Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014–…): Season 3, Episode 17 - Doping - full transcript

John talks about Brexit and the handling of doping issues by the Olympics management and doping in general.

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Welcome to Last Week Tonight !

I'm John Oliver.
Thanks you so much for joining us.

And let us begin straight away
with the United Kingdom.

A place whose very name,
after this week's events,

is beginning to sound
a bit sarcastic.

Because the UK this week
voted to leave the European Union,

a decision
that has shaken the world.

And not in a Muhammad-Ali-
beating-Sonny-Liston kind of way,

more in a those-Ikea-meatballs-
you-love-contain-horse kind of way.

And the fallout in Britain
has been swift and significant.

The Brexit decision is off to a bit of
a rough start here in London, at least.

Stocks were in free fall.
The pound historically weak

and the country's in the market
for a new prime minister.

That's right: David Cameron
announced he would be stepping down

in the wake of the vote.

Which should make me happy
but in this situation, it doesn't.

It's like catching an ice cream cone
out of the air

because a child was hit by a car.

I mean, I'll eat it,
but it's tainted somehow.

And before, before you have
any sympathy for David Cameron,

you should know this whole vote
was his idea in the first place.

We will give the British people
a referendum with in or out choice.

Yes, Cameron proposed
the in or out choice himself,

which he does only when he's deciding
whether to fuck a pig's mouth.

And meanwhile, the Brexit vote has
boosted its two most vocal backers:

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK
Independence Party

and three time cover model
for "Punchable Face" magazine,

and Boris Johnson, a shaved
orangutan with Owen Wilson's hair.

And before and after the vote, both
men drove home a common theme.

I believe that this Thursday
can be our country's Independence Day.

Let June the 23rd go down in our
history as our Independence Day.

Okay, just, a couple of things there:
first, Britain was already independent !

It's what many other countries
celebrate their independence from !

And second, the sequel
to the movie they're quoting

opened this week, and features
the wholesale destruction of London,

which is beginning to feel pretty
fucking appropriate right now.

I'm not even sure the pro-Brexit
camp had planned on winning.

The next day, they started speaking
more carefully about their promises.

You might remember
that campaign bus, which read,

"We send the EU
350 million pounds a week,

let's fund our
National Health Service instead" ?

Here's Nigel Farage
the morning after the vote.

The 350 million pounds a week
we send to the EU,

which we will no
longer send to the EU,

can you guarantee
that's going to go to the NHS ?

No I can't, and I would never
have made that claim...

Now you're telling us !

But, it does seem that Farage will
not correct factual mistakes on buses.

I therefore would encourage Britain
to take out bus ads reading,

Nigel Farage has spent hours trying
to put his own penis in his asshole.

I presume he'll be silent about it.

And while the benefits of a Brexit
may well have been exaggerated,

the downsides could be all too real.

Prominent figures in Scotland
and Northern Ireland

are advocating for rejoining the EU.

Meanwhile, the EU
is understandably worried

about other member nations
making exits of their own,

so it may negotiate as hard as possible
to make an example of Britain.

Basically, it seems like whoever the
next UK prime minister is going to be,

whether it's Boris Johnson,
or a racist teakettle,

they are going to be in
for a rough few years.

Once they invoke
what's known as Article 50,

they have two years
to negotiate their withdrawal

and future relationship
with the EU.

They'll have to settle
outstanding bills with the EU,

hammer out new trade deals
with dozens of countries,

sift through thousands of regulations,
decide which ones to keep,

and figure out how migration
will work.

And all the while,
lives hang in the balance.

Take this Portuguese woman,

who has lived in the UK for years,
and has built a life there.

I have two daughters.

One was born in Portugal,
the second one was born in UK.

And asked me this morning, Mom,
what is going to happen to us ?

And I told them,
at this point, no one knows.

I don't know how to explain my children
what's going to happen to their future.

Perhaps I can help you with that.
Tell them they might be screwed,

because a pig fucker called for a vote,
a bus had some bullshit written on it,

and then two idiots named Nigel and
Boris quoted President Bill Pullman.

They'll get it.
They'll totally understand.

It's hard not to think that some Britons
may not have fully thought this through,

especially when you look
at some of the top search terms

concerning the EU the next day...

Some of the most Googled questions
in the UK since the polls closed...

"What does it mean to leave the EU ?"
and "What is the EU ?"

Okay, that is clearly not good.

On the list of all-time bad
morningafter Googles,

that's got to be up there with:
"Can I get pregnant from mouth stuff ?"

and "what is a swastika and also
how do you remove a tattoo ?"

