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Swedish Athletes Back GPS Implants to Combat Drug Use

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the i-can't-be-trusted-with-my-freedoms-please-take-them dept.

Biotech 299

paulraps writes "Swedish athletes Carolina Klüft and Stefan Holm have proposed a radical technological measure to stop top level competitors from taking performance-enhancing drugs. Klüft and Holm, reigning Olympic champions in the heptathlon and high-jump events, argue that competitors at the highest level should either have computer chips implanted into their skin or GPS transmitters attached to their training bags so that the authorities can keep tabs on them at all times."

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Huh. (-1, Offtopic)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760352)

And I thought the camel's nose would be under the "Sex Offender" guise.

Re:Huh. (1, Insightful)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760608)

Really stupid. I can see the training bags but you can't get a transciever in the skin that can transmit to .... a satellite in space (which is what would be necessary when they train in remote areas) and even if it was just recording data points about location, these guys spend so much time indoors training if needed it's moot. Besides, since when does knowing where you are prevent you from doping.

What a stupid, stupid idea.

Current Oly athletes (and prospects) need to keep WADA abreasts of *where* they are in advance so WADA officials can show up from time to time to get a random test done.

So let us not take technology lessons from 'jocks,' k?

Re:Huh. (0, Troll)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760914)

The *really* stupid idea was even posting this on Slashdot.

This is a story that should be totally ignored.

WTF? (2, Interesting)

KCStein (1128197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760354)

How would having a position tracking device prevent athletes from doping?

Re:WTF? (4, Funny)

jsse (254124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760440)

They learn from rental cars, where GPS can track if the rent car broke the speed limit and that implies extra charge.

If the athletes was found moving at around 40 km/h all the time, they must have taken steroid.

If they're moving over 60 km/h, they must be driving a car.

....nevermind then.

Re:WTF? (2, Funny)

digitalbountyhunter (845899) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760850)

.. and if they are travelling at 16000 km/h, they must be flying a scramjet.

Re:WTF? (1)

h3llfish (663057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760558)

Yeah, this is the dumbest idea ever, and this article was not worthy of posting... anywhere!

Oh wait. Better RTFA before I say that... hold on...

From TFA: "That way everybody involved knows where we are at all times and can find us for tests"

Oh. That's how they get out of test? By going AWOL?

This still doesn't prevent use of unfair substances... they just keep inventing new drugs. You can't test for something that didn't exist yesterday.

Re:WTF? (2, Insightful)

davetpa (1109467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760652)

You can't test for something that didn't exist yesterday.
You can if you collect and store samples forever. For example, no good test exisits for HGH. So, people are proposing taking samples from all MLB players, in the the hope that a future HGH test will exist. That way, you have an effective deterrent now, and you hopefully can humiliate cheaters later.

Re:WTF? (1)

h3llfish (663057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760688)

Interesting idea. I wonder if it's economically feasible? How often do you take samples? How much blood do you need?

Also, is it even wrong to use a substance if it's new, and therefore not yet illegal? It certainly violates to spirit of the rules, if not the letter.

I guess I'm just a cynic, but I think that doping is here to stay, and there isn't much we can do about it.

Drug testing is the DRM of meatspace - there's always a way around it.

Re:WTF? (1)

davetpa (1109467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760724)

Interesting idea. I wonder if it's economically feasible? How often do you take samples? How much blood do you need?

Also, is it even wrong to use a substance if it's new, and therefore not yet illegal? It certainly violates to spirit of the rules, if not the letter.
You could probably make it reasonably inexpensive by doing it randomly, but at least once per year for each player. And, using HGH is *definitely* against the rules right now, so they could say that it is banned, and there may be future tests. Then, as new substances come out, they can say, "All samples taken after today may be tested for substance X."

Re:WTF? (1)

sound+vision (884283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760972)

You may be able to humiliate cheaters later, but by that time they may have already completed their career - humiliate them all you want, they still played the games and they still have their millions.

Ridiculous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760374)

How is that going to stop anyone?

Re:Ridiculous! (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760978)

Accuse every athlete that enters a back ally of any city in the world of being a user. Solved, sure it's not fair but most of the methods to combat drug use aren't either.

Stupid Scientists (2, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760388)

Man, when are those stupid Scientists going to come up with a technological substitute for honor?

