Doping Is In Vogue

Vogue, the magazine.

Kelli White

Kelli White a US Olympic Track star was the first athlete to be hit with the World Anti Doping Agenciy’s new enforcement methods including use of evidence and procedures in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well preempting due process provisions in US law. (Due process inter alia the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.) For her it was a “non-analytical positive result” which is bureaucratic double-talk, the same that Lance Armstrong is being hammered with; circumstantial evidence that would normally not be conclusive in a law court.

Where have you heard this before? “The threat from XX is so great and serious that we are suspending your right to YY.” Trust us! We are doing it for your own protection… What about the threat of coercive authority? What about the threat of government infringing on basic human rights? Historically that has been the most grave and harmful danger.

Kelli White was involved in what became known as the BALCO doping scandal. Unlike many others, Kelli White did admit to her offenses and told all.

I have been looking for a copy of the Vogue Magazine article with her detailed explanations of what she used, why she did it, what the effects and side-effects were. In one account she suggests that the drugs did not increase her native ability but allowed her to recover from minor injuries more quickly and stay in shape as she grew older. Maybe if I could get some Modafinil I would be able to find the article. The testosterone aka “the cream” and many other performance enhancing methods and drugs I habitually use are not enough to give me photographic memory.

In the absence of the  Vogue article here is a similar account she gave in testimony to Congress.

Statement of Ms. Kelli White U.S. Olympian, Track and Field

Committee on Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation

May 24, 2005

Mr. Chairman, esteemed members of the Committee, thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to appear before this very prestigious group. My name is Kelli White, and I appear here today having made the regrettable mistake of using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs during my athletic career as a sprinter. With my experience and knowledge regarding use of performance enhancing drugs, I welcome the opportunity to assist in the efforts to remove doping from sport.

By way of background, I competed in track and field for most of my life, having begun at the age of 10. In my early teen years, I began working with renowned coach Remi Korchemny, who would remain a significant figure in my life over the next decade and a half. I went on to compete collegiately and graduate from the University of Tennessee before turning professional in the year 2000. At that time, I returned home to the Bay area of California and began training full time with Mr. Korchemny.

Shortly thereafter, in December, 2000, my coach introduced me to BALCO founder Victor Conte. Conte initially gave me a package containing both legal supplements, as well as a substance which later became known as the clear or the designer steroid THG. At the time, I was unaware that anything I received from Mr. Conte was a prohibited performance enhancing substance as I was told by both my coach and Mr. Conte that the vial they had given me contained flaxseed oil. A few weeks later, Mr. Conte admitted to me that the substance he had given me was indeed not flaxseed oil, but rather a prohibited substance that if not taken properly, could yield a positive drug test. I immediately ceased using the liquid because at that time in my career I did not believe it was necessary to take performance enhancing drugs to be competitive. I competed over the next two years without the use of any performance enhancing substances despite being constantly urged to do so. I was continuously being told that the usage of performance enhancing substances were necessary to be competitive because everyone else was doing so.

My 2002 season was very difficult, as I struggled with injuries for most of the year. I had a great deal of uncertainty regarding my status as I entered by the 2003 season, and I did not want to miss it. I failed to make the 2003 Indoor World Team, and was receiving more pressure to start a performance enhancing drug regimen. My advisors were pointing to other performances of athletes, and saying I needed to do what they were doing in order to compete on that level.

In March of 2003, I made a choice that I will forever regret. I visited Mr. Conte at his lab which was near my home, and we sat down and devised a program to utilize performance enhancing drugs in my training and competition. At that time, I began taking EPO, the clear (or THG), the cream and stimulants. I remained on this program over the course of four months, and with the help of Mr. Conte, I was able to pass 17 drug tests both in and out of competition while utilizing these prohibited performance enhancing substances.

