For those who have read my stuff in the past know I am a fan of Natalie Newhart. Ever since that fateful moment at the CrossFit Games a few years ago when she couldn’t budge the deadlift weight in the final event – I have been a fan. Since she is local to Colorado it made being a fan for me even easier (I like rooting for the home teams …except the Broncos). When she whooped Andrea Ager at the Turkey Challenge at MBS a few seasons ago – even bigger fan.
Then she got caught doping by CrossFit.
She has/had one glaring weakness – her strength. But she is a little girl. Sort of like Chris Spealler. There is only so much weight you are going to be able to lift when you are naturally about 5 feet tall and weighing in around 120 pounds (is what I imagine her stats were before she started getting yolked). Spealler is only going to be able to lift so much, so is Newhart. There are guys and girls with bigger frames that will support more weight. I don’t think that has anything to do with your level of fitness. I think any weighted event should be based on body weight, not same weight for each athlete no matter how big or tall. Of course that then would open up the bag of worms for the bigger athletes doing body weight movements.
Anyway, on to the point…
There is a fairly big local competition coming up in Wyoming that many athletes will travel to compete in from surrounding states: the Wyoming Open. Today in a local Facebook Affiliate group this article was posted: Despite Ban, Newhart Allowed to Compete at 2016 Wyoming Open.
I have no problem with this. Especially if she isn’t going to be on the leaderboard or have a chance at winning any money. If she just wants to compete and feel that rush, fine by me.
What I do have a problem with is that no other athletes are being tested. Now, I don’t know 100% that they aren’t testing, but I can’t imagine they are. I doubt the really big national competitions like WZA and the Granite Games are testing athletes much less a competition out of Wyoming. So if you are not testing any other athletes how is it fair to punish one that was caught cheating by another organization? What’s to say she hasn’t stopped using for months now and is clean? And an even better question – how are you so sure that other athletes competing are NOT using? If they haven’t sniffed Regionals for CrossFit then they are not being tested. And I have to think that there are a LOT of CrossFitters using PEDs. It’s no different than that meathead at the globo gym curling 100 pounds and has a back covered in acne.
You’re being blind if you think only the top level athletes are using. I would guess that the percentage of local competitors using is higher than the percentage of those that make Regionals in CrossFit. There are probably more guys and gals using supplements that can be purchased online at these local competitions that have long been banned in “professional” sports (I put professional in quotes because I still find it hard to believe that athletes who compete at the CrossFit games are professionals when many have to raise money just to pay for their travel to get to the games).
So, to let Newhart play is great, but to single her out as a “cheater” when you aren’t verifying that no one else is “cheating” is not fair.
Let her play and let her win whatever she can until you are sure you have a fair playing field.