At least one person who voted to leave
seems to have buyer's remorse.

I was very disappointed
about the results.

Even though I voted to leave,

this morning, I woke up
and the reality did actually hit me.

But if I had the opportunity
to vote again, it would be to stay.

You're actually in luck,
because it turns out, incredibly,

there is going to be
another vote coming up

and it's happening one week from...

Of course there isn't,
that was the fucking vote.

It wasn't a practice round !
That was it !

And as if it couldn't get any worse,

as the full impact of what Britain
had just done was sinking in,

Donald Trump turned up in Scotland
to promote his fucking golf course.

When he was asked about whether he,
the presumptive Republican nominee,

had any thoughts on the seismic events
unfolding in Europe,

this was his response.

I think it's going to end up
being a great thing

and the beautiful, beautiful,
beautiful thing is,

your people have taken
the country back.

There's something very nice about that.
And they voted and it's been peaceful.

And it was strong and very contentious
and, in many respects,

I watched last night,
it was a little bit ugly.

But it's been
an amazing process to watch.

He just said absolutely nothing.
Because, let me explain.

First he said a Brexit will end up
being great which it very likely won't.

Then he said the word "beautiful"
3 times.

Then he said "your people"
have taken the country back,

even though he was in Scotland,
which voted to remain in the EU.

Then he said, "it's been peaceful",
which it hasn't.

Then he contradicted himself by saying
it's been "contentious" and "ugly."

And then he summed
the whole thing up as "amazing".

Now, if he had simply breathed
audibly into the microphone,

the same amount of information
would have been conveyed.

Then he found a way to make
this thing about himself, tweeting:

"Many people are equating Brexit,
and what is going on in Great Britain,

with what is happening in the US.
People want their country back !"

And you might think:

"We're not going to listen
to some ridiculously-haired buffoon,

peddling lies and nativism in the hopes
of riding a protest vote into power."

Well, let Britain tell you:
it can happen, and when it does,

there are no fucking do-overs.

And now, this...

And now, the things
news anchors are scared of.

I'm a little terrified of clowns.

- I have a fear of flying.
- I'm afraid of drowning.

I'm scared of computers.

Nuns were raising me.
So I have a fear of penguins.

Number one fear is elevators.

I have a fear of two things,
mice and heights.

Sharks, I am terrified of them.

As a kid I had,
I was terrified of, of quicksand.

- I have a fear of the snooze.
- I have a fear of losing gift cards.

I have a phobia of being tickled.

- Are you scared of cats ?
- I'm afraid of adult cats.

Everything I'm reading in this
prompter terrifies me.

Moving on.

Our main story tonight
concerns the Olympics.

Otherwise known as "your
biennial reminder that NBC exists".

The Rio games
are just around the corner,

so get ready for plenty of sappy
athlete profiles like these.

Torie Bowie is a sprinter climbing
her way to the top.

Her success exceeds far beyond the
field she started on in high school.

At his childhood pool,

there's still a bench where he was
forced to sit and take time outs.

But what others struggle
to contain in daily life,

Phelps put to full purpose
when there was something on the line.

Burroughs is powered by the elemental
truth of the sport that fills his dreams.

Yes !

Those videos aren't just uplifting,
that's basically inspiration porn.

That's what a fireworks display
watches when it wants to jerk off.

While the Olympics feature thrilling
displays of athletic prowess,

they can also take place beneath the
dark shadow cast by doping scandals.

And this Olympics is no exception.

According to a report that reads
like a Cold War spy thriller,

Russian secret agents
and a mysterious Moscow laboratory

were used for statesanctioned doping.

A Russian athlete and trainer

secretly filmed drugs
being handed out like candy.

Russia accused of using
its security services, its new KGB,

to tamper with supposedly
tamper-proof bottles,

allegedly using this hole in the
laboratory wall to switch samples.

It's true. A Russian lab
used a secret hole in the wall

in an attempt
to win Olympic medals

making this the first known example
of a literal glory hole.

And, just listen to how the athletes
ingested some of the drugs.

Rodchenkov's cocktails of 3 different
performance-enhancing drugs were,

on his instructions,
washed down by athletes with alcohol

to shorten the detection period.

Chivas for male athletes,
vermouth for the ladies.

Wait, vermouth for the ladies ?
I get doping is still going on,

but I'd hoped that unnecessarily
gendered illegal products

died out with the Virginia Slims
crack pipe.

Hashtag feminism.
Hashtag crackpipes.