In a relatively short time period, I had gone from being a very competitive sprinter to being the fastest woman in the world! In June 2003, I captured both the 100 and 200-meter United States Championships, and followed that by winning the same events in the World Championships in August in Paris. Although I crossed the finish line first in all of those events, I knew in my heart it was accomplished partially because of the other line I had crossed.

Instead of what should have been the high point of my career and a tremendous accomplishment in my life, I was ashamed of the choices I had made. In addition to enhancing my performance on the track, there were other physical effects I encountered while taking this mix of substances. My blood pressure was elevated, and I also experienced an acne problem, increased menstrual cycle and slight vocal chord trouble. The first and only failed drug test I experienced was following the World Championship meet in Paris when a stimulant known as Modafinil was discovered in my urine sample, but the penalty for that substance would not have been even a suspension from track and field.

A few weeks after the World Championships, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies raided the BALCO Laboratory. A few months later, I admitted to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) officials what I had done as I have outlined for you today. I received a two-year ban from competition for my actions, as well as lost all of the results from my previous four years of competition. I also agreed to assist USADA in its mission to clean up sport, and now offer to be of service to this Committee in any way you see fit. I believe athletes who use performance- enhancing drugs are hurting themselves, cheating the public and betraying our youth. A performance-enhancing drug user trades his or her overall health, well-being and integrity for a shot at fame and fortune.

I believe it is important that you understand the reasons I made the choice to, in essence, cheat. I strongly believe that the use of steroids and other prohibited performance enhancing drugs are wrong, and the there is no place for such use in sports. However, athletes whom have made that choice are not necessarily bad people. In my own situation, there were many factors contributing to the very poor decision I made which included the influence of a long-time trusted coach. But most importantly, I began using these substances not to give me an advantage, but because I had become convinced I needed to use them to level the playing field with my competitors. It is a very troubling situation when you have trained to compete in a sport at the highest level, but feel those with which you are competing have an unfair advantage. I make neither any excuse nor justification for my horrible choice. I merely hope to lend some understanding to this Committee as to how someone who loved her sport and trained cleanly for most of her life got involved in this awful abuse.

My attorney, Jerrold Colton, and I have worked with assisting USADA in its efforts, and we believe this Committee should further support USADA as the fight is a very difficult one. Being mindful that my use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs was not detected through the extensive testing I received, USADA needs the resources to go further in its fight to detect the people who are breaking the rules. The BALCO scandal may not have been discovered without a competitor`s coach anonymously sending a syringe of THG to the USADA testers which ultimately led to the discovery of this heretofore unknown steroid.

Although I have been troubled by the disparity of the penalties facing track athletes versus other sports, I am mindful we are not protected by a players` association. I appreciate the many reasons why this Committee previously subpoenaed the BALCO documents pertaining only to the track and field athletes and turned them over to USADA rather than the other sports, but would like to see a more equal treatment of all sports. I also believe the roles of some national governing bodies involved in sports and the coaches which either assist in the wrongdoing or turn their backs on what they see must have some responsibility, culpability and penalty for their role in making sport unclean. The fight against drugs in sports is an extremely difficult battle. I am sorry that I cheated myself, my competitors, my sport, my family and the public for the choices I made in the past. As athletes, we know we are role models, and I betrayed my responsibility as such. Please feel free to call on me to play any role I can in assisting your Committee, USADA and anyone else you see fit in this very important matter. I hope in doing so, I help the sport I love more by what I do off the track, than anything I could have ever done on it. Thank you very much for your kind attention and for allowing me to appear here today.

2 thoughts on “Doping Is In Vogue

  1. Hi there! I understand this is somewhat off-topic however I had to ask.
    Does managing a well-established blog like yours require a
    lot of work? I am completely new to running a blog however
    I do write in my journal everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any recommendations or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

    • As much time as you have to spare and ideas to supply content. I find it’s helpful to me to organize my thoughts and to save repeating explanations to people who want info. I did not think my blog was successful in reaching a large number of people (60 max viewers and often zero) but together with the other benefits to me mentioned above it has been worthwhile. Tim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s