Doping: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

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Doping scandals have cast a shadow over the Olympic Games. Until we eliminate drugs from sports, we should at least update our athlete promos. Connect with Last Week Tonight online... Subscribe to the Last Week Tonight YouTube channel for more almost news as it almost happens: Find Last Week Tonight on Facebook like your mom would: Follow us on Twitter for news about jokes and jokes about news: Visit our official site for all that other stuff at once:

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The Olympics otherwise known as your biennial reminder that NBC exists the real games are just around the corner so get ready for plenty of sappy athlete profiles like these Tory Bowie is a sprinter climbing her way to the top her success exceeds far beyond the unkempt field she started on in high school at his childhood pool there's still a bench where he was forced to sit and take timeouts but what others struggled to Contain in daily life Phelps put to full purpose when there was something on the line burrows is powered by the elemental truth of the sport that fills his dreams yes those videos aren't just uplifting that's basically inspiration porn but that's what a fireworks display watches when it wants to jerk off but well the Olympics feature thriller II thrilling displays of athletic prowess they can also take place beneath the dark shadow cast by doping scandals and this Olympics is no exception according to a report that reads like a Cold War spy thriller Russian secret agents and a mysterious Moscow laboratory we used for state sanctioned doping a Russian athlete and trainer secretly filmed drugs being handed out like candy Russia accused staggeringly of using its security services its new KGB to tamper with supposedly tamper proof bottles allegedly using this hole in the laboratory wall to switch samples It's true a Russian lab used a secret hole in the wall in an attempt to win Olympic medals making this the first known example of a literal glory hole and just listen just listen to how the athletes ingested some of the drugs in the first place run chiang cops cocktails of three different performance-enhancing drugs were on his instructions washed down by athletes with alcohol to shorten the detection period chievous for male athletes Vermouth for the ladies wait what the move for the ladies look I get doping is still going on but I'd hope that unnecessarily gendered illegal products died it died out with the Virginia Slims crack pipe hashtag feminism hashtag crack pipes now Russia's track and field team is currently banned from competing at the upcoming Olympics but there is nothing new about this story for as long as there's been science people have used it To juice the human body in the 1920s a Russian born French surgeon crafted thin slices of chimp testicles into people scrotums which was obviously ridiculous these days we know you need a thick slice of chimp testicles that's when it starts to work and there's a long history of athletes circumventing the rules in the 1904 Olympics one of the marathon runners wrote 11 miles in a car a move that takes balls so big they must have included a massive slice of chimp Nuts now as for the modern era while no one knows exactly how many athletes dog there are some shocking hints one leaked survey found that an estimated 29 percent of track and field athletes at the 2011 World Championships said that they adopt in the past year and presumably that doesn't even include roided-out athletes who responded by yelling survey make me angry crumpling it up and throwing it to the moon but the prevalence of doping is a little Surprising when you consider how rigorous the testing regimes in top sport can be what what happens to one runner just seconds after she crosses the finish line from now until she's able to provide a sample two things will be constant water and Flanagan's anti-doping chaperone the chaperone makes sure the athlete doesn't try to cheat her drug test it's a big time buy skill because you're really excited and you want to enjoy the moment but Then at the same time yeah you got to get focused and get ready in pain no but that's got to be tough because you're probably not ready to pee on command just after finishing a race that's not what your body is prepared to do at that moment it's like asking someone to have an orgasm in the middle of test driving and this and cube it's it's not going to be easy that could take a while and if you think it's no fun for the athletes it's not much fun for the Testers either real sports followed one of them on a surprise out-of-competition test his task this early Saturday morning is to collect a sample from an elite rower named Alex so CIL's Alex agreed to let us film the moment of truth Lowell is required to witness and have an unobstructed view that that is the face of a man reconsidering every single decision he has made in his life while also desperately wishing that athlete had not Had asparagus for dinner but despite rigorous testing athletes are clearly slipping through the cracks for a number of reasons for start there are multiple tests and none of them can detect the full range of drugs and athletes might be on from anabolic steroids to EPO to human growth hormone to the most powerful drug of all love and testing itself it's much less black and white than you might assume there are wide variations in human Biochemistry so to avoid false positives testing thresholds are often deliberately high and athletes can dope and still come below those thresholds by doing things like micro dosing or using masking agents to hide banned substances and those are just some ways that it's possible for top athletes to cheat while still being able to say things like this people are smart do they say as Lance Armstrong ever tested positive no his Lance Armstrong been tested a lot Wow that is some confident lying which isn't really surprising remember this is the man who looked America dead in the eyes and said bicycling is a very cool sport and we've King believed him and the techniques some athletes have used to beat the system