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time  Tuesday, September 30, 2014 06:47
Steroid Sources

Mar 31 2012

UK Law Allow Athletes to Use Steroids despite Zero Doping Goal in London Olympics

UK aims for zero doping athletes in 2012 London Olympics but existing laws is weak when it comes to buying anabolic steroids The UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) and the IOC vowed to catch all doping athletes in the 2012 London Olympics. Thousands of athletes from different nations will be tested using state of the art laboratory plus the use of new testing methods to detect human growth hormone. The increased number of blood testing and implementation of other anti-doping measures in the Summer Games will surely put some athletes at a high risk of being caught if they are using banned substances.

Weak Laws on Buying and Using Steroids

However, there is one problem for the host country. A recent report from a UK media revealed that the country has a loophole in its current laws when it comes to the use and importation of anabolic steroids. Experts say that this will affect the efficiency of the Olympic organizers to totally eradicate the use of performance enhancing drugs in the Olympic Games.

The law prohibits the importation of anabolic steroids if it is for sale and distribution. But if an individual bought it for personal consumption, it is not illegal. With this, some professional athletes may still be allowed to import or buy anabolic steroids as long as it is for their personal consumption. Olympic athletes may also bring in to the country this PED without being apprehended by the authorities.

Anti-Doping Agency’s Solution

Since the UK government has no plans of amending the existing law, anti-doping officials will instead intensify the implementation of the anti-doping laws. Target testing could be initiated if an Olympic athlete is suspected of using any banned substance.

A strict collaboration with the Border control agency will also help them catch doping athletes. “UK Anti-Doping has a two-way exchange of information with the border agency to ensure that information about athletes and support personnel can be used to identify trends and patterns and build up anti-doping rule violations,” according to a UKAD Intelligence officer.

The Sports Minister also said that they will be pushing for a 4-year ban on doping athletes. Under the WADA code, athletes who were caught using steroids, EPO, HGH or any other prohibited substance will only receive 2-year ban from the sport.

CAS on Lifetime Ban

The British Olympic Association and the WADA are both waiting for the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sports regarding the issue of lifetime ban on doping athletes. The WADA contested the existing policy of the BOA which prohibits sanctioned athletes from competing. Two elite athletes from the country are expected to be benefited from a favorable decision from CAS. They are sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar. A sports analyst estimated that there are at least 800 athletes around the world who will be competing in the London Olympics but had been suspended or sanctioned before for taking steroids or other banned substances. But for the BOA, they wanted a lifetime ban.

In an interview, David Millar said that every athlete should be given a second chance. “People do make mistakes and I think they should be punished but they should be forgiven and given the opportunity for a second chance. We are human beings,” said Millar. “Why should sports men and women get punished harsher than people in the normal world?”

But even if the lifetime ban is declared illegal, Millar decided not to represent his country in the London Olympics. He said he doesn’t want to be the black sheep. Instead, he is now focusing on the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The CAS will rule on April.

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Mar 30 2012

Prescription Database Tracking Suspicious Purchases of Steroids and other Drugs

Prescription drug monitoring program of states tracks the use of anabolic steroids, hgh and painkillers There are already several states in the country with established drug monitoring program. Some of them were Texas, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. The latest to adopt such measure is the state of New Jersey amidst the steroid controversies that shocked the law enforcement authorities. An investigative report from a newspaper revealed that hundreds of law enforcement, from firefighters to police officers, used steroids and human growth hormones even without any medical need for the drug. They used it primarily for bodybuilding purposes. Investigators found out that these officers were able to get prescriptions from doctors in the city which allowed them to purchase steroids or HGH “legally.”

Drug Monitoring Programs Answer to Illegal Prescriptions

The main purpose of drug monitoring program is to help authorities in tracking suspicious prescriptions in the state. Every prescription will be entered into a database which can be used during investigations concerning doctors and patients. The monitoring focuses on prescriptions drugs commonly abused or misused. Painkillers like morphine and oxycodone are among these drugs. Anabolic steroids and human growth hormone are the recent additions to the list of substances that are monitored by the states with such programs.

In Texas, monitoring for prescription drugs has long been established. It started in 1982 and the information is sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Pharmacists around the state are required to enter important information on each prescription and recorded into a subscriber only database. With this system, patients who tried to get prescriptions from several doctors for the same drug can easily be traced.

Safeguards on Prescription Database

This year, Texas Prescription Program will become online which will give doctors and investigators access to it. Podiatrists, dentists, nurses, and veterinarians can also access the said database. However, the Legal Director of the ACLU of Texas, Lisa Graybill is concerned on how the information on the database will be used. Graybill told the CBS news that there are still some gray areas regarding the use of the prescription database. One of her concern is on how to safeguard the information and if authorities still need a warrant to access the database. Graybill noted that it could be used for “doctor shopping.”