-Peter

Re:Stupid Scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760406)

it is no better than some of the other research they are performing on monkeys, rats and elephants [ripway.com]

Re:Stupid Scientists (1)

Faylone (880739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760480)

parent is a false link, seems to be the new cousin to pests like bitefight

Re:Stupid Scientists (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760446)

Man, when are those stupid Scientists going to come up with a technological substitute for honor?

Hey, it's a hard job. How can they come up with a technological substitute for an idea that might have been completely illusory to begin with?

Re:Stupid Scientists (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761354)

All "ideas" stemming from human emotion are the product of evolved psychological instincts, which are all "imaginary", but likely to be important nonetheless.

Your disgust at killing babies is every bit as imaginary as your resilience in withholding your own desires because of your vow to serve the betterment of society in some way (i.e honor). Evolution explains everything.

Re:Stupid Scientists (2, Informative)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760594)

Taking steroids IS honorable!

With steroids, everybody is equal and has a sporting chance, so anyone can have 165 IQ and be athletic. It really only comes down to the willpower and determination, not what set of genes you have. What's wrong with that?

Otherwise, activities such as bodybuilding would be impossible (without steroids) for most normal people, since their genes will not allow them to starve and build up muscles at the same time.

Re:Stupid Scientists (4, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760992)

steroids have significant side effects and damage your body severely if used long term. To compete in professional sports should not require everyone to burn the candle at both ends.

Come up with performance enhancing drugs that don't have long term side-effects, then we can talk about allowing them in sports.

Re:Stupid Scientists (2, Insightful)

Allison Geode (598914) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761202)

honor in sports is dead, all thats left is the ability to sell yourself. without your picture on a wheaties box, without a nike shoe named after you, or a flavor of bubblicious that bears your name, you are nothing.

Sport is dead (1, Insightful)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760394)

Sport truely is dead if that is what is required to keep it even somewhat honest. It is fairly obvious that level of competition is nowhere close to being honest anyways.

Compare to Babe Ruth (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760582)

Compare the modern cheating athletes to good old Babe.
He made all his home runs, etc. while drinking and whoring, and looking like a fat pig.
Most of his home runs had to have been made while he was dealing with a massive hang over.

Now Barry Bonds has to lower the pitcher's mound, shoot up, and use mechanical assists to score as much as Babe.

Put an asterisk next to Barry's name and move on.

Re:Compare to Babe Ruth (2, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760866)

Maybe so, but Babe Ruth was probably hitting against pitchers who were also mostly whoring drinking fatsos, while Barry Bonds hits against his fellow steroid gobbling supermen. So it all evens out.

Re:Compare to Babe Ruth (1)

rwyoder (759998) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761304)

He made all his home runs, etc. while drinking and whoring, and looking like a fat pig. ... Now Barry Bonds has to lower the pitcher's mound, shoot up, and use mechanical assists to score as much as Babe.
Which kind of "scoring"?

Re:Sport is dead (4, Insightful)

Butisol (994224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760618)

The phrase "I lost my toe while hunting for raccoons behind the trailer park" is also acceptable English. It just says something about the person who uses such a phrase.

Re:Sport is dead (2, Interesting)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760950)

It's rare that I can stand watching olympic sports. I mean, the difference between first and second can be a hundredth of a second! To me it's ridiculous sitting through events that are won and lost by insignificant amounts of time. An athlete could sneeze and lose that much time.

Then you've got sports that measure style (diving, ice skating) and are just crying out to be biased. I won't even mention the scandals and corruption.

I love that athletes put such devotion into their sport, but the whole olympics thing is just off-putting.

Philip J Fry reporting for duty ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760398)

I guess they never heard of a delivery boy for drugs

Why do we still care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760412)

Who cares about drug use anymore? They're allowed to consume 4000 grams of concentrated whey protein, creatine monohydrate, all sorts of pill-form vitamin supplements, and work out in million dollar, highly specialized, un-natural gyms to hone their ability to perform this physical task.

But we're resorting to GPS tracking to prevent the slight possibility they might use a hormone? Pissing in a cup should be "good enough," given the importance of the physical task.

Re:Why do we still care? (2, Interesting)

dykofone (787059) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761300)

You know, I kinda follow your logic, and want it carried out to the full extent. Let's have two sets of athletes. First, the "cup-pissers," a group of archaic old fogies who demand that we only have athletic events that mimic our ancestors hunting abilities as they run around in loin cloths. And second, the "glory-of-human-potential" category, where they are allowed to take absolutely whatever strange chemicals they desire, have neural implants overriding pain receptors, and hell, even replace their heart with a Plutonium powered mirco-turbine.