have been amazingly imaginative take for instance the European cyclists who would insert condoms of clean urine into their anus and then in order to conceal everything would cover it with fake hair blending Into the real hair of the nether regions and you have to imagine that to convince the cyclist to do that a coach would need to deliver the most inspirational speech in the history of sports hey do you want to be a champion do you then you jam in that piss balloon cake that hot glue gun slap on that aina smirking and ride like a champion full anus Curtis can't lose right when they have tested positive the excuses have been even more imaginative former Sprinter Dennis Mitchell insisted his positive test for testosterone was the result of having sex at least four times the night before and drinking five bottles of beer and if that is what your life is like you don't really need the Olympics now other other athletes have blamed positive tests on eating a pie made from doped up racing pigeons or eating a skew of meat and organs from uncashed rated Bors and I'll say this if Wheaties is really the breakfast of Champions their ingredient list will now include pigeon meat and Pig jizz or it's over but but none of that beats my favorite excuse of all time cyclist Tyler Hamilton had to explain why somebody else's blood was in his veins he claimed a vanished twin absorbed by his body in the womb the court didn't buy it oh but that twin isn't vanished it's me I'm your brother Tyler and my name isn't John Oliver it's Skyler Skyler Hamilton and together we are Skyler and Tyler Hamilton a pair of on vanished twins and we're both equally good at biking and in a way in a way you can see why a fleets might want to dope a split second advantage can make the difference between winning and losing and there's a lot of money on the line for everyone there is a massive financial ecosystem dependent on spectacular athletic achievement in scandal-free games and that includes the network's Who reap over a billion in ad sales the IOC which wreaks billions in broadcast rights and then there's the sponsors who love using Olympic athletes for ads like these to perform your best trainings gotta be a lifelong passion fueled by a foot long passion that's why Debbie Phelps is always there for her son Mike with his favorite flavor packed fully jacked foot long subs stop because first no professional swimmer wants a sandwich in the pool and for the record there is Nothing more viscerally upsetting than a woman feeding her soaking wet nearly naked adults on something called a fully jacked foot line and when you combine the point is when you combine all the money incentivizing athletes to get an edge with all the imperfections of tests you would hope there'd be a robust independent monitoring system in place unfortunately some countries lack the resources for strong testing while others seem to lack the desire and to Get a sense of just how compromised the system can become let's go back to what happened in Russia because here's how things worked this is a Russian track-and-field athletes he would compete for his national sports Federation in this case arif that Federation would be under both the international body governing track and field's to the I double AF and the Russian Ministry of sport which is of course part of the Russian government Now separately he would be tested by his country's anti-doping agency in this case rusada who would send it to a laboratory which is credited by the world anti-doping agency or water which receives funding from both the IOC and countries like Russia and already you can see this system looks like a sprawling mess but I guess technically it could work if each step was genuinely committed to stamping out doping however you've already seen that One lab had a glory hole and on top of that a recent investigation found that rusada officers routinely accepted bribes from athletes and gave them advance notice of when they'd be tested and it also found the former head of Arif had worked with the director of that glory hold lab to conceal positive drug tests and while you would hope that the IDF would have been rooting all of this out the head of their anti-doping department was banned for five years After an ethics investigation at which point this is all actually making FIFA look good FIFA keep FIFA and they are basically just a mafia with slightly better branding and finally there is water now they are supposed to help prevent things like this but their investigation at the scandal got off to a rocky start because we really only have all this information thanks to a whistleblower a former rusada employee named a Vitaly Stepanov He approached Wilder with a great deal of information but their response was not reassuring he sent two hundred emails and fifty letters detailing what he had witnessed but Vitaly says water told him it did not have the power to investigate inside Russia now that is true at that point water didn't have the explicit authority but that's a bit weird in and of itself you don't want the global anti-drug agency to basically have the authority of mall cops hey Thief stop or I'll be forced to go straight to the food court and grumble about your behavior into a bag of Wetzel's pretzels cinemates and while water now has more authority and has appointed an independent commission to investigate the evolving Russia scandal their head Craig Reedy sent a weirdly cozy email to an advisor to the Russian Sports Minister saying on a personal level I value the relationship I have with the Minister and there is no intention in wada to do anything to affect that relationship which is an unsettling ly chummy tone for a regulator to take if Tom Colicchio promised to judge top chef fairly but then said to one contestant I value my relationship with you and will do nothing to affect it the other contestants would rightly think this is clearly pointless here's a hot pocket go yourself and at this point I'm supposed to tell you that Russian Officials and the former head of RF have broadly denied all these accusations and for his part Reedy says he's done nothing to interfere with the Commission's investigations and his email had