Doping in sports

The fragility of mexican athletes

Lupita Gonzalez is the mexican run walker who faced a suspension due to a positive result for 'trenbolone'

Run walker Lupita Gonzalez
Run walker “Lupita Gonzalez” / Twitter
Dana Miranda Dana Miranda

The Olympic Games are the goal of every high performance athlete, the mere fact of being able to be among those selected to represent their countries is already considered a dream. Despite it is goal that´s not easy to reach and where discipline, commitment and sacrifice are the commandments of each training session. To win Olympic medals implies rejecting the most mundane joys and sometimes this leads athletes to fall into human temptations.

“The ego is high and the easy way is tempting,” said mexican Olympic coach, Rafael Martinez, during an exclusive interview. Doping, a subject still considered taboo among members of the sports environment, but pursued and punished by anti-doping organizations around the world.

“The use of drugs in sport is cheating”, Martinez stated, without hesitation, as the definition marked by the Real Academia Española is only an “extension” for the term ‘cheating’, or this is how the coach himself expressed it. Doping has existed since the birth of sport, that is a maximum reality. However, the questions begin when an Olympic medalist accuses the National Commission of Physical Culture and Sport of her own country of being corrupt.

Olympic Games
Olympic Games / Unsplash

The doping case of Lupita Gonzalez

Guadalupe Gonzalez is the most outstanding Mexican walker in the world of athletics for her excellence and is widely known as “Lupita Gonzalez”. Her first approach to the sport began with boxing but close influences led her to race-walking, where she quickly began to stand out until achieving a silver Olympic medal in Rio 2016.

Subsequent to her remarkable performance and when all eyes were on her, on the morning of December 18, 2018 the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) released a positive result for ‘trenbolone’ in a doping test. This spiral of the fall that the mexican athletes has experienced has only prolonged over the years, because at the same time that the previous Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were approaching, the eyes did not take long to turn to Lupita Gonzalez and her current coach Esteban Santos.

“The first sentence was a 4-year suspension, so we wanted to get to Tokyo” confessed, Esteban Santos, for a publication of  ‘El País Mexico’. After the defeat, is not something that Lupita knows, because despite being punished by the WADA the mexican continued with her exhausting training.

Months later her first sentence, Lupita did not stay with her arms crossed and began a legal process to defend her innocence. To this day, the athlete and her coach strongly deny the use of narcotics for her outstanding performance.

Case follow-up

During this first process, she did not get her four-year suspension lifted and even after her appeal in 2020.  The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) charged her with tampering and falsification of documents, which resulted in the athlete being given four more years of sanction. With this last sentence, Lupita Gonzalez and Santos had to say goodbye to Tokyo 2020 and also Paris 2024.

 Lupita and her team accuse CONADE and her first two lawyers of “incompetence” and “corruption”. The athlete insists that she ingested meat contaminated with ‘trenbolone’ and that is the reason for the result of the anti-doping test.

Popular opinions label Lupita as a ‘cheat’ and a ‘liar’, and few believe in the strength of her allegation. “The doping is present in this case, the food with contaminated meat is a fake story,” said coach Martinez.

“It would take an excessive intake of infected meat,” said sports doctor Oscar Miranda, giving validity to Rafael Martinez’s opinion. Different media and people from the sports world consider that Lupita Gonzalez is currently involved in a web of lies that can no longer be sustained.

Doping is cheating

“This is where the visor should be activated,” Martinez affirmed. Doping continues to infect the roots of what is sport, but not only that, but little by little it is gaining ground and if this is not addressed promptly, it will become a public health problem. Although not only mexican athletes have fallen from the sky due to the use of narcotics, doping does not distinguish between countries and unfortunately, it is present all over the world.

However, in the world there are only 35 anti-doping laboratories and for the massive amount of athletes this number ends up being absurd.”Sport moves with money and doping becomes a social issue, but above all, of power,” affirmed, Coach Martinez. The interests are not only in politics and wars between countries can also be seen as sports competition.

“I was not punished for doping, I was punished for lack of character”, declared with tears, Lupita Gonzalez to the mexican newspaper “El Milenio”.

Doping in athletes
Narcotics in doping / Unsplash

Dana Miranda

Estudiante de Periodismo. Interesada en el mundo de la moda editorial y aspirante a trabajar en Condé Nast.