Sports and Performance Enhancing Drugs (Doping)

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Sports and Performance Enhancing Drugs (Doping)

Postby BSharma » Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:02 pm

At the suggestions of David and mugu we will start a thread on this topic.

Here are a few links with useful information about this topic.

How Performance-Enhancing Drugs Work by Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.
This web site provides information about How Performance-Enhancing Drugs Work, Why Some Athletes Use Drugs, Building Mass and Strength, Increasing Oxygen in Tissues, Masking Pain, Stimulants, Relaxants and Weight Control, Masking Drug Use and Testing Athletes for Drug Use

IAAF Anti-Doping website
It lists The IAAF Prohibited Substances List 2004, IAAF Procedural Guidelines for Doping Control, Athlete Training Schedule Declaration, etc. A must-read for coaches and international level athletes.

Drug Use in Sports
Last edited by BSharma on Sat Mar 27, 2004 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sports and Performance Enhancing Drugs (Doping)

Postby BSharma » Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:24 pm

Andre Agassi said that doping in men's tennis is "nearly an impossibility" two days after he participated in the ATP doping task force's first meeting.

"We test so often - I got tested 20 times last year, Federer 23 times, Andy 20 times - we test so extensively that we've absolutely removed the possibility of somebody taking drugs to obtain a strategic advantage," Agassi said.

ATP dope cheating nearly an impossibility: Agassi

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Postby mugu » Sat Mar 27, 2004 8:21 am

Thanks BS for starting this thread.
As for Agassi saying that it is a near impossibilty, well, this is what we thought of in the case of so many sports, so many sports personalities. But then there is always a way. The discovery of THG by American dope analyst and pioneering doctor, Dr Catlin, showed that people are always making newer concoctions to beat the system. This is not to suggest that professional tennis is utilising such methods. Maybe maybe not. To suggest that something is impossible since you get tested so many times during the course of the year is rather simplifying matters. Professional athletes and swimmers must be getting tested almost as many times and yet we do get reports of positives once in a while. The name of the game is ``how to beat the system'', the other name is ``how to catch the culprits''.

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Sports and Performance Enhancing Drugs (Doping)

Postby david » Sat Mar 27, 2004 9:22 am

Thanks Bhushanji.

Yes, athletes, swimmers and lifters get tested more often than tennis players or say cricketers.

I think every top-8 athlete has to give an optional test every month and Anju Bobby says she has to give three addresses to the doping board and whenever she leaves these places she has to inform them. In the last six months she has given random tests about eight times. And it mandatory before and after every meet like they do it for new medal winners.

But still athletes find ways to cheat...

Yesterday, two of the Indian footballers for the SAF games tested positive. They are being replaced. One is the goalkeeper.

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Postby mugu » Sat Mar 27, 2004 10:44 am

I would slightly differ with David here. Agassi, Federrer and Roddick might still be a higher number (in testing) than the athletes and swimmers. I would like to retain ``almost as many times as'' tennis players. At the highest level tennis must still be higher than athletics and swimming. (Far ahead of weightlifting which must be right at the top of the doped sport alongside powerlifting, body-building and cycling). An Agassi could perhaps be compared to say a Paula Radcliffe or an Ian Thorpe in terms of number of tests. Still Agassi should be slightly ahead. Twenty-plus a year is very high, almost an average of twice a month. There Agassi is almost right when he says it will be very difficult for anyone. But then not all the players in tennis, within the top 200, get tested 20 times a year. Even if they do, there must be methods to avoid detection. If at the lowest level of doping perfection, that is at the Indian athletics/weightlifting level they are avoiding detection, at the highest levels anything might be possible. Unless, out of competition testing comes into the picture.

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Sports and Performance Enhancing Drugs (Doping)

Postby BSharma » Sat Mar 27, 2004 8:23 pm

Here are some of the problems relating to doping:

1. Drug cover ups by National sports bodies to protect their elite athletes.

2. When independent drug testing organizations find an athlete to be a abusing drugs, sometimes the national governing sports bodies have defended the athletes and reinstated their bans (e.g. Javier Sotomayor of Cuba, Marlene Ottey of Jamaica, Linford Christy of Great Britain, Mary Slaney and Dennis Mitchell of USA, etc).

3. Some performance-enhancing drugs are undetectable by the present testing methods.

4. IOC and other sports bodies are still not serious about doping. In USA the National Football League, the NBA and Major League Baseball are perfect examples of not adequately penalizing their offending athletes.