been misconstrued and you know sure and awhile this well this clearly isn't the system we need it might actually be the system we want just listen to former head of water the phenomenally named dick pound who has a depressing theory about why more dogmas Aren't cause machineries are there the question is the people really want it to work I mean you can you can do hundreds of thousands of tests and then catch nobody if you don't want to catch anybody is that what you think is happening that people don't want it to work people don't want to work okay well first dick pound should really insist that everyone called him Rick or rich if he really wants anyone to fully listen to him but the second he actually wrote A report for water assessing the state of drug testing which found among the broader sports community there is no general appetite to undertake the effort and expense to deliver doping free sport which is pretty alarming we're treating good testing like calorie counts on restaurant menus oh everyone might say they want it until they find out that one in onion is 32 million calories and their layoffs King done and you might be Thinking well let's just give up what why don't we just let everyone don't but that is definitely not the answer for a start that could be very dangerous with athletes tempted to take greater and greater amounts to get that split-second edge and it could also potentially force clean athletes to dope at which point you've pretty much destroyed the integrity of sport because if you want to know what it's like to compete against an artificially enhanced athlete Just listen to Alisha Montano she lost at the 2012 Olympics to Maria Savin over one of the Russian athletes implicated in the current doping scandal this was the first time Montaigne allowed herself to watch the race she lost a gold medalist Maria 7 over Montano had led the race for about 600 meters before finishing 5th I mean Savin Ella passed you like you were with all due respect literally standing still yeah yeah and you realize At that moment I realized I'm racing against robots robots I'm racing against robots she's racing against robots on it and it wasn't just having over because silver and bronze went to a room bar and a roided-out Teddy Ruxpin and when she competed against those same Russian athletes at the World Championships the next year it was deja vu 7 over blew by her in the last 50 meters to finish second all Montaigne could do was throw herself across the finish line beat and For the first time broken and I felt really failed and really betrayed and I actually felt like my career was a farce you know that this is just what am i doing out here what's the point what am I doing here what's the point she's a world-class athlete and she was left feeling like anyone who paid for a ticket to - now you see me - what are we doing here well what any of us doing here what's the point in this what are we Doing look look we focused on Russia here because the details are spectacular but they are far from the only offenders in recent years Kenya Jamaica and China have all had doping scandals and American athletes have cheated to Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay have both been banned for doping in the past yet they're still expected to compete in Rio for the US team so think of doping like Vladimir Putin it's far from just a Russian problem it's something that adversely affects the entire world so it feels like we have two choices at this point if we truly want to clean up sports we should empower wider by making it truly independent and put pressure on the broader sports system to aggressively combat doping and if we don't really care enough to make changes we should at the very least make our syrupy athlete's promos a bit more honest ever since I was a kid I'd love To run my parents sometimes tell me I could run before I could walk which doesn't really make sense but I was believe then it's 5:00 am an Olympic hopeful Brandon Schmidt has already been at the gym for two hours with his coach motet wash it pusher for sure I've been working with Brandon ever since he was eight years old I discovered him sprinting across the playground that's how I used to find my Runners just hang out our playgrounds look for the quickest kid can't do that anymore of course for Brandon every morning it's the same routine first I do cardio then weights then it's just all the pills I could cram into my mouth Harshit Brandon's road to Rio began years ago in a small bedroom in Darby Ville Ohio when I was a kid I had posters of all my heroes Lance Armstrong Marion Jones Ben Johnson Mark McGwire and that one guy who took a car for 11 Miles of an Olympic marathon I wanted to be just like them from those modest beginnings coach Jason Clark helped fill Brandon with the stuff winners are made of here you need your purples we've tried pills containing everything cat dick dog dick lizard dick Rhino dick badger balls muskrat anuses chipmunk fists moose face a 5-hour energy shot straight into his eyeball Oh one time I put a tampon full of jet fuel up his ass oh Another time I got Regis Philbin to scream into a jar and that had him inhaling all of this just to get that edge but even the most prepared athlete can sometimes get caught and that's when Brandon relies on Coach Clark's strict regimen of excuses and go I slipped and fell in a vat of liquid and feta means good Beck I was walking on this dark back alley and a guy came up and stabbed me with the syringe full of EPO sweeter sweeter I ate my twin in the womb I Don't believe you then castrated boar spit in my mouth possible I like your stick Dylan last night I drink five beers and everyone in America how to do you're ready now with his eyes on Rio and Olympic gold brandon Schmidt is hoping that his years of hard work will finally pay off for me to win in Rio Eppie a fairy tale come true you know it'd be a Cinderella story but like if the slipper didn't Actually belong to Cinderella and she took a lot of drugs to change the sides of her foot to fit in the slipper and in Prince Charming fell for it and they lived happily ever after that's my dream you

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