And let's just guess which group gains more notoriety and fame...

Fucking swedes.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760420)

Religion of peace my ass... why do they always try this shit?

Voluntary slavery (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760428)

Stop this crazyness! No amount of olimpic gold medals worth loosing freedom. Stop offering being slave in order to be eligible to collect some reward.
Why are people so eager to go back to voluntary slavery?
Slavery is forbidden for good. Stop dreaming about it.

Re:Voluntary slavery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760536)

Have you ever met an Olympic athlete? Most of them are completely fucked in the head in the first place, so it's not surprising they'd suggest something like this.

When I was in college, I worked with a sociology professor who researched athletes of that caliber. I assisted with about eighty interviews of Olympic athletes from the various sports. Out of those eighty, I can think of only two who seemed reasonable and down-to-earth. The rest were obsessed with their sport, and being the best at it. They were willing to do virtually anything to get the Gold, even if it meant dying soon after.

Re:Voluntary slavery (1)

davetpa (1109467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760604)

You just convinced me to give up playing WoW and collecting epics!

Masturbation's a better hobby (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760762)

Trust me on this.

Re:Voluntary slavery (1)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760768)

Remember, this is Swedish athletes. Europeans don't seem to be as uptight about freedom and rights as Americans (pretend) to be. Just look at the UK: surveillance cameras everywhere, DNA drag nets whenever there's a violent or sex crime in a neighborhood, etc.

Re:Voluntary slavery (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760886)

Some of us are not pretending.

Re:Voluntary slavery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760962)

Some of them aren't either, but you say it like it means something..

Re:Voluntary slavery (1)

ZDRuX (1010435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760792)

I was just going to say that entire societies and civilizations have fought with blood to free themselves from being slaves by tagging them, and here you have some ignorant fools WISHING it upon themselves.

Re:Voluntary slavery (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761116)

Why are people so eager to go back to voluntary slavery?
It's called discipline (with shackles), and they are completely free to do so.

Why not just resort to shiteating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760434)

I've got a better idea. If an athlete at that level is caught taking performance-enhancing medications, the other athletes in that sport get to take turns shitting in the offender's mouth. For most people, that would be a great incentive not to cheat.

And if the offending athlete is a poo fetishist, the other athletes will instead just shit into a toilet like normal, and the fetishist will be forced to watch the pristine, tasty shit get flushed away.

Re:Why not just resort to shiteating? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760738)

And if the other athletes were taking performance-enhancing drugs the one that got caught might get an overdose.

Cure is worse than the disease (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760436)

Ok, so we know that if some athletes get to take steroids, all the others might have to just to keep up. And that would be contrary to human flourishing. So we don't want any of them to take steroids.

But this plan is even more contrary to human flourishing.

Why stop 'em? (4, Interesting)

Wansu (846) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760444)

Why not create a "modified division" for those who take performance enhancing substances?

Re:Why stop 'em? (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760512)

Because in some countries, the athlets wouldn't take them willingly. They're simply "convinced" that it's better for their health. Or that of their loved ones.

Iraq (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760662)

Remember that Uday Hussein (Saddam's son) put the Iraq Olympic runners in a wood chipper (feet first) because they under performed at the Olympics.

Re:Why stop 'em? (4, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760684)

You mean like this??? [youtube.com]

Re:Why stop 'em? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760796)

Why not create a "modified division" for those who take performance enhancing substances?
How do you make ensure athletes are taking such substances in a "healthy" manner?
What do you do to prevent abuse? Regulations? Blood testing? If you limit athletes to a "safe" dosage, you obviously will have those who try to take more to gain an edge.

Banning performance enhancers is only partly about keeping the playing field level. A lot of it has to do with keeping the athletes healthy and safe. East Germany was very strong from the 60's (when steroids were first being used) through the 90's in the Olympics because they were using steroids like crazy. During the investigations of the East German trainers, you may recall having heard about all those ubermensch whose hearts and organs are giving up on them because of their steroid usage.

Not to mention that we have zero clue about the long term effects of all the designer performance enhancers that are being cooked up today.