Another issue is whether the government will monitor each access to the database and how they can protect the integrity of the database.

Prescription Drugs in the Database

The Texas Prescription Program monitors drugs like topical anesthetics with cocaine, morphine, Oxycodone, Lyrica and other drugs which are usually abused. Codeine and anabolic steroids prescriptions are also being monitored.

In the drug monitoring program of New Jersey, recording of human growth hormone prescriptions is also required.

While these drugs are used to treat various medical conditions, some patients abuse its use and some doctors also connived with them by making illegal prescriptions. In fact, the government already dismantled several networks of doctors, distributors and pharmacists who allowed patients to buy steroids or other prescription only drugs without any actual consultation or without any medical condition that must be treated.

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Mar 29 2012

Pettitte Testifying in Clemens’ Retrial, Will Talk About HGH Use

Andy Pettitte is back in the Yankees, testifying against retrial of Roger Clemens steroid perjury case The former All-Star pitcher, Andy Pettitte, comes back after a short hiatus from baseball. He retired in February 2011 ending his 16-year major league career. Just recently, the left-hander pitcher approached Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman about the possibility of returning back to the field. And the team did not fail him. Pettitte was absorbed by the Yankees although in the minor league.

Return to the Yankees

On March 17, Pettitte signed a one year contract with the team. Sports analyst believes that the Yankees has other plans for Pettitte. The team already announced that the pitcher will be participating in the spring training and this would mean he will not be playing exclusively for the minor league. He will surely be used to boost the Yankees arsenal. Though, this is not surprising since Pettitte helped the Yankees win 5 World Series titles in 13 seasons.

However, Pettitte will not only be seen pitching for the Yankees but will also appear in court when the retrial of Roger Clemens’ case starts in April. The prosecutions recently filed a supplemental trial memorandum that will include Pettitte as one of the major witnesses. The pitcher is set to testify against Clemens last year but the trial ended shortly when Judge Reggie Walton declared it as a mistrial. The prosecution presented to the jury a video already barred as evidence. The video is the testimony of Laura Pettitte, Andy’s wife, during the Congressional inquiry on the rampant use of steroids in baseball.

Andy’s Role in the Retrial

According to federal prosecutors, Andy Pettitte will be providing the court his personal knowledge on the use of human growth hormone. The pitcher admitted that he also used the drug to help him recover faster from injuries. He will also tell the jury that there were times that Brian McNamee, another major witness in the case, helped him administer the growth hormone drug. Another issue that the prosecution will use is the alleged admission of Roger Clemens to Pettitte about his use of HGH in 1999 and 2000.

Pettitte’s testimony will bolster the prosecution’s argument that Brian McNamee really injected Clemens with the performance enhancing drug HGH. McNamee told the investigators that he personally injected Clemens with human growth hormone on several occasions.

He even provided the federal investigators syringes, gauze and other evidences that will prove “The Rocket” really lied when he told the Congress he did not took anabolic steroids and human growth hormones.

Prosecutors Making the Final Stretch in the Case

Earlier, the prosecution also asked the court to bar the defense team from using the same argument in the mistrial saying it could influence the jury to absolve Clemens from the charges. The defense team, on the other hand, did not file any motion and declined to make further comments on the case.

Roger Clemens is facing 1 count of obstructing a congressional investigation, 3 counts of making false statements and 2 counts of perjury. Clemens insists he did not used steroids, human growth hormone or any performance enhancing drug. The jury selection will begin on April 16.

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Mar 28 2012

King Mo Lawal Out of Strikeforce; Suspended and Fined

NSAC suspended King Mo Lawal for steroids, Strikeforce released him This year is the worst for MMA fighter Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal. Though he won his last fight by TKO, it also resulted to controversy when he tested positive for anabolic steroids after the fight. He knocked out Lorens Larkin at a Strikeforce event in January.

King Mo maintained his innocence about the controversial positive test result. He claimed that it may be due to an over-the-counter supplement that he was taking that caused the positive test. However, this kind of alibi is not viable anymore since most of the fighters caught using banned substances like steroids uses this contention. Cris Cyborg Santos also used this alibi when she tested positive for the metabolites of stanozolol, a type of steroid. But the athletic commission suspended her.

NSAC Handed 9 Month Suspension Plus Fine

Lawal decided not to contest the test result but explained to the commission his own side of the story. However, as expected, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) handed him the suspension. The former light heavyweight fighter of Strikeforce is ready to accept whatever decision the commission will make. “Whatever punishment you put in front of me. I’m a man and will take it like a man,” Lawal said.

