BREAKING NEWS: New Masters Standard in Jeopardy Due to Unusual Positive Drug Test
By Bill Winters, Affiliated Press – April 1, 2011
RICHMOND – Famed United States Masters Swimming’s (USMS) own Dave Holland has recently tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. At a morning USMS practice in Richmond, VA, Mr. Holland put in an amazing record breaking performance in a 150 yard swim consisting of a 50 yard backstroke, followed by a 50 yard breaststroke and finishing with 50 yard freestyle. His legendary and much beloved coach, Mark Kutz was on deck that morning and was quoted as saying, “I don’t care who you are, that was impressive,” when he checked his watch and noted that Mr. Holland completed the distance in 1 minute and 40 seconds. That time for the 43 and six month old Holland bettered the standard set by world famous Dr. Chris Stevenson by 1 second. Dr. Stevenson was not in attendance to see his record fall.
Earlier in the practice Mr. Holland completed the same 150 yard distance doing all freestyle, the fastest stroke in swimming, in a time of 1 minute 38 seconds. While the time is faster than the swim above, what is notable is one of his teammates, whom Dave battled in his record breaking swim, swam the freestyle distance in a time of 1 minute and 31 seconds, embarrassing Mr. Holland by 7 seconds; that crushing swim was delivered by NOVA’s own multiple record holding Kate Hibbard who is 15 years Mr. Holland’s junior. Ms. Hibbard, who challenged Mr. Holland in his record-breaking swim, remarked “it didn’t seem possible that Mr. Holland could keep up with me considering how mediocre his other swims were” throughout the practice.
Say it isn’t so Dave
So where did the miraculous turnaround come from? As it turns our both the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and the United States Anit Doping Agency (USADA) have both confirmed a positive test for….wait for it……Catnip! Dr. Jim Miller, USA Swimming Sports Medicine National Team Physician, was quoted as saying, “This is the first time we have ever seen an athlete go to such extremes to try and boost performance, and it is also the first time we have ever seen a positive test for catnip.”
Why catnip? Nepeta cataria is mostly used as a recreational substance for pet cat’s enjoyment. Roughly 50% of cats will be affected by the plant, whether it is growing in the wild or harvested and dried. Catnip has a history of human medicinal use for its soothing properties. It has also been known to have a slightly numbing effect. The plant has been consumed as a tea, juice, tincture, infusion or poultice, and has also been smoked. The numbing effect is why catnip is considered a banned substance as it might mask the pain and discomfort of an all out physical exertion allowing the athlete to perform at a level not previously seen.
When Mr. Holland was informed of the positive test he first issued a firm denial, but upon further/pressing questions he became more evasive, more defensive, acting sketchy and appeared to be lying when he offered this lame explanation: “This is clearly a mistake and an accident. If the test is truly positive, which I am not saying it is, then I must have accidently consumed the substance while I was drinking my favorite drink of tea with peach schnapps, at my favorite bar.” When pressed for the name of the bar Mr. Holland mumbled that any further questions will need to be directed to his attorney, Patty Miller. “Normally I wouldn’t touch this case with a ten-foot pole, but Dave promised to waive my entry fee for the Chris Greene Lake cable swim.” Upon further investigation we have found witnesses who placed Mr. Holland at his previously unknown favorite watering hold, Kitty Galore’s Bar & Tavern, on Rector St, near the SPCA.
Disbelief and Devastation
Reaction to the news at the national and local level consisted mostly of shock, though some professed to be unsurprised by the development, given their knowledge the alleged perpetrator.
USMS President, Jeff Moxie, “The entire USMS organization is saddened by the news that one of our own has opted down the path of trying to boost their performance by using a banned substance. We have never had a positive test in USMS and are carefully considering what sanctions should be levied against Mr. Holland.”
Dr.Jim Miller, a former president of USMS and also a former coach of Holland, added helpfully, “this never would have happened on my watch.”
Nova Master’s coach, Mark Kutz: “I am stunned! I thought his performance was simply due to one of my favorite Kutzisms, ‘To whom much rest is given, much is expected.’”
Kate Hibbard: “What a cheat! I’m not surprised at all to be honest. I mean, how can he possibly say he didn’t cheat when he was keeping up with me on backstroke of all things? Have you seen Dave’s backstroke? He barely gets his arms out straight! It makes no sense at all that he could have swum that fast in that swim when I absolutely humiliated him on the freestyle. It’s the biggest turn around performance since Floyd Landis won the Tour De France in 2006 and we all know how that worked out don’t we!”
Chris Stevenson’s attorney Heather Stevenson: “We have always had a tenuous relationship with Mr. Holland and have questioned his ability to be such a great performer when he lacks any discernable physical gifts. We are truly not surprised that he has resorted to the use of a banned substance as he has always been extremely jealous and resentful at the success of my wonderful, beautiful and naturally talented husband. We plan on filing an injunction to ensure Chris’s record is reinstated and will be filing a civil suit seeking damages of $1 billion for the fraud perpetrated by Mr. Holland.”
Billy Gaines: “I didn’t realize catnip was illegal. I find it to be an excellent laxative but don’t normally ingest it orally, if you know what I mean. The numbing effect is a real benefit, which is why I can see Dave giving it a try so he could push through any pain in giving an all out effort.”
Danielle Myers, who was seen kicking with Dave after the set: “I’m very surprised by this development. However, I will say that during the kick set I thought Dave was being overly frisky and aggressive, plus he had a somewhat crazed look in his eye with one eye looking one way and the other one looking the other. It was really weird. You know I’ve heard Dave has a reputation for knowing more women than Tiger Woods and after yesterday I might have to consider a restraining order.”
Both WADA and the USADA have indicated they will continue their efforts in finding the cheaters and in holding them accountable for this disgraceful incident.