Michael Phelps’ iPod Behind His Gold Medal Run?

This sounds like a scheme you might hatch when all other options have been exhausted (and it’s painfully obvious that you have absolutely no chance of legitimately winning a gold medal): Accuse Michael Phelps of iPod doping.

Michael Phelps' iPod

Wait, what?

That’s exactly the argument several “scientists” are making based on research that included forcing lab rats to don headphones and swim laps in a miniature pool*.


Did you notice that Michael Phelps wears earphones and is listening music just before his every Olympic start, at Beijing’s Olympiad Water Cube pool deck, be it finals or semifinals? … Phelps removed earphones 2 minutes before the start, and he was the only swimmer who worn earphones at the pool deck. Intriguing scientific evidence testifies: Listening to music improves blood oxygen capacity and is a performance enhancement.

Or so believes Dr. Alexei Koudinov, editor of the Doping Journal. He’s not alone, though; Stefan Koelsch of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences says thatmusic can have influences on the breathing rate (e.g. via emotional effects such an increased arousal) which will alter oxygen levels in the blood, or relaxing effects (so that fewer muscles consume oxygen, which also increases oxygen levels).”

Translation: Color Me Badd can be very, very good for your gold-medal chances. Apparently, research on human infants shows that music causes them to run faster than those infants deprived of Bryan Abrams’ sultry voice.

Or, alternatively, maybe Michael Phelps is the best swimmer in the world. Plus, unless cranking up the iPod prior to a race is a right reserved only for Phelps, I’m not sure how he’s cheating.

Not only that, but unless something has changed in the last few hours, IT’S NOT ILLEGAL TO LISTEN TO MUSIC — unless the Beijing Olympics have been magically transported to that small town in Footloose.

* slight exaggeration of testing methods