Re:Why stop 'em? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761066)

How do you make ensure athletes are taking such substances in a "healthy" manner?


You don't.

Not to mention that we have zero clue about the long term effects of all the designer performance enhancers that are being cooked up today.


Well... this is one way of finding out.

I think Red Dwarf touched on this idea. Soccer teams were starting to put on players who had obviously been genetically enhanced, so they booted them out into their own league, which buried normal Soccer in a year, and only ended when one of the countries (Scotland?) put on a player who was a 8ft wide hunk of flesh, completely obscuring the goal (but still failed to qualify for the third round)

Re:Why stop 'em? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760808)

Just wait 'til we get real cyborgs, ala "The Six Million Dollar Man". There's a "modified" division for you.

Monitoring. (3, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760450)

GPS-style monitoring is just silly, there are many ways to continue doping in spite of being monitored in that fashion. It won't be effective unless the device could detect and monitor levels of dope in the bloodstream, in real time.

In Soviet Russia Analogy (1)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760628)


In Soviet Russia, performance enhancing drugs find you!!

Tracking the athletes with GPS won't do diddly squat with couriers, and the post delivering them to their homes.

"Performance enchancing drugs? When have I had the time to buy that, between the 8 hours of training I do a day in the gym and the 8 hours of ebaying I do at night!"

Re:Monitoring. (1)

J-1000 (869558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761112)

GPS-style monitoring is just silly, there are many ways to continue doping in spite of being monitored in that fashion. It won't be effective unless the device could detect and monitor levels of dope in the bloodstream, in real time.
And regardless, it's silly to be taking the countermeasures so far. Doping is bad for sports, but violating too many civil liberties to counteract it is even worse. These are human beings, not race horses.

Re:Monitoring. (1)

iktos (166530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761330)

GPS monitoring is to be able to FIND them at all times, for tests. They're already supposed to be available for testing at any time, so this is to reduce the number of excuses when someone isn't where they were supposed to be.

The real idiocy here (1)

Butisol (994224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760456)

Governments actually use tax dollars to subsidize parasites whose amazing contribution to humanity is to jump over a f**king pole. Outstanding.

Re:The real idiocy here (0, Flamebait)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760910)

Governments actually use tax dollars to subsidize parasites whose amazing contribution to humanity is to jump over a f**king pole. Outstanding.
Hey, who modded the above "Troll"? Seriously, people act as if athletics are more than just a stupid pointless game. WHo cares if they cheat? None of it means a damn thing!

Re:The real idiocy here (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761314)

I care. I love sports, I watch sports and I play sports. I care if my opponent is cheating. God forbid that people do or watch something that is fun and makes you feel good. So what, it's fun and it makes me feel good.

Things will change. (4, Interesting)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760458)

A few years out we're going to be watching athletic events that *highlight* the mods. ("Fred Bloggs is using corpuscles engineered at Georgia Tech that guarantee his ability to sprint for 15 minutes without having to take a breath.")

This whole bias against tech augmentation is getting me down. The sooner we embrace it, and the more we embrace it, the longer we'll live, and with higher quality of life.

Hell, we ought to be giving awards to people who volunteer to test exotic human enhancement technologies right now.

Re:Things will change. (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760516)

Then why not just remove humans from it totally.

Re:Things will change. (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760874)

Kind of exactly my point.

Olympic athletes are already waaaaaaaay outside the main flow of humanity; why not set them free, and then take advantage of what they generate?

Re:Things will change. (4, Interesting)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760804)

This brings up a number of new problems:

1) Do we mix the cyborgs, mutants, and chemically-enhanced athletes together or have separate leagues?

2) Will there be a "research capital cap"?

3) If a player's arm lands in the stands, does someone get to keep it?

Re:Things will change. (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760890)

Yes.

No.

Yes.

I appreciate your concision.

(OK. OK. ;^))

All Drug Olympics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760464)

Might as well go to All Drug Olympics.

The Experts SAY that drugs don't work so let us find out.

If I were an athlete (1)

GregPK (991973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760466)

I wouldn't mind, so long as it was a temporary thing, and it had a few rules attached.