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Postby mugu » Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:51 am

Here are some of the problems relating to doping:

1. Drug cover ups by National sports bodies to protect their elite athletes.

That is precisely what goes on India, with tacit support from Governmental agencies. A serious effort at doping was started sometime in 1997-98 (there were haphazard attempts through the 70s and 80s, but nothing of the scale that was mounted for the 1998 Asian Games) especially in athletics. A foreign expert was brought in and the results justified the means: Indian athletes bagged 15 medals including two golds compared to no gold in a tally of just three medals at Hiroshima. (India had just one kabaddi gold in the Beijing Asian Games.)
By the time the 2000 Olympics came, doping had come to stay in Indian sport. Not just in athletics but in weightlifting also in a big way. The lifters were taking something or the other earlier also (Subrata Paul), but by 2000 Olympics it was scientifically managed. We will not go into what happened to the lifters in the Sydney Olympics. But the athletes failed. Failed miserably at that. The foreign expert was sacked after the Olympics, but he had shown the way and it was only a matter of time when others were appointed. The Busan Asian Games once again brought to the fore the success of a dope-driven Indian athletics. Though there was an effort to stop the practice immediately after the Sunita Rani scandal hit Indian sport, soon things were back to `normal’. Dope was no longer anathema. Now, every year Indian athletes go to Ukraine. Why Ukraine? No one has an answer that is logical. At the NIS, Patiala, they do have foreign experts who prescribe `medicines’ for `recovery’. Your can guess the rest.
A stage has come when no one who follows the sport of athletics closely, believes that a performance in Indian athletics is genuine, barring perhaps those of of a couple of athletes. The federation closes its eyes to the reality around it, if not abetting in the practice. The Indian Olympic Association is busy bidding for multi-discipline games. Otherwise it takes ad hoc measures in order to please everyone or fool everyone. It conducted dope tests in the 2001 National Games in Punjab, found at least 19 positives and then refused to act stating that it was an ``experiment’’. The Sports Authority of India talks about taking various steps to combat doping just to fool the international agencies since a WADA accreditation is pending for the lab in Delhi and the Govt is yet to sign the WADA Code. The same lab is used to monitor the drug-intake of athletes/weightlifters. If they do test `positive’, then they are quietly kept behind. `Accidents’ do occur as it happened with Krishnan Madasamy and Satish Rai in the Commonwealth Games and Sunita Rani in the Asian Games.
At the political level there is neither the will nor the time to tackle this growing menace that should sooner than later cause immense harm to the athletes not to speak of India’s image in the international forums.
As long as the results are coming in major meets, the SAI is happy and so too the Government. Occasionally, like it happened with the National Games in Hyderabad, the Govt wakes up, pulls up people; questions are asked in Parliament. But then quickly we are back to square one.
Being the Olympic year there is a whole-hearted doping programme going on, first towards Olympic qualifying marks and then towards success in Olympics. Invariably, the first target is achieved while the second remains a dream. The reasons are not difficult to understand.

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Sports and Performance Enhancing Drugs (Doping)

Postby BSharma » Wed Apr 21, 2004 4:47 am

mugu, India is not alone in protecting the athletes.

World 400m hurdles silver medallist Sandra Glover, sprinter Chryste Gaines, Eric Thomas and Christopher Phillips tested positive for the stimulant Modafinil. These four were stripped of their results at the respective events but the American anti-doping agency decided not to bar them from competing in the 2004 Olympics. The stimulant is the same one for which world 100m and 200m champion Kelli White tested positive at the championships last year and is likely to be stripped of her titles.

Modafinil was classified this year as a serious stimulant carrying a two-year ban by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

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Postby mugu » Wed Apr 21, 2004 7:13 am

