As a veteran of eight knee surgeries (6 due to infection) I can relate to Clarence somewhat. However, I completely disagree with a few of the things he mentioned. First, he (as well as myself) both wrecked our knees from doing a large voume of strength exercises, especially the back squat. Westerners in this sport seem to be obcessed with how much they can squat, even when the analysis shows that they have very little corellation to competition lifts. Second, we all seem to want to get strong at the expense of practicing the skill of weightlifting. If you watch the many YouTube videos of Ilya Ilin training, he seems to pay very little attention to squats. Yes, he does heavy weights, but not much volume, and instead spends a vast majority of his time on the lifts. Compare his training to the Russians, who spend a huge amount of time on strength exercies. In the past two years, Aukhadov,Maligov, Okulov, Akkaev, and Belagov all had back injuries or surgeries. Something is wrong there. Since my surgeries, I’ve kept my squatting to a minimum and focusing almost entirely on the skill of doing the competition exercises. My knees no longer hurt, and I’m lifting more than before the operations, even though I’m triaining more frequently (every day). I think the “Bulgarian” three lift system with an extensive focus on the lifts is most effective and results in fewer injuries. Great interview. Just my two cents.
Obviously this is quite a difficult issue, doping in general. I don’t think it can ever be eliminated or even significantly reduced. That being said, I still think we should try. In my opinion, we should continue to fight for that very unrealistic dream of “natural athletes”. I’d love to see what humans are really capable of, even though many would rather go back to an era of Blagoevs, Zlatevs, Suleymanoglus etc. And as for today, we should at least not give preferential treatments to anyone. Every time I hear a British/American low tier lifter whine about the “mighty, roided Russians” or shit like that my stomach turns. Like they’re fuckin clean. And people hate on the exceptional Russian lifters calin them out, while praising Xiaojun and Ilya, who are obiously doped af. It ain’t right.