Russia's track and field team

is currently banned from competing
at the upcoming Olympics.

But there is nothing new.
For as long as there has been science,

people have used it
to juice the human body.

In the 1920's,
a Russian-born French surgeon

grafted thin slices of chimp testicles
into people's scrotums.

Which was obviously ridiculous.

These days, we know you need
a thick slice of chimp testicles.

That's when it starts to work.

And there's a long history
of athletes circumventing the rules.

In the 1904 Olympics,
one of the marathon runners

rode 11 miles in a car,
a move that takes balls so big,

they must've included
a massive slice of chimp nuts.

Now, as for the modern era,
while no one knows exactly

how many athletes dope,
there are some shocking hints.

One leaked survey found
that "an estimated 29 percent

of trackand-field athletes
at the 2011 world championships

said that they had doped
in the past year.

And presumably, that doesn't
even include roided-out athletes

who responded by yelling
"survey make me angry !",

crumpling it up,
and throwing it to the moon.

But the prevalence of doping
is a little surprising,

when you consider how rigorous the
testing regimes in top sport can be.

Watch what happens to one runner
seconds after she crosses finish line.

From now, until she's able to provide
a sample, two things will be constant:

water and Flanagan's
anti-doping chaperone.

The chaperone makes sure
the athlete doesn't try to cheat.

It's a bigtime buzz kill.

'Cause you're really excited
and you want to enjoy the moment,

but you've got to get focused
and get ready to pee.

Now, that, that's got to be tough.

'Cause you're probably
not ready to pee on command.

That's not what your body
is prepared to do at that moment.

It's like asking someone

to have an orgasm in the middle
of test-driving a Nissan Cube.

It's not going to be easy.
That could take a while.

If you think
it's no fun for the athletes,

it's not much fun
for the testers either.

Real Sports followed one of them
on a surprise out-of-competition test.

His task this early Saturday morning

is to collect a sample from
an elite rower named Alex Zosuls.

Alex agreed to let us film
the moment of truth.

Lowell is required to witness
and have an unobstructed view.

My God !

It's the face of a man reconsidering
every single decision he has made,

while also wishing that athlete
had not had asparagus for dinner.

Despite rigorous testing, athletes
are slipping through the cracks.

For a start, there are multiple tests
and none of them can detect

the full range of drugs
an athlete might be on,

from anabolic steroids, to EPO,
to human growth hormone,

to the most powerful
drug of all: love.

Testing it's less black-and-white
than you might assume.

There are wide variations
in biochemistry,

so to avoid false positives, testing
thresholds are deliberately high.

And athletes can dope, and
still come below those thresholds,

by doing things like "microdosing"
or using masking agents.

Those are some ways that it's
possible for top athletes to cheat,

while still being able
to say things like this.

People are smart. Do they say:
has Armstrong ever tested positive ?

No. Has Lance Armstrong
been tested ? A lot.

That is some confident lying.
Which isn't surprising.

This is a man who looked America
in the eyes and said:

"bicycling is a very cool sport"
and we fucking believed him.

The techniques athletes used to beat
the system have been imaginative.

European cyclists inserted condoms
of clean urine into their anus.

In order to conceal everything
would cover it

with "fake hair blending into
the real hair of the nether regions".

And you have to imagine that
to convince a cyclist to do that,

a coach would need to deliver
the most inspirational speech.

Do you want to be a champion ?!
Then you jam in that piss balloon,

pick up that hot glue gun,
slap on that anus merkin

and ride like a champion !

Full anus, clear tests, can't lose !
Get out there and ride !

When they have tested positive,
excuses have been more imaginative.

Dennis Mitchell insisted
his positive test for testosterone

was the result of having sex
at least four times the night before

and drinking five bottles of beer,
and if that is what your life is like,

you don't really need
the Olympics.

Other athletes
have blamed positive tests

on eating a pie made from
doped-up racing pigeons,

or eating a stew of meat and
organs from un-castrated boars.

If Wheaties is really
the breakfast of champions,

their ingredient list will now include
pigeon meat and pig-jizz.

None of that beats
my favorite excuse of all time.

Hamilton explained why somebody
else's blood was in his veins.

He clamed a vanished twin absorbed
by his body in the womb.

The court didn't buy it.

But that twin isn't vanished.
It's me.

I'm your brother, Tyler.
And my name isn't John Oliver.

It's Skyler Hamilton. And together we
are Skyler and Tyler Hamilton,

a pair of un-vanished twins.

We're both equally
good at biking.