-GPS and data are encrypted for no fussing.
-All data is logged and downloaded via cable rather than transmitted.
-the data couldn't be collected by any news agency and if it was collected by unapproved methods it cannot be used without paying the athlete 100k up front with no less than 2 days notice. Only 10k with 30 days notice.
-Data would only be accessible only by key people on the olympic comittee and a few handpicked people,
- They would be under strict rules not to release data on the whereabouts of any athlete without unless it was absolutely necessary for proving conviction. If proven in giving out data without following rules. Fines of up to 10k per day of data given will be assessed.

All fines cannot be erased by bankruptcy and can be embellished from your check. The only way to bypass fines is if you get unamious pardoning from olympic comitte.

Then, I could see the possibility of having a GPS in my gym bag.

Re:If I were an athlete (1)

super_geek_1234 (1205690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760872)

Dude, please understand that this whole RFID activity is just a scam to justify why some folks should get implanted.
Also, nomatter how you think the accumulated data should be used, monitored, regulated, etc ... there will be sombody with different perspective who can think-up some other use for the data.
Finally, monitoring folks will not accomplish the original purpose (of keeping them from performance enhancing drugs they may already have, or others can get for them, or can arrive in the mail).
Conclusion, this is a bad idea that will certanly lead to the dark side.

Juicer's Olympics (1)

rsteele19 (150541) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760478)

I've always figured professional sports should be like auto racing. Whereas they have separate stock car, modified and Formula 1 categories, the sports world should have separate substance-free and substance-allowed events.

Control Group Trial (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760488)

This was trialled in Switzerland with the control group giving some very interesting results [dwarfurl.com] [wikipedia.org]

Parent is a lying myMiniCity Troll - link is wrong (1)

arete (170676) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760822)

Parent is a lying myMiniCity Troll - link is wrong.

That link is dwarfurl to myMiniCity - wikipedia is a lie.

mod them to negative a zillion, please.

Re:Parent is a lying myMiniCity Troll - link is wr (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760902)

No, you're the troll [myminicity.com] , troll. Parent is not a troll it's a valid url. Myminicity does'nt even look like that.

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760490)

I hear that other atheletes support maturity and trust to combat drug abuse.

Thank you Sweden for increasing the police state.

really bad idea (5, Insightful)

Raisey-raison (850922) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760532)

This is a really bad idea. This is where it starts - with Star athletes. Then people wonder about dangerous criminals (ie after they have completed their sentences). Then it moves to children (to keep them safe). Very soon it no longer is a 'choice'. You can't keep your job without it. And eventually it becomes mandated by law. When some private company knows where you are 24/7 it's certain that if the government wants to know, it will easily be able to find out (especially now due to the patriot act). Imagine - no more cops using radar to give out tickets. They can do it from a central computer.

Then the chip might be able to monitor a bit more about you. What level of hormone x or y, diseases or how oxygenated your blood is. They could figure out your mood. What's next? Perhaps a feedback loop. If hormone x is too high get the chip to release an electric signal. You insurance company might drop you if they don't like your lifestyle as measured by the chip. Child custody dispute...go look at the data from the chip. Then I am betting some people who remove their chips be criminalized for doing so.

Beyond or the legal uses will be the illegal ones. People hacking into the database to plan the perfect robbery or the perfect blackmailing.. Or the FBI abusing its powers to snoop anyway.

The worst part about it is that it is so unnecessary. Some athletes do drugs. Big deal. They are hurting themselves. Perhaps hurting professional sports. Are we going to sacrifice personal liberty to ensure the integrity of professional sports. And please don't give me 'its for the children'. If we followed that excuse every time we would end up with a police state and no freedom.

Re:really bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760622)

i have mod points right now, and wish that there was a +1 batshit crazy goddamn

No need to go tinfoil hat ... just go with cancer. (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760646)

There is no need to go all tinfoil hat regarding implants, just go with real news that suggests there may be a cancer issue.

"Earlier this month, it was reported that some lab animals implanted with chips developed cancer and sarcoma. Other possible adverse effects include tissue reactions, migration of the implanted chip, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) incompatibility, electrical hazards, infection and even compromised information security."
http://www.news-medical.net/?id=30061 [news-medical.net]

Re:really bad idea (1)

TeraCo (410407) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760788)

"This is where it starts"??? Has there -ever- been a case where something like this has started in the past with elite atheletes?

Re:really bad idea (1)

DeadChobi (740395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761040)

No, but only because we have not had the technology to track people 24/7 with implants in the past.

I gotta admit... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761144)

This is where it starts - with Star athletes.
... in every tin-foil hat, slippery slope fantasy I could come up with, not one of them started there.

