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recieved a message that disturbed me....

Posted By: Jason Burnell
Date: Friday, 14 March 2008, at 9:57 a.m.

Hey everyone,

I received a message a while ago that keeps popping up in my head. I'm not going to reveal who sent it to me but I would like to know what other lifters think. This person has been a member of the org. for longer than me and it was really surprising to hear these ideas.

Here's some of it:

"It is great that powerlifting is getting exposure at the Arnold. On the otherhand, it is quite clear that being drug free is no longer a principal in the USAPL."

Ok, this got my attention. I know that several old time ADFPA lifters thumbed their nose at the idea of USAPL joining the IPF. I have to wonder how it sits with them that we are involved in the Arnold Classic. It's "allegedly" the most hyped drug fest of the year, bigger than the Olympia.

And it's hard to argue that the exposure is good, especially if you subscribe to the "there is no such thing as bad publicity if it gets your name out there."

And it's great to see USAPL lifters and the org putting on what most seem to see was a great contest and great show.

"It use to be that the ADFPA's numbers were approximately 10% below the USPF's for obvious reasons."

Note: the writer commented on old "drug user" records records being broken these days by supposedly clean lifters. I don't want to post that verbatim because it would be easy to figure out which lifters the writer was talking about.

"I'm revamping my calculation to over 1/2 the open teams are now using."

I'd question the writers number of 1/2 and really hate to say things like that without proof because, once the lid is off that jar you can't put it back on. You name someone like that and even if it turns out they are innocent, their name is never seen in the same light. Sort of like the teacher who is accused of improper conduct. Even if it turns out the kid was lying, that guy is pretty much done as a teacher.

However, whom (who? which?) hasn't marvelled at some of the numbers over the last 5 years or so and wondered what is up? I've had my suspicions but they are only that. We know people use because, we see names added to the failure list when they get caught. Testing does work but we also know that not everyone gets tested. The $$$ simply don't allow it.

"(lifter name) is the only one I can confidently say is clean."

This is where it gets really confusing to me. I think that when it comes down to it, each of us can really only say whether we are clean ourselves. We can have a belief in others but we don't REALLY know.

There are a few guys that I know and have developed friendships with over the years that to tell the truth, I truly believe and hope are clean and would be crushed if they weren't. One would be Tony Harris. Tony is a truly great guy to be around, is strong as hell and is a true warrior on the platform. From the first time I saw him lift, he was impressive as hell and to see him just warmup is impressive. He's also been a true champion when it comes to helping others and just being good for the sport. I'd be pretty crushed if Tony failed a test because to me, he's been a model for what a drug free lifter can accomplish at 198, 220 and 242.

There are a few others I feel that way about, especially one young man that I've watched grow from a collegiate lifter to a National champ , that I believe in but I think you get my point. Beyond them, I hope that the others are clean but I really don't know them other than the hellos and good to see ya's at meets.

And that is where it gets really sketchy. When a USAPL lifter makes a huge lift or total, they are crucifed on the Outlaw board and other boards. They are accused to being "dirty." The problem is that we, their "brothers" have our suspicions too.

Everyone, has a limit to what they think a true drug free lifter can really do. For some it might be a 600 squat at 198, if you can only do 551. However, if you then squat 600,you realize that more really is possible drug free. Now, at some point, there IS a limit. There has to be but what is it? There is always going to be a person that just has better genetics and technique. I think though when the numbers keep going up and it's not one star but a group, people start having more and more doubts.

"It just is frustrating as a life time drug free lifter. Great LIFETIME DRUG FREE LIFTERS LIKE (LIFTER NAME) are pushed aside and forgotten nowadays. I am definitely doing (name of meet). But if I continue to lift in the USAPL and buy a membership, I am at least tacitly consented to drug use. So I need to evaluate whether I want to lift in the organization."

How many are thinking or feeling this way? I have never considered not being a USAPL member however reading this persons message gave me pause... I really don't hang my choice to lift in USAPL on what other people do but man even I have to admit that I question some of the recent things I've seen. Is that just my limiting beliefs or is there more to it. And what does that mean for the org and the rank and file lifters who make up the bulk of the org?

Personally, I don't mind lifting against drug users as long as I know what I'm getting into ahead of time. So, if I do a USPF meet or an APF meet and I know there will be no testing at that meet, I'm cool with it. Their house, their rules. Run what you brung. However, the idea of drug users in USAPL does bother me. It's not set up for that and that was why I joined the ADFPA in the first place.



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