BS, it gives me no consolation that there are other countries protecting their athletes from the dope-testers. Surely, there are, especially in the ex-Soviet republics, ex-Communist bloc, surely a few East Asian countries, some Arab countries, why even in our neighbourhood, and now, we know, in the USA as well. Of course there must be hundreds of others as well. Take the case of Brazilian long jumper Maurren Maggi. She tested positive for steroid last year and has since been cleared by her National federation, stating that, of all things, a hair-removing cream which she used contained the steroid!!!
The argument `everyone is taking it’ is the base on which dopers flourish. ``There is no international athletics without dope; there is no international weightlifting without dope.’’ That is the kind of argument that dope-takers and dope-givers trot out in our country. Yet, we have to fight, if we believe that doping is cheating.
But then let us look at the cases of Sandra Glover and others. If I understand it right, all these cases were from last year, a majority from the US National championships. There is no way the USATF, the USOC or the USADA can bring in a ban on any of these athletes. Modafinil was not listed in the IAAF banned list at that time, though Kelli White was `caught’ on the argument that it was a `related substance’. Assuming that it was a related substance to another stimulant, the punishment is only `disqualification’, meaning strip them of their medals, and `warning’.
Stimulants attracted no suspension under the rules prevalent till December, 2003. Now they do, barring exceptions. Modafinil will be one of the stimulants that could get an athlete a two-year suspension. Not all international federations have agreed to it (for having a uniform suspension of two years for all doping offence except for certain substances, eg. Ephedrine) and we will have to see how they pursue the debate on this rule. The new code came into effect from January 1, 2004.
Thus, even if the USADA wanted, they could not have banned Glover, Gaines and co from the Athens Olympics. (the British Olympic Association is perhaps the only body_I would like to know if there are others_ which has a rule that bans an athlete for life from participation in the Olympics in case he or she tested positive. That rule is being challenged in court now by several athletes, possibly by Dwain Chambers as well in due course).
Even in India, we do have examples of athletes who were stripped of their medals/placings but were not banned since there was no rule to ban them: shot putter Bahadur Singh in an Asian Grand Prix meet in 2002 (he went onto win the Asian Games gold), several other athletes, Ramandeep Singh, Sukhjinder Singh, Maha Singh, Hridayanand Singh in the 2002 National Games in Hyderabad (all stimulant violations). Earlier, Seema Antil, our World junior medallist (in Kingston), had tested positive for pseudoephedrine in the World junior championships in Chile, but was only stripped of her (gold) medal and not suspended. (By the way, pseudoephedrine and caffeine are no longer in the banned list now.)
No matter how we look at it, the USADA and the USOC have brought in some transparency in the anti-doping control measures in recent times. That is why the Jerome Young case has been re-opened, though the rules/law look to be on the athletes’ side.
My contention about Indian doping was 1) There is rampant doping here and no one seems to care, 2) the Government is using the SAI lab for screening purposes to shield them from WADA etc rather than for catching the dope-takers, 3) the federations/SAI are happy as long as medals are coming.
If we adopt the attitude that ``we have to protect our dope-taking athletes, give them the best of dope, provide them with the best of scientific back-up,’’ then only God can help our sportsmen and our sport.

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Sports and Performance Enhancing Drugs (Doping)

Postby Dhruv » Wed Apr 21, 2004 7:53 pm

Maybe I should try and contact Dick Pound on the issue and see what he has to say. Since he did confer me my degree etc and works at my alma mater off and on maybe I can get something from him. I'll try to contact him when I have some more time on my hands. :)

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Sports and Performance Enhancing Drugs (Doping)

Postby BSharma » Thu Apr 22, 2004 4:59 am

mugu, I wrote about the US athletes and drug use not as a consolation for the Indian athletes but to show that it is widespread. The National Sports bodies try to protect their athletes on "technicalities" but drug abuse by any name is drug abuse. Unfortunately the athletes are made to think that the short term rewards far outweigh the long term consequences, and the sports officials and coaches get away with murder.

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Postby mugu » Thu Apr 22, 2004 5:47 am

Indeed, BS, I knew that is what your intention was. Yet, I just wanted to state what I thought of this general argument about ``everyone'' taking drugs. A majority of the countries do lip-service, the others turn the other way, some collude, some others take action on select athletes if only to fool the general public. Things are changing, thanks to the tough stand that WADA has adopted. But things have to change drastically. Like, Britain does not want an independent anti-drug agency and wants UK Sport to continue with the task of dope control. Someone the other day asked, quite pertinently, whether the agency that is to ensure success of elite sportsmen in Britain should also be entrusted the task of dope control. Isn't there a contradiction? The same contradiction is there in India. SAI, willy nilly, is the dope control agency, pending the formation of a National Anti Doping Agency. The same SAI is to ensure that we get medals in Asian Games and Olympic Games. As for countries and National federations colluding, the practice has been there for years, pre-1991 Communist bloc etc. But things are changing; at least they seem to be changing. The USA, rather unwittingly, might have taken the lead by cracking the BALCO network and pursuing several other cases. China had already done a lot of work in this regard, maybe because they were getting ready to host the Olympics or they did not want to give the impression that their medals were dope-tainted. Nothing of the sort has happened in India. And the doping menace has reached very alarming proportions.

