If we’re to consider public opinions, we’ll see that no matter what anti-doping officials are able to achieve in their quest to minimize, or ideally to completely eradicate doping, in sports there will always be the skeptics and the cynics to deal with. This is to say that there will be sectors that view the Olympics as a sport spectacle speckled with doped-up athletes.

Since the Beijing Olympics officially wrapped up just a few days ago and as the grandiose venues begin to collect dust, there is the customary review of the events that transpired on the latest Summer Games and one of which is anti-doping programs that have been implemented.

There are those that say the small number of athletes who tested positive for steroids and other performance boosters might signify that many others were able to skirt detection. Of the 4,500 tests conducted in Beijing, only six were caught committing doping violations. Still, others are of opinion that the more doping busts is equal to more skepticism about the cleanliness of the Olympics.

According to the Sportingo article, the idea that only a few but high profile scandals have unfairly tainted the Olympics might not be completely true. It says there are many doping incidents that continually happen in diverse sports. However, since these incidents involved less known athletes they are not given widespread media coverage. Such incidents do happen “on a regular basis” and the “numerous bans of more obscure athletes only serve to re-confirm the public perceptions of the pervasive nature of steroids in Olympics and in sport.”

To further illustrate the point, the article provides this paragraph:

“Hungarian weightlifting silver medalist Ferenc Gyurkovics and Puerto Rican wrestler Mabel Fonseca were expelled from the games today after testing positive for steroids, the International Olympic Committee said. Gyurkovics, 24, tested positive for oxandrolone, the IOC said. He competed in the 105kg class and set an Olympic record by lifting 195kg in the snatch on Tuesday, but finished second to Dmitri Berestov of Russia in the overall totals. Gyurkovics was stripped of his medal by the IOC executive board. Ukraine’s Igor Razoronov will now get the silver, with Russia’s Gleb Pisarevskiy moving up to bronze. Fonseca, 32, tested positive for the steroid stanozolol.

Ukrainian Razonorov was later tested positive for nandrolone and became the sixth and last athlete to be expelled from the 2008 Olympics.

The numerous bans being issued also contribute to public’s awareness that games are tainted and steroid use is an “open secret” amongst Olympic athletes, trainers and coaches.

They train together, and share the same burden of pressure to gain a competitive edge. How many are using is unclear, but there is certainly no doubt that all athletes are conscious and aware of who is using or from whom they can get anabolic supplements or a steroid program for enhancing performance and building muscle. It is surely as simple as “asking around.”

Additionally, there is also the prevalence of systematic doping, i.e., use of performance enhancers are no longer exclusively practiced by “a single Olympic competitor… (steroid use) pervades an entire Olympic team, such as the example of the Polish weightlifting team in 2004.”

Five members of the Polish weightlifting team were disqualified from joining the Athens Olympics because they tested positive for banned substances.

This … is an example of how not only individuals but entire teams can be on steroid programs, and even sponsored by the state. This example is presented to establish that the cynicism in public perceptions of steroid use among Olympic athletes is completely founded.

Also, one may have noticed that there are many different kinds of steroids, and the fact is that as of now there may be no limit on the amount of steroids that exist, from those that have not been deemed performance-enhancing as of yet, through those that are designed to mask detection, to the ones that are already on the list of banned substances, a continuously and rapidly growing that officially numbers in the hundreds.