In a way, you can see why athletes
might want to dope.

A split-second advantage
can make the difference.

There's a lot of money on the line.
There is a massive financial ecosystem

dependent on spectacular athletic
achievement in scandal-free games.

And that includes the networks,
who reap over a billion in ad sales,

the IOC, which reaps billions
in broadcast rights,

and sponsors who love using
Olympic athletes for ads like these.

To perform your best, training's
got to be a lifelong passion.

Fueled by a foot-long passion.

That's why Debbie Phelps
is always there for her son Michael,

with his favorite
fully jacked, foot-long subs.

Stop, no professional swimmer
wants a sandwich in the pool.

There is nothing more
viscerally upsetting

than a woman feeding her wet
nearly naked adult son

something called
a "fully jacked foot-long".

When you combine all the money
incentivizing athletes to get an edge,

with all the imperfections of tests,

you would hope there'd be a robust
monitoring system in place.

Some countries lack the resources
for testing, others lack the desire.

To get a sense of how compromised
the system can become,

let's go back
to what happened in Russia.

Here's how things worked. This is
a Russian track-and-field athlete.

He would compete for his national
sports federation, ARAF.

That federation would be under both
the body governing track and field,

the IAAF, and the Ministry of Sport,
part of the Russian government.

He would be tested
by his country's anti-doping agency,

send it to a laboratory accredited
by the World Anti-Doping Agency,

which receives funding from
the IOC and countries like Russia.

You can see this system
looks like a sprawling mess.

Technically, it could work,

if each step was committed
to stamping out doping.

You've seen that that one lab
had a glory hole,

and on top of that,
a recent investigation found

that RUSADA officers
accepted bribes from athletes

and gave them advance notice
of when they'd be tested.

The former head of ARAF worked with
the director of that glory-hole lab

to conceal positive drug tests
and while you would hope

the IAAF would have been
rooting all this out,

the head of their anti-doping
department was banned

for five years
after an ethics investigation.

At which point, this is all actually
making FIFA look good !

Fucking FIFA.
And they are basically just the mafia,

with slightly better branding.

There is WADA. They are supposed
to help prevent things like this.

Their investigation
got off to a rocky start.

We only have all this information
thanks to a whistleblower,

a former RUSADA employee
named Vitaly Stepanov.

He approached WADA with
a great deal of information,

but their response
was not reassuring.

He sent 200 e-mails and 50 letters
detailing what he had witnessed.

WADA told him it did not have the
power to investigate inside Russia.

At that point, WADA didn't
have the explicit authority.

That's a bit weird in and of itself.
Don't want the global antidrug agency

to have the authority
of mall cops.

Thief ! Stop or I'll be forced to...
Go straight to the food court

and grumble about your behavior into
a bag of Wetzel's Pretzels Cin-a-Bitz.

And while WADA
now has more authority,

and has appointed a commission
to investigate the Russia scandal,

their head, Craig Reedie,
sent a weirdly cozy e-mail

to an adviser to the Russian
sports minister, saying:

"on a personal level I value the
relationship I have with the minister"

"and there is no intention in WADA
to affect that relationship."

An unsettlingly chummy tone
for a regulator to take.

If Tom Colicchio promised
to judge Top Chef fairly,

but then said to one contestant:
"I value my relationship with you"

"and will do nothing to affect it",
the other contestants would think:

"This is clearly pointless, here's
a Hot Pocket, go fuck yourself."

And at this point, I'm supposed
to tell you that Russian officials

and the former head of ARAF
denied all these accusations.

Reedie says he's done nothing to
interfere with the investigations.

And his email had been misconstrued.
And, you know... Sure.

While this clearly
isn't the system we need,

it might actually be
the system we want.

Just listen to former head of WADA,
the phenomenally named Dick Pound,

who has a depressing theory

about why more dopers
aren't caught.

The machinery is all there.
Do people really want it to work ?

You can do hundreds of thousands
of tests

and then catch nobody if you
don't want to catch anybody.

- Is that what is happening ?
- People don't want it to work.

Dick Pound should insist that everyone
call him "Rick" or "Rich"

if he really wants
anyone to fully listen to him.

He wrote a report for WADA,
assessing the state of drug testing,

which found, among
the broader sports community:

there is no general appetite
to undertake the effort and expense

to deliver doping-free sport.

Which is pretty alarming.
We're treating good testing

like calorie counts
on restaurant menus.

Everyone might say they want it,

until they find out one Bloomin' Onion
is 32 million calories.

