Friday, May 21, 2010

How about a legal performance enhancing drink...

After yesterday's post about Floyd Landis and the sad state of affairs in professional sports, I received an offer that is so far into the "too good to be true" category that I had to blog about it. Before I tell you what the offer was, I should give some context.

First, I posted a link to the Wall Street Journal article on Floyd Landis' emails on my Facebook page and had several comments. In the comments, we discussed how these illegal drugs are used to boost performance and have been found to do amazing things such as increase cyclists' power output by 20%. We also discussed how athletes involved in these drugs are committing fraud as I blogged about yesterday on Fraudbytes. One of my friends that was participating in this dialogue made the following comment on his Facebook status:
"I fail to see the point of winning juiced up, legally or not. It wouldn't stroke my ego one bit knowing that I accomplished something in a morally illicit way. That would be a very distorted concept of accomplishment."
This is my take on the matter too. However, it apparently didn't come through in our conversation to at least one other who friend joined in. This friend is the same one who offered me the magic "Harry Potter" wand in February so I could benefit from the "amized fusion technology" which purportedly can cure everything from sour lemons to chronic back pain. Of course, the magic wand was marketed through an MLM that my friend is apparently associated with.

As you might have guessed, this friend offered me and my other cyclist friend (I'll call him Peter) a new drink that can do more for an athlete's performance than EPO, growth hormones or steroids do!

The claims she made were the equivalent of telling Peter and me that within weeks of starting to drink this product we could turn from decent local bike racers in the old men category to racing against Tour de France pros like Lance Armstrong or Alberto Contador. The greatest part is that it's legal too. All you have to do is start buying this amazing drink from Asea or, better yet, become a distributor and join the Asea MLM so you can get your miracle water cheaper.

A few things struck me as amazing by this discussion. First, after the revelations that Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong and others are trying to find illegal chemicals that will enhance their performance, it seemed a bit odd that someone would see this as an opportunity to offer some new chemical that does more than the illegal drugs can do but is "legal?"

Second, it never ceases to amaze me that people such as my friend will believe that the law of the harvest can be circumvented without any side effects. In other words, can I just find a drink that will turn me from a decent local bike racer to a Tour de France racer at the age of 50 and not have any side effects? Great news! And if I need to lose some weight then will you sell me some Fen-Phen too?!

Last, I find it amazing that some people are apparently willing to jump on the bandwagon of any new claim before solid evidence comes forth. For example, my friend was adamant that this product would do all that she claimed it would do because she knew of research and some testimonials of famous doctors including Max Testa and Eric Heiden that this product was all it was purported to be.

When I went to the "research," I found a report on Asea's website that used no control group, was not double-blind, has not been reviewed or published anywhere except the MLM's website and had other serious flaws. What do you expect the website to put up? A report saying that it is no better than taking a daily multivitamin?! MLMs are always making these wild claims with very little to back them. I can understand an 18 year old falling for it but this friend is in her 50s.

In any case, I hope none of you are gullible enough to buy into these bogus MLM claims that seem to rise faster than dandelions in spring! I personally, am amazed and amused every time my friend approaches me with a new one. I've tried telling her not to bother but she keeps coming back for more. If she didn't get the message this time, I'll probably be blogging about another miracle product promoted by a new MLM sometime around August.

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