Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Testing for Steriods in New Jersey High Schools

I am not sure that steroids are the problem here.

Building off our posts about Don Ramos and the waste of time and resources it is to test masters, how is it working to test high school students? In the article below, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association claims a victory in that they only had one positive test. They tested 510 athletes from 105 schools. That is about 5 per school and I am not sure how many schools are in the state, but I am it is many more than 105. We have more than that in Arizona and we are not nearly as populous. My feeling is, either do it right, or don't do it at all. I really don't see random testing of such a low percentage of students as being an effective deterrent. I also do not believe that steroids are really a rampant problem in  American high schools. I would prefer they put the effort and resources into alcohol and marijuana education and prevention. I can tell you that after 30 years in the public school system, I have seen much more damage, tragedy, and lost potential from those substances. I also have never really seen anyone that I suspected of steroid abuse. Of course my location my give me a skewed perspective, but I really don't think that steroids are that big of an issue in our high schools. Alcohol and marijuana definitely are. But as usual, politicians and administrators look for the spectacular highly visible solutions to contrived problems. What ever gets the most attention from the press. Steroids has become great cause for many who have not clue what they are talking about. I am against healthy young people using steroids. But let's be realistic and not waste or misspend resources on a non-issue. You don't need a chainsaw to slice a watermelon.

Eight years ago, New Jersey became the first state in the country to institute a statewide steroid-testing policy for high school athletes, responding forcefully to national statistics showing increasing steroids use by high schoolers.
And last year’s results are in. During the 2012-13 school year, the state’s governing body for high school athletics tested 510 athletes from 105 schools and 11 sports. Only one athlete tested positive.
New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Executive Director Steve Timko said he was encouraged by the results, but added that he wished the organization could afford to expand the testing to include even more athletes.
“A victory is having absolutely nobody test positive,” Timko said. “But the message is the most important thing.”
The NJSIAA randomly tests athletes from 13 sports, and only tests athletes from teams that qualify for the playoffs. Athletes are required to sign a consent form before each sports season allowing the possibility of a random test.
The sports subjected to testing are football, wrestling, baseball, softball, ice hockey, swimming, gymnastics, indoor and outdoor track and boys and girls basketball and lacrosse, Timko said. (The NJSIAA did not test athletes from gymnastics and girls soccer this school year due to logistical problems associated with Hurricane Sandy, Timko said.)
Out of 270,123 athletes last school year, the NJSIAA tested 510.
“I wish we could do more,” Timko said. “We need to keep doing this. I think it’s extremely important. We’re constantly trying to get the message out.”
The NJSIAA could not provide a year-by-year breakdown of number of positive tests, but Timko said the range has been between none and about four.
The NJSIAA and the state each pays $50,000 for the testing. Timko said he’s unsuccessfully solicited donations to increase funding for the testing.
Despite consistent issues across many sports regarding performance-enhancing drug use, Timko said only Illinois, Florida and Texas have instituted steroids testing for high schoolers at one point or another.

“Any kid that we can keep off it, it’s worth every penny that we’ve spent,” Timko said. “The testing is important. I’m glad we’re still doing the testing. We keep plugging away at getting the message out there.”

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Should Pregnant Women Be Weightlifting?

PHOTO: A 33-week pregnant California woman lifts 75 pounds for exercise.
Go for it Lea-Ann! You will have healthy children who will benefit from your example as well.

It's been all over the news the past few days. It seems that the news media is determined to make a "controversy". Of course they are, that's how they generate attention. In my opinion it's a total non-issue. It's not a new idea and it's happened thousands of times before. Pregnancy is not a disease. Women have been getting pregnant since the beginning of the human race. Doh!! Can anything be more obvious? Israelite women delivered babies while they were traveling through the desert. Pioneer women gave birth crossing the plains. Native American women had children in the "wilderness" for centuries and I am sure their lives were all much more strenuous than any 30 minute cross-fit workout a few times a week. Back the 80's Gary and Judy Glenney lived in Farmington, New Mexico and promoted weight lifting in the area. Gary was top ranked lifter in the 60's and early 70's lifting for the legendary York Barbell Club. Judy, his wife, was one of the first women to really compete in weightlifting and is remembered as a true pioneer in the field. They began their family later in life and during her first pregnancy, they came to Monument Valley High School to do a exhibition for our students at my request. I will always remember Judy easily snatching 60 kg. pulling the bar around her belly which was protruding quite a bit by then. I can't remember for sure how far along she was, I believe it was around 6 months. I have four daughters, 3 of which have are married with children. They all have exercised throughout pregnancy in various ways, including lifting weights that most people would consider heavy. I guess they are lucky that no one posted their workouts on the internet. Pregnancy is probably not the time to begin a heavy exercise program, but for those who are in the habit of working hard, there is usually no reason to become sedentary. Of course there can be complications in certain individuals whatever their habits are and late term pregnancy is not the time to break records, but Lea-Ann is a great example in my opinion. Below is one of the articles that has appeared this week........