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Postby mugu » Wed Jun 23, 2004 2:55 am

See post below. The HT links pasted here led to an error. Had to delete.
Last edited by mugu on Wed Jun 23, 2004 3:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Sports and Performance Enhancing Drugs (Doping)

Postby mugu » Wed Jun 23, 2004 3:19 am

Despite so many things happening on the doping front, this thread has been dead for two months.
Here is something to re-activate the topic:
Both articles appeared in the Hindustan Times, both by their Chandigarh correspondent, Navneet Singh. Can't get the right links to the paper's website.
The first story (link from elsewhere):
http://209.41.191.254/cnn.cfm?id=120358&category=Sports&Country=INDIA
The second story:
How athletes hit new highs in no time
Navneet Singh
Chandigarh, June 19

You may not have heard of Chitra K. Somen, but this athlete took just nine months to achieve what PT Usha didn't manage to do after several years of practice.
She shaved four seconds off her 400 metres time. In September 2003, Somen clocked 55.14 seconds over the distance. By June this year she had registered 51.05.
In contrast, Usha, arguably India's greatest athlete, was never able to improve her time beyond 2.3 seconds-and she took nearly six years getting there.
Somen's dramatic improvement should be good news for Indian athletics — or the worst news possible. The circulation of a 'drug chart' among Olympic probables (reported exclusively in HT) has cast a shadow on every performance. Somen isn't the only athlete who's running out of her skin. Manjit Kaur and Rajwinder Kaur (400m); Harwant Kaur and Seema Antil (discus); Amritpal (long jump) have taken quantum leaps in their own disciplines in an improbably short time.Now, questions are being asked whether these times and distances have been achieved through regular practice or by using the banned substances prescribed to the athletes at the camp.

The charts that went with the story:
Chart-booster
Progression made by PT Usha in 400m
1983 Asian Athletics Meet - 54.20 seconds
1985 Asian Athletics Meet - 52.62
1986 Asian Games - 52.16.
1987 Asian Athletics Meet - 52.31
1989 Asian Athletics Meet - 51.90
Progression of 400m (female) in the Asian Games
1974 gold medallist clocked 55.08
1986 gold medallist clocked 52.16
1994 gold medallist clocked 51.17
Progression of 400m (female) in domestic meets in 2003
Manjit Kaur (Punjab) clocked 53.73 in Bangalore (July)
Chitra K Somen (Jhd) clocked 55.14 in Bangalore (Sept)
Rajwinder Kaur (Punjab) clocked 54.67 in Patiala (Oct)
2004 Domestic Meet in Chennai (June 16)
Manjit Kaur clocks 51.05
Chitra K Somen clocks 51.30
Rajwinder Kaur clocks 51.57

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Sports and Performance Enhancing Drugs (Doping)

Postby mugu » Wed Jun 23, 2004 3:32 am

I seem to have made quite a mess of pasting stories. If there are double posts, pardon me!
The HT stories on dope:
http://209.41.191.254/cnn.cfm?id=120358&category=Sports&Country=INDIA
The follow-up
How athletes hit new highs in no time
Navneet Singh
Chandigarh, June 19

You may not have heard of Chitra K. Somen, but this athlete took just nine months to achieve what PT Usha didn't manage to do after several years of practice.
She shaved four seconds off her 400 metres time. In September 2003, Somen clocked 55.14 seconds over the distance. By June this year she had registered 51.05.
In contrast, Usha, arguably India's greatest athlete, was never able to improve her time beyond 2.3 seconds-and she took nearly six years getting there.
Somen's dramatic improvement should be good news for Indian athletics — or the worst news possible. The circulation of a 'drug chart' among Olympic probables (reported exclusively in HT) has cast a shadow on every performance. Somen isn't the only athlete who's running out of her skin. Manjit Kaur and Rajwinder Kaur (400m); Harwant Kaur and Seema Antil (discus); Amritpal (long jump) have taken quantum leaps in their own disciplines in an improbably short time.Now, questions are being asked whether these times and distances have been achieved through regular practice or by using the banned substances prescribed to the athletes at the camp.
The charts:
Chart-booster
Progression made by PT Usha in 400m
1983 Asian Athletics Meet - 54.20 seconds
1985 Asian Athletics Meet - 52.62
1986 Asian Games - 52.16.
1987 Asian Athletics Meet - 52.31
1989 Asian Athletics Meet - 51.90
Progression of 400m (female) in the Asian Games
1974 gold medallist clocked 55.08
1986 gold medallist clocked 52.16
1994 gold medallist clocked 51.17
Progression of 400m (female) in domestic meets in 2003
Manjit Kaur (Punjab) clocked 53.73 in Bangalore (July)
Chitra K Somen (Jhd) clocked 55.14 in Bangalore (Sept)
Rajwinder Kaur (Punjab) clocked 54.67 in Patiala (Oct)
2004 Domestic Meet in Chennai (June 16)
Manjit Kaur clocks 51.05
Chitra K Somen clocks 51.30
Rajwinder Kaur clocks 51.57


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