Letters to the editor

Lettres au rédacteur

To the editor:

I feel I must reply to the letter from Richard L. Hughson (Champion, August 1980) which suggests that the use of Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) by Angella Taylor is unethical. Since the introduction of EMS in 1968,1 have seen no suggestion of impropriety other than his.

His letter goes on to reject all artificial means of training. This, by definition must include weights, harnesses, Nautilus machines, pulleys, whirlpools, heating pads, ultra sound, linament, etc. Clearly, it is impossible to combine his philosophy with intelligent training.

I am interested to note that, while R.L. Hughson of the Kinesiology department of the University of Waterloo is decrying the intrusion of science into the advancement of sports performance, Dr. David Winter of the same department of the same university is requesting $1 million to do exactly that (Sunday Star, July 20, 1980, “Computers are making athletes win.”) Perhaps these two men should get together and decide just what they want to do before we give them a million of our tax dollars.

Mr. Hughson’s reference to Angella Taylor as a “bionic athlete” is a grave disservice to her obvious talent, dedication, and plain hard work. His conclusions are not based on any scientific investigation. He has never attended one of Angella’s training sessions nor has he ever discussed her training program with her coach. Faradic stimulation is only a small part of Angella’s training program. Indeed, Angella was ranked seventh in the world over 100 m in 1979 — before ever using a muscle stimulator. His suggestion that I, and coaches in general, are unscrupulous and “have not been educated in the role of science in the betterment of athletes” is insulting.

From the scientific viewpoint, one must question Mr. Hughson’s reasoning. From the athletic side, one detects a note of sour grapes.

Charles Francis, Coach of Angella Taylor