Exercise is essential for a healthy pregnancy, but one photo of a pregnant woman weightlifting has ignited a fiery debate on how much pregnant women should sweat.
Lea-Ann Ellison, 35, a stay-at-home mom in Los Angeles, is eight months pregnant with her third child and attends regular CrossFit classes at her local gym. Last week, Ellison emailed the company touting her success on the workout and included a photo of herself lifting weights. A few days later, the company posted the photo on its Facebook page, triggering an outcry on social media. Ellison received thousands of comments — many of which were negative — on CrossFit's and her own Facebook pages, through several media outlets, and in email.
“This is why CrossFit is horrible. No one knows what they're doing. This is a good way to lose your baby,” wrote Facebook user Evan Kennedy, a physical therapist. Andrea Hatfield wrote, “I do not find this impressive at all. No one would post a picture of themselves drinking a beer while eight months pregnant. Risky behavior while pregnant is no laughing matter." And Amanda Strippel wrote, “Sorry lady, not safe. Baby first, sanity second.” 
However, Ellison had her share of supporters. “I’m six months pregnant with triplets and am still Crossfitting as much as I can,” wrote Carol Metzger Bolliger. And Melissa McCarty wrote, “I've had four kids and pregnancy isn't a handicap. It isn't an excuse to 'slow down'. You know your limits and obviously she's doing exactly what her body allows. Great job mama!”
The benefits of exercise during pregnancy are long proven: increased blood flow and energy, sounder sleep, and the release of endorphins (mood-boosting hormones). And one recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that exercise reduces the risk of having a baby with a high birth weight and of having a cesarean section. However, many doctors point to pregnancy exertion as the cause of cervical problems and preterm labor, and public opinion is divided on whether women who continue to hit the gym during pregnancy are selfishly harming their unborn babies.
“I was really shocked by the reaction to my photos since I've always exercised during my two previous pregnancies and doctors have assured me that my routine is safe for both myself and my child," Ellison tells Yahoo Shine. “However, the minute the photo was posted online, I received an onslaught of comments from men and women telling me that pregnancy is no time to be tough and that I’m vain and selfish. It's surprising that something I've always done — and consider normal — is shocking to so many people."
Ellison’s routine of choice is CrossFit — an hourlong high-intensity exercise program that focuses on core strengthening and conditioning. It incorporates Olympic weight training, aerobic exercise, and gymnastics, using barbells, dumbbells, tire flipping, kettle bells and medicine balls. CrossFit is controversial — according to a story published in the Guardian, in addition to the already-strenuous training, the competition between participants (classes are small and intimate) lead many to overexert and collapse on the floor from exhaustion.

Despite the photo of Ellison that's caused so much uproar, she says she doesn't lift heavy weights. "I did lift weights for my maternity photo shoot but only 35 pounds," she says. "The most I've lifted while pregnant is 65." An avid exerciser, Ellison bought her first gym membership when she was only 16 years old. “I was really skinny and wanted some curves, so I started running and lifting at the gym,” she says. Soon, Ellison’s love of fitness snowballed and she began mountain biking, trail running, weight lifting and entering amateur fitness competitions. Two years ago, she discovered CrossFit and never looked back.
Ellison begins each day by cooking breakfast for her son, 8, and daughter, 12. Once the kids are off to school, she eats half a cup of oatmeal with coconut oil and cinnamon, followed by a three-egg omelet with avocado and black beans and a protein shake, before heading off to CrossFit class.  Lunch usually consists of a grilled-steak salad or chicken with pasta, and dinner is another lean protein with vegetables and rice. She satisfies her rare sugar cravings with small amounts of dark chocolate.
“I used to take CrossFit classes five days a week, but lately, I’ve scaled back to three times,” says Ellison, who has gained a healthy 23 pounds of pregnancy weight. "What bothers me most about all this backlash is that there are so many pregnant women who eat poorly and don't exercise at all during their pregnancies. There is an obesity epidemic in this country. What about that?"
According to Steve Goldstein, M.D., professor of urology and gynecology at New York University (he is not Ellison's doctor), she seems to be on the right track as long as a medical professional is monitoring her routine. "If she's resting when she's tired, in general, I don't see the harm," Goldstein tells Yahoo Shine.

