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Athletes Bigger Than Ever

Due to doping? We soon won't be able to find out - Athletic superstars, in all sports, are getting bigger and bigger. And if they take drugs to increase their muscle size and strength, it will may become impossible to catch them at it in the future. A physician who recommended 25 years ago that Olympic athletes be tested for blood doping now says it will be almost impossible to catch cheaters at this summer's Olympics.

Dr. Tapio Videman says, "My understanding is that there is no way to detect in the human body the newer gene-technology products. Why is this not brought up? Most of the athletes know it. Either we change the methods of testing for this substance or give up testing completely. I never thought I would change my views so much."

While watching swimmers line up during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, former Olympic swimmer and NBC Sports commentator Rowdy Gaines remarked that swimmers keep getting bigger, with the shortest one in the current race towering over the average spectator. What he didn't know was that a new theory has indeed showed that not only have Olympic swimmers and sprinters gotten bigger and faster over the past 100 years, but they have grown at a much faster rate than the normal population. While the average human has gained about 1.9 inches in height since 1900, the fastest swimmers have grown 4.5 inches and the swiftest runners have grown 6.4 inches.

Researcher Jordan Charles collected the heights and weights of the fastest swimmers (100 meters) and sprinters (100 meters) for world record winners since 1900. He then correlated the size growth of these athletes with their winning times. He says, "The trends revealed by our analysis suggest that speed records will continue to be dominated by heavier and taller athletes."

Is this due to doping? We soon won't be able to tell.

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