Re:really bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21761350)

This is a really bad idea. This is where it starts - with Star athletes. Then ...
Do you think that's air you're breathing? The inevitable result of technology is that all of our information and whereabouts and lifestyle and moods and eventually even thoughts will be easily observable. The only question worth asking is who will have access to this data.

Do we share data openly and live in a 'peer pressure' society, or live in a corrupt and dysfunctional one where only the few can access this kind of 'personal' data? Either way is going to suck, but the fully open one probably sucks less.

I hate this kind of crap.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21760542)

...because I bet all Olympic athletes carry their gym bags everywhere they go. Why not just require more drug tests? Its not like people getting steroids are going to a place with a big sign saying steroid clinic. They are getting this stuff at home or where they train hence no unusual patterns for getting the injections. I find it sad that we are talking about implanting tracking chips in people to make sure they don't lie.

Maybe reconsider that idea (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760544)

How long do you think it will take for the media to learn how to get that data? Do you really want to read in the next sports news how your training plan looks like, down to the question how often and for how long you sit on the pot, and how many times you had sex last night (and with how many partners)?

horse hockey. chain 'em to burly, nasty guards (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760562)

who came to the games with another country's team.

that'll take care of alerting if the athlete dopes up.

Who's next (1, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760572)

after Athletes

Kids in school?

People in prisons?

Any one who does not vote the way the TPTB want them to.

Cops?

People in the army?

Re:Who's next (1)

garphik (996984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760830)

But, who will guard the guards ?

Problem with modified athletes ... priorities (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760576)

Getting results now is a higher priority over the medical consequences later. Owners and agents will pump athletes full of god knows what and how much just to make a buck.


If the athletes and the athlete's union want to cover 100% of those consequences then so be it, but I should not have to pay for Barry Bond's liver problems caused by steroid abuse.

Re:Problem with modified athletes ... priorities (1)

NEOtaku17 (679902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761404)

You don't have to pay for Bonds' liver. He will pay for it with his health insurance. Unless of course socialized medicine advocates get their way. Then you will pay for athlete's liver problems and my vegan neighbor will pay for Micheal Moore's heart problems. That's fair, right?

What's a heptathlon? (1)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760678)

Seeing how much you can damage your liver through competitive drug use?

[posting from my new OLPC! Woohoo!]

Er, we can't actually do this yet. (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760680)

We can't actually build a small implantable GPS yet. Passive RFID tags, yes; GPS receiver with uplink, no.

Well, in theory you could build a pacemaker-sized device powered by a nuclear battery [orau.org] , but that would take major surgery to install, and approval from the FDA and DOE.

Re:Er, we can't actually do this yet. (1)

LinEagle (1180795) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760802)

We are talking about Sweden. I'm afraid the FDA and the DOE lack jurisdiction due to the minor problem of sovereighty [wikipedia.org] .

Yes, there is a world outside of the USA!

Re:Er, we can't actually do this yet. (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761414)

What do you think all those "alien abductions" have been about?

Lock'em up (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760780)

Why not keep them locked in their training camps between events and transport them to and from the shows^H^H^H^H^Hcompetitions under armed guard?

Is it worth it? (2, Insightful)

kissaki (1205692) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760824)

The question a human being needs to ask is whether the glory and rewards of competing fairly in a sport is worth the special treatment as a caged animal. You could argue that even now professional athletes are not owners of themselves and their image, but this would seal the deal wouldn't it?

Sports? (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21760982)

What is this "Sports" thing I keep hearing about? Is it some new FPS?

Delivery. (1)

das_magpie (1149995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761030)

I am sure drug dealers do delivery.

Fail. (1)

digitalbountyhunter (845899) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761038)

Sport = Entertainment Doped up Athletes performing extraodinary feats of endurance, skill and precision without getting caught = Entertainment Athletes getting caught = Entertainment Who cares if they are doping? There are 60 Gazillion Business Men and Woman who go to work each day doped up. Noone wants to put GPS on them, and these are the people looking after business - not athletes.

Moving the problem != solving the problem (1)

Titoxd (1116095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761048)

So, athletes will be supervised via GPS to see whether they go to a steroids lab or not. Big deal: athletes will not go to the labs to get the cream or the clear any longer, but they will now get doped from the comfort of their own homes. The GPS transmitter won't know whether they are watching TV or watching a needle being stuck into their arm...