"However, the body goes through so many physiological changes during pregnancy which can alter balance and center of gravity, so it's important to pay attention to your body," he says. "Also, it's not wise for women to take up an unfamiliar exercise routine. Pregnancy is a brand-new sport."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Don Ramos Update

Seems as though USADA have better things to do than chase down 80 year olds who can still bend and move.

Here is an update on the 80 year old who tested positive for PEDs as reported in an earlier post. as we stated then, the evidence bears out, it is hardly worth the effort and expense. He was only doing what he always has done and it sounds like he will continue to do it. If it helps him to perform so well at age 80, when most of his peers are long dead and the majority of the rest are incapacitated, then how can it be "dangerous" or bad? I am all for a consistent and sensible testing program for elite competitors, if such can be achieved. But what is the point of testing masters competitors? Just a waste of resources in my opinion.

COLORADO SPRINGS — Don Ramos is 80. His square jaw looks chiseled from rock, and his biceps, when flexed, looks as if it swallowed a softball. He holds several weight-lifting world records for his age group and can still lift more than 160 pounds off the ground and raise it over his head.
A little over two weeks ago, though, Ramos was declared a cheat, the oldest steroid doper ever caught by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
He does not deny that he took synthetic testosterone, a banned substance. He has been taking it for 20 years, he said, with a prescription from a doctor — a practice common among aging men, even those with no competitive ambitions, to combat naturally falling levels of the hormone.
But after a recent competition in Chicago, Ramos’s testosterone level was found to be extraordinarily high, more than twice the typical reading for someone his age. He was suspended from competition for two years and did not appeal the ruling.
“Do I consider myself a cheater?” Ramos said, mulling the question. “I never thought of myself that way. I feel like I’m just keeping myself healthy.”
Doping in sports is most commonly associated with high-profile offenders like Lance Armstrong and Alex Rodriguez, superstars with bulging contracts to match their muscles. But most of the athletes caught in recent years for using steroids and other banned substances have been little-known amateurs in small-time competitions.
The list of the more than 20 athletes caught this year by Usada includes a 30-year-old player of boccia, a Paralympic sport similar to bocce; a 49-year-old Paralympic sailor; and a 64-year-old hammer thrower. Last year, a 56-year-old Paralympic archer received a warning for a doping rules violation. In 2011, three athletes in their 60s were caught.
None received the attention that Ramos did. With one urine sample, 80 years of life dissolved into a likely epitaph. But Ramos is far more than an easy punch line.
“I’ve got a good story” is how Ramos would start, again and again, on his way to detailed accounts of his life, as the son of a carousing bandleader and his dancer wife, who once hired a young girl now known as Judy Garland to baby-sit.
Ramos’s life is a Forrest Gumpian odyssey, most of it verifiable. His claim about being a well-known dance instructor in New York City leads to his quotations in a New York Times article from 1971 on the latest crazes. A mention of his stumble into modeling leads to a full-page magazine advertisement for Playboy, with a 30-year-old Ramos relaxing next to a beautiful woman in the mid-1960s. (“What sort of man reads Playboy?” the copy begins. “A guy who enjoys life thickly carpeted.”)
Ramos enjoyed life, all right, through six marriages, fortunes and bankruptcies, and, after he turned 70, a pile of world records for weight lifting.
But long before any of that was a photo in the 1952 yearbook of North Phoenix High in which he is winning a dance contest with his girlfriend, Barbara Thomason, later known as Carolyn Mitchell, an actress who had a role in Jack Nicholson’s first movie (1958’s “The Cry Baby Killer”), became Mickey Rooney’s fifth wife and was murdered in 1966.
A former dance instructor, Ramos spent 20 years working for Arthur Murray Dance Studios, eventually managing studios across the Northeast.
“If I could do anything in the world, I would give away all my weight-lifting medals if I could be on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ ” Ramos said. “I’ve always just wanted to dance.”
He befriended another Arthur Murray instructor, Sidney Craig, who later started a weight-loss company named for his wife, Jenny.
The Craigs became neighbors in the San Diego area as Ramos started a chain of women’s health clubs before going bankrupt. That led Ramos to open five World Gym locations — explaining the photograph taken with Arnold Schwarzenegger — after he moved to Colorado Springs in 1993 to be closer to the United States Olympic Center so he could pursue his latest infatuation, weight lifting.
Ah, yes. Weight lifting. With Ramos, it is easy to become sidetracked.
In the one-bedroom condominium that he shares with his 12-year-old dog, Avi, Ramos unlocked a drawer to reveal a trove of weight-lifting medals won over the last two decades.
Weight lifting was merely a retirement hobby. Ramos is about 5 feet 9 inches and 185 pounds, his muscles partly disguised under a T-shirt and shorts.
“I have to admit, I have an extraordinary body,” Ramos said. “Not for an 80-year-old. But for a 30-year-old.”
He can run and jump. (He wants to set high-jump records for his age but cannot figure out where to practice.) His face barely sags. His hair, in the mold of Joe Biden’s, is thin, white and combed straight back. He has no hearing aid and, thanks to eye surgery, no glasses. His resonant voice could do voice-overs.
His mind is quick. He drives fast. He covets younger women; his last serious girlfriend, when he was 66, was 33. Spend a day with him, and you could be convinced if someone said he was 58.
But all that, and all those stories, is overshadowed by what happened in June in Chicago, at the Pan American Masters Weightlifting Championships.
For his weight class, Ramos nearly broke the 80-and-over record of about 133 pounds in the snatch, in which competitors lift the bar overhead from the floor in a single motion. It might have been a surprise that he did not set a record: Ramos still holds world records for the snatch in three weight categories in the 75-79 age group. He snatched 172 pounds in 2008.
But in the clean and jerk, in which the bar is raised first to the shoulders and then overhead, Ramos broke the record by lifting about 161 pounds.
Ramos was immediately escorted to drug testing. It is done at international events, sparingly, mostly to authenticate records and weed out the occasional steroid suspects. Organizers are often ambivalent about drug testing; it legitimizes the event, but at some cost. The director of the Pan American event, Corinne Grotenhuis, paid $6,000 for Usada’s oversight, she said.
Ramos was watched closely as he urinated into a container and sealed it. He had been through the procedure many times and worried little about the results. He accepted his medal and a Grand Master award, for the best weight lifter among the 200-plus competitors. There was no prize money. There rarely is.
Then Ramos went home, alone, to his dog.
About a month later, he received a notice from Usada: he had failed the drug test. An out-of-balance ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone, a related hormone in the body, gave him away.
Ramos’s doctor ordered a blood test. His testosterone level on July 29 was 1,121 nanograms per deciliter — more than twice what it should have been. Ramos stopped the injections.
A month later, a follow-up blood test found his testosterone level to be extraordinarily low, signaling a range of potential problems, affecting anything from the prostate to the pituitary glands.
Ramos said he never varied his doses and could not explain the spike, or the drop.
“The average person thinks I’m buying drugs in an alley,” Ramos said. “The stigma of getting caught taking steroids — most people say, ‘Besides testosterone, what steroids did you take?’ They don’t know that testosterone is the steroid.”
This week, a bottle of testosterone sat on Ramos’s bathroom counter. He lifts weights five days a week but worries that his gym will shun him. One man there approached Ramos and addressed him as “the juicer,” Ramos said.

