A German television report on the availability of gene doping in China has stunned anti-doping experts shortly before the Beijing Olympics.
In a documentary by ARD television, a Chinese doctor offers stem-cell therapy to a reporter posing as an American swimming coach.
The report, filmed with a concealed camera, shows the doctor with his face blurred speaking in Chinese and offering the treatment in return for $24,000, according to a translation provided by the ARD television.
The documentary broadcast Monday did not offer evidence that the hospital had provided gene doping to other athletes, but anti-doping officials were appalled that the treatment was so readily available.
"I could not have imagined it in such a provable form," Mario Thevis, chief of the German center of preventive doping research in Cologne.
Another Cologne expert on gene doping, Patrick Diel, said he was "stunned to see it."
Here's the link to the entire story: http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/news/story?id=3501414
Note that the AP story says anti-doping experts are ďstunnedĒ by what the ARD report reveals. Iím stunned that theyíre stunned. China is and has been for a while a global source for this stuff (just as itís a global source for pretty much everything else thatís made these days.) Its pharmaceutical-medical-industrial complex sells to all comers, to anyone who can pay.
Still, keep this report in mind as China and its leaders glorify in the countryís medal parade in a couple of weeks, as athlete after athlete collects gold. Think east German swimmer Kornelia Ender (Montreal í76) sprinter Ben Johnson (Seoul 1988), Maís army (Chinese track coach Ma Junren, who had six of his athletes suspended in Sydney 2000 for doping), and Marion Jones, the US track star who ďdominatedĒ her events in Sydney and is now serving a six month jail sentence for lying to federal agents about her steroid use.
The anti doping cops canít keep up with advances made in delivery systems, shielding agents and, most importantly, the stem cell based gene tweaking, which is now the cutting edge of this stuff. For all of the above, Chinaís a one stop shop.
The character for pressure in Chinese is ?? . (Thatís YA LI in pinyin). Think the Chinese hoop team is feeling any these days? This from 7 foot forward Yi Jianlianís blog (Yi played for the Milwaukee Bucks this past year and was recently traded to the New Jersey Nets):
This morning Hu Jintao came to watch our practice. Even the top leader cares so much about our practice, so you can see how much attention the Chinese people are paying to us. He asked us about our physical condition. Hope we can do our best in the Olympics. Now we just have to prepare.
July 24, 2008 3:34
Some thoughts from our colleague Lin Yang:
Many of us joined the spontaneous carnival in the streets on a summer night seven years ago when Beijing was awarded the 2008 Olympics. But as the moment of glory finally arrives, the exultation is no longer shared by all.
I have noticed growing sentiment recently in Internet posts and daily conversations indicating that some Chinese are experiencing a change of heart towards the Olympics. Pride, longing, anticipation has been replaced by confusion, frustration, and even anger. In Tianjin, when i asked my taxi driver to take me to one of the city's famous kebab stalls, he launched into a lengthy complaint instead. "Kebab stalls? They're nearly all gone!! All for the Olympics! I used to go with other driver pals on our night shift. The stalls were always packed, with people eating and chatting happily after a long day's work. Now it's serve th Olympics instead of serving the people!"
Some people in Beijing meanwhile are planning to flee the Games and travel agencies are even offering "biyuntao" (???) packages. The homonym of "condom" in Chinese has become a popular term referring to "tour package to get away from the Olympics" (Bi-avoid, Yun-the Olympics, tao--package). "One world, one nightmare", as a friend summed up the situation with a sigh. On one of the leading Internet forums on current affairs, Tianya BBS, posters lamented over changes brought on by the coming games. "Now there are security checks everywhere; soldiers and police everywhere," wrote one poster, "'I can no longer recognize this place I call home", wrote another, "morning markets and street stalls are gone and we are left with no choice but to shop at pricier supermarkets; cheap housing is no longer available; manufacturing and construction are halted, and even restaurant takeout is banned, with no clear explanation other than a vague reference to the Olympics."
There are also those who go even farther than complaining over daily inconveniences. "Rambobest", who called himself a "nationalist" in his post had some reflections on national glory and the Olympic games. "I understand the government wants to use this opportunity to show the world a rising China, but would hosting an Olympics alone qualify us as a rising power? Are there no other priorities like dealing with corruption, and other crucial social issues? Instead, different voices are clamped down on for the Olympics just so the government won't lose face."
Some were simply disheartened by the futile journey to get a glimpse of the Olympic torch. A poster from Qingdao was outraged by the government order to ban all unlicensed citizens from entering the relay area. "The Olympics should be an event participated in and enjoyed by everyone. Yes the torch relay is broadcast on TV, but that's not enough for a Chinese who wants to voice his passion for the country and the Olympics!"
And that is a good point. Seven years ago, people believed having the Olympics in Beijing one day would be a national dream fulfilled, and a moment shared by everyone. Is this still the Olympics we had in mind when migrant workers who built Olympic venues and infrastructures with their own hands are made to leave the city before the game starts, when watching the torch relay turns into a prestige event for the few, when witnessing athletes around the world competing on one's own land becomes a luxury?