It won't work -- and could backfire (3, Insightful)

Arrogant-Bastard (141720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761060)

Obvious point first: knowing where someone is doesn't tell you what they're doing. They could be watching TV in their basement, or they could be watching TV while getting a blood transfusion. And so on. (And the training bags? Easy enough to have someone else transport them around while the owner is elsewhere.)

And using such a technique could open up vulnerabilities, as in "Hmmm.... Johann is not in his assigned room in the team dorm at the Pan-Am Games, so this would be a good time to plant the syringes there." I'm sure some creative thought will reveal other possibilities.

More generally though -- and I speak as someone who's competed at the national level and served on my sport's national board of directors -- everyone (including the IOC) knows that there's no way to stop anyone from doping if they're sufficiently careful and sufficiently clever. The tests just can't keep up with newly-developed methods, and the boundaries between legitimate medications (e.g., anti-sting kits for those who risk anaphylactic shock if stung by an insect) and performance-enhancing drugs are often blurred.

The best clues are often available to coaches and other team staff, who have detailed performance data on all athletes and should be able to spot anomalies. However, they don't have much motivation to share these observations -- with anyone. Which is why one of the things that needs to happen is that the governing bodies for each sport need to emphasize doping detection by coaches as much (or possibly more) as they do results production...and that means "put it in their contracts".

And those of us who watch sports need to do something as well: we need to lose our winning-is-everything, second-place-means-losing mentality. (That includes the media, by the way.) That attitude fuels a number of unpleasant trends in sports, not just doping. We need to keep in mind that the reason athletes go to events like the Olympics is not to win -- but to participate. When we show the same respect and admiration for the effort of the last-place finisher in the 10K, or the basketball team that loses by 50, or the skier who falls, as we do for the gold medal winners, then we'll have done our part to remove part of the motivation/temptation that drives doping.

A few problems that should be obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21761114)

First, this wrong. I think doping is wrong, but this is worse.

Second, this is technically infeasible. Even if there were such a thing as an implantable GPS chip, it still, generally, wouldn't work indoors, in tunnels, underground, in really bad weather, etc.

Third, even if you did know where they were all the time, that wouldn't mean anything. They could get their drugs delivered to a friend, who would hand them off in social situations, and the drugs could be used in public restrooms or similar locations. Everyone has to pee.

Quite simply, this is a terrible idea.

yes yes yes! (2, Funny)

binarybum (468664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761188)

i don't care what anybody says. I think this is the most best idea ever, and I can't think of anything wrong with this idea at all and it will work perfectly and no sportspeople will ever use drugs everagain and BarryBonds will never hit another homerun for the baseball team. And I will be able to login to a website - probably www.wherearetheathletes.com (and you bet it will be dot com and not dot org because only the gay people use dot org and it is not okay to put gps in them.... yet) and watch where all of my favorite squashball players are not buying drugs superimposed on google (tm, evilcorp dot com) maps!!
  Pedro! where the fuck are you?! come refill my crack-pipe!

Libertarians Beware (3, Interesting)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761190)

These people are free to choose to restrict their own freedoms. If they want to do this, who are we to try to stop them?

Extra Special Olympics (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761270)

No, these athletes may be fast and strong, but they're not that smart. We don't need Big Brother stopping every athlete from doing drugs, or anything else unscheduled. What we need is an Extra Special Olympics, with mandatory drug tests to qualify for admission. To pass, the tests must come up positive.

Drugs, hormones, electroshock, implants/transplants/bionics. Death row inmates offered freedom for victory, so long as they've got artificial enhancements.

That league will have the highest scores, the most exciting competitions, the most blood and ripped off limbs left on the playing fields. And so the most viewers, and therefore the most advertising revenue.

All the athletes willing at all to take drugs (or maybe just cheat) will be drawn off into the Extra Special Olympics.

And the straight ones, who are in a different game entirely - measuring the raw power of homo sapiens talent pushed by the will to win into training within a hair of their lives - will have the traditional leagues all to themselves. It will be totally fair. And a lot more entertaining.

Let the games begin!

Can we do this with our politicians? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21761440)

After all, if anyone should be ordered to live in a Big Brother world, it should be high-level politicos.

On second thought, let's just scrap this idea altogether before it gains any traction.
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