But Ramos vows to be back at international competitions in two years. By then, more world records may be out of reach. By then, dozens, maybe hundreds, of little-known athletes like him will probably have been caught and labeled cheaters, too.
Pretty amazing for 80 years old. he must be doing something right!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Wrestling will get makeover before Rio Olympics

Fan friendly action!
The new face of wrestling in the Olympics.

I have to admit that I was shocked and ticked off when I heard that wrestling was being dropped from the Olympics. Along with Track and Field (known as Athletics around the world), wrestling is the most ancient and primal sport on the planet. It is two competitors in the ring with no implements and no excuses. I was not surprised and very glad when the Olympic committee reversed it's decision and restored wrestling's place in this athletic festival that is supposed to have as it's motto, "Citius, Altius, Fortius" which translates in English as "Swifter, Higher, Stronger". I mean if such "sports" as ballroom dancing, beach volleyball, and softball qualify, how could wrestling be left out? Anyway, it is back in, but read the article below. It's a sad commentary when wrestling has to change it's format to be more "fan friendly". Why not just invite the "pros" like basketball does? Let the WWE become the national governing body and we are set to go. They already go shirtless and have the raised the  grand entry to an art. What will they think of next? Female track athletes competing in bikinis? On second thought, I guess we crossed those lines long ago. The Olympics is officially more about spectacle than pure athletics. No doubt now. I can only guess what changes might be made in Weightlifting in order to keep the Fortius in the games.