And then they are fucking done.

You might think: "why don't we
just let everyone dope ?"

That is not the answer.
That could be very dangerous,

athletes tempted to take greater
amounts to get that split-second edge.

And it could also potentially force
clean athletes to dope

at which point, you've
destroyed the integrity of sport.

If you wanna know what it's like
against an enhanced athlete

listen to Alysia Montano.

She lost at the 2012 Olympics
to Mariya Savinova,

a Russian athlete implicated
in the current doping scandal.

This was the first time Montano
allowed herself to watch the race

she lost to gold
medalist Mariya Savinova.

Montano had led the race
for about 600 meters

before finishing fifth.

Savinova passed you
like you were...

Literally, standing still.

At that moment, I realized
I'm racing against robots.

- Robots ?
- Against robots.

She's racing against robots !
It wasn't just Savinova,

silver and bronze went to a Roomba
and a roided-out Teddy Ruxpin.

When she competed against those
same athletes the next year,

it was deja vu.

Savinova blew by her in the last
50 meters to finish second.

All Montano could do was throw
herself across the finish line,

beaten, and for the first time,

I felt failed and betrayed and
I felt like my career was a farce.

What am I doing out here ?
What's the point ?

"What am I doing here ?
What's the point ?"

She's a world-class athlete
and she was left feeling

like anyone who paid for a ticket
to "Now You See Me 2".

What are we doing here ?
What are any of us doing here ?

What's the point in this ?
What are we doing here ?

We've focused on Russia,
because the details are spectacular,

but they are far
from the only offenders.

Kenya, Jamaica and China
have all had doping scandals.

American athletes have cheated.
Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay

have both been banned
for doping in the past,

yet they're still expected
to compete in Rio for the US team.

Think of doping like Putin ,
it's far from just a Russian problem,

it's something that adversely
affects the entire world.

So it feels like we have
two choices at this point:

if we truly want to clean up sports,
we should empower WADA

by making it independent
and put pressure on the sports system

to aggressively combat doping.

And if we don't really care
enough to make changes,

we should make our syrupy athlete
promos a bit more honest.

Ever since I was a kid,
I've loved to run.

My parents sometimes tell me
I could run before I could walk.

Which doesn't really make sense,
but I always believed them.

It's 5:00 and Olympic hopeful
Brandon Schmidt

has already been at the gym
for two hours with his coach.

Push it !

I've been working with Brandon
since he was eight.

I discovered him sprinting
across the playground.

That's how I used to find my runners.
Hang out at playgrounds,

look for the quickest kid,
can't do that anymore.

For Brandon, every morning,
it's the same routine.

First, I do cardio. Then, weights.

Then, just all the pills
I can cram into my mouth.

Push it.

Brandon's road
to Rio began years ago,

in a small bedroom
in Darbyville, Ohio.

When I was a kid, I had
posters of all my heroes:

Lance Armstrong, Marion Jones,
Ben Johnson, Mark McGwire

and that one guy who took a car
for 11 miles of an Olympic marathon.

I wanted to be just like them.

From those modest beginnings,
Coach Jason Clark helped fill Brandon

with the stuff
winners are made of.

Your purples. We tried
pills containing everything:

cat dick, dog dick, lizard dick,
rhino dick, badger balls,

muskrat anuses, chipmunk
fists, moose face.

A 5-Hour Energy shot
straight into his eyeball.

I put a tampon full of jet fuel
up his ass. Push it !

I got Regis Philbin to scream into
a jar and then had him inhale 'em.

All of this just to get that edge.

But even the most prepared
athlete can get caught,

and Brandon relies on Coach
Clark's strict regimen of excuses.

Go !

I fell
in a vat of liquid amphetamines.


I was walking down this dark alley
and a guy stabbed me with EPO.

Sweeter !

- I ate my twin in the womb.
- I don't believe you.

An un-castrated boar
spit in my mouth.

Plausible. I like it.

I drank 5 beers and
fucked everyone in America.

- Time !
- How'd I do ?

You're ready.

Now, with his eyes
on Rio and Olympic gold,

Schmidt is hoping his years of
hard work will finally pay off.

For me, to win in Rio, that'd be a
fairytale come true, you know ?

It'd be a Cinderella story,

but like if the slipper
didn't belong to Cinderella

and she took drugs to change
the size of her foot to fit

and Prince Charming
fell for it.

And they lived happily ever after.

That's my dream.

That's our show,
thank you so much for watching.

We'll be back July 24th,
good night !

Push it !

Push it !