she competed in one event after another, and she needed to relax. I gave her epo, growth hormone, adrenaline injections, insulin. Insulin helps after training, together with protein drinks: insulin transports protein and minerals more quickly through the cell membrane.
SPIEGEL: Jones was afraid of needles.
Heredia: Yes, that’s why C. J. Hunter, her husband at the time, and her trainer Trevor Graham mixed her three substances in one injection. I advised them against it because I thought it was risky.