BUENOS AIRES – Wrestling is back in the Olympics, but its new life also will bring about a new look.
"We will change everything," said Nenad Lalovic, the president of wrestling's international federation (FILA). "The whole scenery of the venue." The red-and-yellow mat will go the way of the full Nelson, replaced perhaps by shades of blue.
"Our singlets are so old fashioned," Lalovic said. Freestyle wrestlers could wear fight shorts and a tight-fitting microfiber T-shirt. Greco-Roman wrestlers may even go shirtless.
Actor Billy Baldwin, who was part of wrestling's delegation, said he could see the change for entertainment value. "It's why beach volleyball is on for 17 hours in prime time and we're buried at three in the morning," he said.
When Baldwin asked a U.S. wrestler how she would feel about a new uniform, she told him: "I've gotta start working on my abs."
Taking the lead from the world of mixed martial arts, wrestling is thinking big and bold when it comes to showmanship. Staged weigh-ins, walk-out music, lighting, visual effects and video screen replays are being discussed.
FILA officials have had meetings with entertainment and broadcasting experts as well as potential sponsors to increase the sport's appeal.
"Of course we have external help for that because we are wrestlers — we know much, but not everything," Lalovic said with a laugh.
The changes will be rolled out gradually, but the big unveiling will be at the 2015 world championships held, appropriately enough, in Las Vegas. "Yes, the entertainment capital of the world," said Jim Scherr, who helped present the sport's bid.
But what happens in Vegas, won't stay in Vegas. "Las Vegas will be a big proving ground for the new ideas. Hopefully they'll be perfected there and then taken to Rio," Scherr said, referring to the 2016 Olympics.
Though the sport has consulted with MMA execs, don't expect wrestling to bring that sport into its fold. UFC stars frequently come out of college wrestling and there is a good relationship between the groups, but the sports are too different, FILA vice president Stan Dziedzic said.
"When you look at everything you learn as a wrestler, every rule is to be able to dominate your opponent but never to injure them," Dziedzic said.
Throughout its presentation, wrestling focused on one theme: "Wrestling is not a new sport, but the wrestling we are presenting now is a new wrestling," Lalovic said, “Though the seven months since the sport was dropped from the Olympics were stressful, wrestling emerged as a stronger sport. "The biggest value was to modernize our sport," Lalovic said. "This crisis gave us the strength to change."

Image via all-athletics.com
Track and Field would never consider altering it's uniforms or format to attract fans?
I guess we crossed that line long ago.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Minute by minute

You think these guys have a lot of time to workout? They are lucky to get in a minute here and there between saving the world and fighting crime. You can too.

I tend to agree with this article below. I would even say the same principal applies to strength training. Typically we like to warmup, do a complete workout, then get on with the rest of our life. This probably the optimal approach. However, in real life we often have to settle for less than the best situation. I have found that even 15-20 minutes is enough time to get a lift in. One lift workouts are not optimal, but can be very effective and like the principal discussed below, the effects are cumulative. Sometimes when our schedules do not allow for hours long blocks of time, or even 20 minutes, we feel like it's not worth trying to workout. Try getting in whatever  you can in a few minutes and you will be rewarded for your efforts. Even pushups and jumping squats done with intensity for a few minutes at a time throughout the day will maintain strength levels and explosiveness for a time. Bands are portable, convenient, and variable resistance that can be used in small time increments throughout the day as well. It doesn't take a lot of stimulus to maintain a decent level of strength and it can take a surprisingly small amount of time to build strength if the work is focused and intense. Don't let a tight schedule be an excuse. Like the Marines, improvise, adapt, and conquer.

