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Does CrossFit Have a Drug Problem?

 
Morning Chalk Up

July 13   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • CrossFit now finds itself at a critical juncture with steroid use
  • Backfill athletes for CrossFit Games share mixed feelings
  • The Bottom Line breaks down CrossFit’s banned substance chaos
  • Larger bodied athletes line drops via Born Primitive
 
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“We have, I fear, confused power with greatness.” - Stewart Udall

 
CROSSFIT GAMES
  OPINION: Does CrossFit Have a Drug Problem? 

OPINION: Does CrossFit Have a Drug Problem?

The use of steroids, performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), or banned substances is nothing new in the professional world of sports. Pro athletes who “pop hot” usually take one of two routes in handling a positive test and subsequent ban and/or fine. They either:

  1. Immediately come clean, apologize and serve their sentence, or
  2. Plead innocence – that the result was due to something they’d ingested unknowingly, and are thus appealing.

Bans are rarely overturned, and after a positive test, the damage is usually done: if you test positive, it stays on your permanent record, staining your reputation in the sport forever. Positive test results are usually treated as isolated incidents as it’s common to see drug suspensions in any one of the four major American sports (the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB) on a regular, recurring basis. The problem with steroids in professional sports is there is a line between isolated incidents and a systemic issue that needs addressing, and it seems CrossFit has stepped up to the doorstep of having to face a legitimate drug problem.

Major League Baseball’s steroid debacle hit a fever pitch in December of 2007, when now former US Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell issued an incredibly damaging report commissioned by the league itself that implicated more than 80 players for using PEDs, which included more than 30 All-Stars and seven MVPs. Some of the players admitted to using banned substances, some stood firm, and the game got a permanent stain cast upon it.

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SPEED READS

In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, was live yesterday for a show which featured a number of guests commenting on CrossFit’s growing steroid issue, including 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games runner-up Patrick Vellner.

Two more: Both Brazil’s Pedro Martins, and Kuwait’s Nasser Alruwayeh have also taken to Instagram to reveal that CrossFit has emailed them and told them they have tested positive for banned substances.

Great story: Excellent piece and video in TODAY about how a mom not being able to lift up her daughter who had childhood cancer, helped her undergo a physical transformation. 🥲

Amazon Prime Day: Today is the last day of the online sale and we’ve got you covered with any CrossFit related scores you can get on the website, which we have been updating.

 
CROSSFIT GAMES
  Austin Spencer and Nick Mathew Share Mixed Emotions on Backfilled Path to the CrossFit Games: “I thought my season was over” 

MEMBER EXCLUSIVE

Austin Spencer and Nick Mathew Share Mixed Emotions on Backfilled Path to the CrossFit Games: “I thought my season was over”

Nick Mathew was mopping floors alone in his affiliate when he got a call from CrossFit revealing there had been a violation from the men’s field at the Granite Games, and there was a possibility he would qualify to the CrossFit Games through a backfill invitation. He was advised to return to training with more information to follow.

  • “They told me to put down the beer and pizza and get back to my training,” he laughed.

The phone call came just one week after Mathew earned 4th place in the Last Chance Qualifier, stopping his season short for the second year in a row.

“Luckily,” he said, “I had already been keeping up with training anyway.” After receiving results from the Last Chance Qualifier, the CrossFit Minnetonka owner and head coach gave himself two days off before he went back to training with the goal of hitting a few off-season competitions later this year.

  • “I want to go to Wodapalooza again, and give Dubai a run,” he said. “So I kept up my training. All of a sudden [CrossFit] messages me, and here we are.”

For Austin Spencer, it may take a little grease in the wheel to get going again. “I wasn’t doing any training,” said the Atlas Games athlete. “I thought I was in my off season.”

  • “Until now, it was relatively rare for an individual athlete to [test positive for performance enhancing drugs], especially from a regionals or semifinals competition,” said Spencer. “So I really thought my season was done.”

Spencer was at home when his wife and fellow Games athlete, Caroline Spencer, called and told him to check Instagram. “I didn’t really understand what was happening…it took me a minute to read Nick’s post and digest it all and understand what it all meant, that I could potentially be going to the Games.”

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CROSSFIT GAMES
  Austin Spencer and Nick Mathew Share Mixed Emotions on Backfilled Path to the CrossFit Games: “I thought my season was over” 

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INDUSTRY
  Born Primitive Releases Women’s Training Apparel for Larger Bodied Athletes 

Born Primitive Releases Women’s Training Apparel for Larger Bodied Athletes

Close to two years ago, Athena Perez took to Instagram and started a campaign on her We Belong in CrossFit page challenging CrossFit apparel companies to create extended sizes for larger bodied athletes.

“Several companies reached out, including Reebok,” said Perez, the owner of Scaled Nation CrossFit, an affiliate dedicated to training larger bodied athletes.

But nothing came of it.

That is, until Mallory Handlon, the co-founder and owner of the apparel company Born Primitive, saw the campaign and realized she had a decision to make.

“Athena was kind of calling us out. I could take that two ways. I could be defensive and make excuses on why we don’t do this, or I could be like, OK, let’s fix it,” Handlon said.

Continue Reading...
 
CROSSFIT GAMES
  Guessing Games is Back. Can You Predict the Top Five at the 2022 CrossFit Games? 

Guessing Games is Back. Can You Predict the Top Five at the 2022 CrossFit Games?

Starting August 3rd, forty men and forty women will square off for the title of Fittest Man and Woman on Earth. But before the competition kicks off, we’re giving you a chance to get in on the action and see how well you can predict which athletes are going to take the top spots.

The details: From now until Tuesday, August 2nd at 11:59 PM PT, you can play Guessing Games and predict the order of the top five men and women at the CrossFit Games for a chance to win a mega prize pack, including:

  • $1000 Reebok Gift Card
  • YETI Hard Cooler, Backpack, Tumbler, and Mug
  • FITAID Fridge and Six Cases of FITAID Beverages

How to enter: 

  • Head over to Morningchalkup.com/guessinggames
  • Select the male and female athletes you think will finish in the top 5 in the exact order they will finish.
  • Fill out the tiebreaker score.

The winner will be announced after the conclusion of the CrossFit Games.

 
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SUMMER DESSERTS.
 
HIGHLIGHTS

Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.

  • 🎂 Happy birthday, Chandler Smith.
  • 🍼 Congratulations to Breona and Brandon Wallin on their pregnancy announcement.
  • Ricky Garard put up a new snatch PR.
  • 😱 Mike Catalanello from Ruston, LA repped out back squats at 495 pounds/225kg followed by a back-flip.
  • Lena Richter and Ingrid Hodnemyr from Team CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue took a girls day to compete together in the CrossFit Kvadraturen Summer Showdown and took home first place.
  • Congratulations to CrossFit Invictus team member Devyn Kim on her 310 pound/141kg back squat.
 
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1/21 - 1/22: Modena Challenge: Beginner and Master (Modena, Italy)

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