Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Bad Girls Files #5

Gymnast: Ngan Thuong
Gymnastics Highlight: 2007 Beam Champion at the South East Asian Games
The Crime:  Pill Popping
Please Explain:  Well okay, not exactly pill popping. Actually, yes, pill-popping.   Ngan Thuong, a rare Vietnamese gymnastics talent earned a wild card entry into the Beijing Games off the successes of her performances at the South East Asian Games.  In Beijing she came 59th overall in the Preliminary rounds and 15th on vault.  In the afternoon of the all-around competition, Thuong was asked to submit a urine sample for random doping tests.  Traces of furosemide, a banned diuretic were found.  At her hearing, Thuong told the Disciplinary Commission officials that she had taken the diuretic to look slim and lean, not, in fact to enhance her performance.  She said she had bought them after older athletes in her program in Vietnam told her they were beneficial for weight loss.  She had bought them in a pharmacy in Hanoi without the advice of a medical professional.  Wether this statement is true or not, a doctor at the hearing also stated that the substance could also be used to mask other banned substances.
The Punishment:  Ngan Thuong was dismissed from the Games and her athletic accreditation was revoked.
Badness Rating:  High
To me this is just plain bad.  Some have said that Thuong was probably ill-educated about what counted as banned substance, but to me, that is beside the point. Her coaches should have kept her informed and besides, even if she was not taking pills to enhance her performances, it is just as wrong that she was taking them to lose weight in such an unhealthy way.  Unfortunately, I am also somewhat skeptical about wether the gymnast did in fact purchase or choose to purchase them herself.

10 comments:

  1. The furosemide thing isn't that uncommon. In 2001, the top two finishers at the Goodwill Games and the World Championships in rhythmic gymnastics had all of there 2001 results nullified because they tested positive for furosemide. Their coach claimed that when they went to a pharmacy in Melbourne, where the Goodwill games were held, to get a diuretic, they received the wrong medication. Anyways, I don't think this is completely worthy of a high rating.

    Also, make sure to include Mohini Bhardwaj in the files.

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  3. I know very well that it is common. But are you saying just because it is common that it is not dangerous and stupid for very young women to take pills to aid weight loss? That its okay that they should be that obsessed with it that they need pharmaceutical aids? Sorry, I entirely disagree.
    Also, of course Mohini's going to be in it.

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  4. I know very well that it is common. But are you saying just because it is common that it is not dangerous and stupid for very young women to take pills to aid weight loss? That its okay that they should be that obsessed with it that they need pharmaceutical aids? Sorry, I entirely disagree.
    Also, of course Mohini's going to be in it.

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  5. I don't think the furosemide helped her performance in the Olympics, and I don't think she was using it to cover up another drug (unless it was another weight loss drug). That being said it was still wrong for her to take a banned substance. That looks really bad for her, her coaches, her country, and whoever gave her the wild card (I guess either FIG or IOC).

    I don't believe the rhythmic gymnasts were given a wrong medication by mistake, although I kind of understand why they would take furosemide (although I still think it's wrong). I'm sure they're under much more pressure to stay thin than artistic gymnasts.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the entry about Mohini. Maybe you could do some bad coaches entries too. There are plenty of examples of those.

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  6. What I meant was that I do think that trying to take medication is definitely not a smart decision, I would say it's not as bad as actually taking performance enhancing drugs. If we were to include gymnasts who used drugs to "help themselves," the bad girls list would get longer.

    Also, responding to Anonymous, I don't believe the gymnasts (Alina Kabaeva and Irina Tchachina) were using diuretics to lose weight. I have hear that they used it for PMS, but I'm not sure if that's true. Their coaching staff were the ones who picked up the medication and gave it to the gymnasts.

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  7. Yeah, I see your point, its not like she took steroids. but what I am trying to say is that i didn't put her in as a bad girl just for possibly using performance enhancing drugs, I put her in for buying into the pill-popping weight loss thing. i thought it was important and inclusive to have an example of this type of 'bad' body attitude behaviour too without discussing everyone who ever was publicly known to do it. I picked her as she is the most recent 'media controversy' example -it was pretty big news in Australia during the olympics.

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  8. What did Mohini do???

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  9. That's interesting. In America Thuong did not get any media coverage at all. Of course, the amount of media coverage of any non-American gymnast by the American media was incredibly minimal, so the fact that Thuong didn't get any coverage should not really be surprising.

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  10. Also, I read that Thuong was planning to retire after the Olympics and planned to become a coach.

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