A new study suggests something encouraging for busy people: Every minute of movement counts toward the 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity we’re all supposed to be getting each week. University of Utah researchers found that each minute spent engaging in some kind of moderate to vigorous physical activity was associated with lower BMI and lower weight.
OK, that seems kind of obvious. But according to the current physical activity national guidelines, "aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes," and the everyday stuff, like walking the dog or climbing a flight of stairs, "aren’t long enough to count toward meeting the Guidelines." This new paper, published today in the American Journal of Health Promotion, suggests that reaching those two and a half hours minute by minute is just fine.
“The idea here is, you can do a minute at a time and that’s not a problem,” says Jessie Fan, lead author of the new paper and a family and consumer studies professor at the University of Utah.
For the women studied, each minute spent in higher-intensity, moderate to vigorous activity was associated with a .07 drop in body mass index, a measure of fat based on height and weight. For a 5'4" woman, that means a drop in weight of nearly half a pound. The effect in the guys was a little less substantial: a minute of exercise was associated with a .04 drop in BMI, translating to a .27-pound drop in weight for a 5'8" guy. That doesn’t sound like much, and it isn’t on its own – but that’s just one minute, points out Miriam Nelson, a nutrition science professor at Tufts University who was on the committee that put together the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Multiply that by 10, or 30, or 150, and you’ve got some real results – all achieved by teeny tiny bouts of high-intensity activity.
"High intensity," Fan says, essentially means moving with a little pep, enough to get your heart rate going: it's not sprinting or racewalking, for example, but it's not ambling down the sidewalk, either.
“I think it’s easier for people to process that message,” Fan says. “Otherwise, if they don’t have a block of time they might be discouraged, and they don’t do anything.”
Fan and colleagues gathered their data using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a research program that uses interviews and physical exams to track the health of a diverse selection of American adults and children. For this study, researchers gathered the BMI and weight of 4,511 adults ages 18 to 64, and compared that to their physical activity level, which was tracked by an accelerometer, a device that measures movement.
The results, experts say, lend some numerical evidence to the idea that “every minute counts.”
“Time is precious,” says Michael Mantell, Ph.D., a behavioral science expert with the American Council on Exercise. He says the “all or nothing” approach – as in, “If I can’t work out for an hour at the gym, why bother at all?” – is an excuse that too often keeps people from doing any sort of physical activity. “This study identifies why that belief is inaccurate.”

Mantell has, oh, about a thousand ideas to put this idea into practice: You could energetically clean the house while listening to peppy music, or go outside to wash and wax your car. In the kitchen, you could chop veggies, wash dishes or stir batter by hand instead of with an electric mixer. On your way to work or while doing errands, get off the bus or subway a stop earlier than normal, or park a little farther away from the store. At home, play with your kids or grandkids, push the baby in the stroller, or walk the dog.

“The major message," Mantell says, "is to take a minute for yourself.”

Friday, September 6, 2013

How Olympic Weightlifter Should Look Like

What should a lifter look like? Well, we know that lifting and looks do not always go together. I guess the best answer is a lifter should be tall enough to reach the ground and short enough to get under the bar. But I think anyone would have to admit that Dimtry Klokov is quite a specimen and he certainly can lift. He seems to be having fun at whatever he does as well.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

80-year-old weightlifter busted

Soldier recieving weightlifting instructions.
Don Ramos teaching the Clean at Ft. Carson, CO.

Over the weekend, the news came out on pretty much all of the networks of an 80 yr. old lifter being "busted" for steroids. I met Don Ramos years ago at the USOTC in Colorado Springs when we were part of the same group who was completing the USA Weightlifting certification course. He got a late start in lifting and never competed until he was in his 60's. He was already pretty well off financially and owned a health club. He was in great shape for his age and so did well in the masters competitions as he was relatively "fresh" with no prior wear and tear or injuries. The whole idea of testing masters is really ludicrous in my opinion. What is the point of testing over-the-hill athletes who are just having fun? It would seem that the USADA has it's hands full keeping up with current crop of elite athletes. Why waste the time, energy, and money required to police elderly "athletes"? There is really nothing at stake so far as international prestige goes. So far as health goes, one would suppose that 50, 60, and 70+yr. olds would be entitled to make their own choices. The news services never specify what substance is actually being abused or in what amounts. My guess is that he was using some thing billed as a life extension hormone or something similar. Whatever.  If you stop and think about it, the whole idea that whatever Don was using is "bad" is kind of incongruous and oxy-moronic. I mean if the guy can still lift weights at 80 years of age, how can it be "bad"?
The whole premise is absurd when one thinks about it. If it can keep someone lifting heavy weights at 80 years of age, then maybe we should all be taking it.

Can you blame these people for trying? Find out who earned a spot in this hall of shame.
The agency that brought down Lance Armstrong announced a two-year suspension for Don Ramos of Colorado Springs, Colo., who tested positive for steroids while attempting to set a world record in his age group at the Pan American Masters Weightlifting Championships in June.
USADA was contracted to test at the event for athletes 35 and older. The suspension means Ramos can't compete again until July 2015.

Organizers of masters events have been cracking down on doping. Two years ago, USADA suspended nine masters athletes for positive tests, including one in his 50s and three in their 60s.