The suspension and fine imposed on Lawal is too much for him. According to his manager, Lawal is already spending a lot on his medical bills. The Strikeforce fighter underwent surgeries and just recently recuperating from a Staph infection.

The NSAC suspended Lawal for nine months which is retroactive to the date of his fight with Larkin. Before he can return to MMA, he must submit himself to steroid testing and prove that he is clean before a fight license is issued. King Mo will forfeit his $15,000 win bonus. An additional fine of $24,000 is also imposed against the fighter. This represents 30 percent of his prize purse. His second round TKO over Larkin is also declared to a no-contest.

Strikeforce Released Lawal

After the NSAC issued its decision on King Mo’s steroid case, the parent company of Strikeforce, Zuffa, also decided to cut Lawal from the promotion. Sources said that Zuffa’s decision was based on the unethical tweets of Lawal after the NSAC hearing. Scott Coker of the Strikeforce confirmed this to an MMA site. “Following the outcome of today’s hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and his subsequent reaction, STRIKEFORCE has released Muhammad Lawal from his contract,” Coker said.

Fightline quoted the tweets of King Mo which he later removed from the social media site. King Mo wrote: “I honestly feel like Lundvall was a racist (expletive) asking me if I can read or speak English. Go on somewhere with that (expletive)!!!”

He could still have his career if he knows the consequences of his actions. Branding the NSAC Commissioner as a racist only worsens his situation. Based on online reports, Lawal was agitated by the manner of questioning by Commissioner Pat Lundvall. It stemmed from the issue whether Lawal knows how to read and write. Lundvall questioned Lawal why he did not include the said “over-the-counter supplement” or any other medication in the pre-fight medical questionnaire.

Commissioner Has the Right to Ask

Though the tone of the question is a little bit harsh, the commission is right in asking Lawal and his manager why they did not include the supplement S Mass Lean Gainer when they signed the document. Do they have the intention to hide this medication hoping that it will not be detected by anti-doping tests?

According to Lawal, the supplement helped him strengthen his injured knee but failed to check whether it contain other substances banned by MMA. S Mass Lean Gainer contains drostanolone, an anabolic steroid that could help maintain strength even if the athlete is cutting weight. In interviews, Lawal insists he is not a cheater. He passed numerous Olympic style drug tests when he was still in amateur wrestling. With his impressive performance in MMA, it is not surprising if some people would suspect him of using anabolic steroids or any performance enhancing substances.

Right now, the former Strikeforce champion should just accept the consequences. And hope that after the suspension, Strikeforce will get him back in the cage.

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Mar 27 2012

New Jersey Funding Augments NJSIAA’s Steroid Testing Program

NJSIAA continues its steroid testing program on student athletes with funding from the state of New Jersey The challenge to be at the top of the game drives most young athletes to use steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. The percentage of high school athletes that succumb to steroid abuse had reached an alarming percentage requiring school administrators and the government as a whole to safeguard the life of these young athletes.

State Funding on Steroid Tests

Comprehensive drug testing programs are implemented by several states in the country. An example is the state of New Jersey who annually grants New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) the sum of $50,000 to augment the steroid testing program in the state’s high schools. It aims to protect high school students and athletes from the dangerous side-effects of steroids and illicit drugs. The NJSIAA serves as the lone arbiter and drug testing program administrator. This year, the New Jersey state once again handed down to the NJSIAA its latest reimbursement covering the cost for the testing program in the school year 2011-2012.

New Jersey has been regarded as the first state to implement a comprehensive steroid testing policy for athletes at the high school level. The partnership agreement started way back in June 2006 where the NJSIAA receives a yearly reimbursement of $50,000 as an additional fund to its own $50,000 contribution. The state of New Jersey further commits in providing additional funding in the future.

Each test cost approximately $200 which is quiet expensive but doing so is very helpful in deterring high school athletes from steroids and performance enhancing drugs. The test already covers at least 80 banned substances. NJSIAA conducted 492 tests in the school year 2010-2011 from its 86 member schools. More than half of which was focused to student athletes involved in football, wrestling, swimming and lacrosse since steroid is very prevalent in these fields.

Drug Testing Effective in Deterring Steroid Use

The protocol of the joint drug testing program states that they NJSIAA has the authority to automatically suspend the athletes’ eligibility for one year if results are found to be positive for steroids or other performance enhancing drugs. The banned substances that are tested for are patterned after the list of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Athletes are randomly picked for drug testing through a computer system by the National Center for Drug free Sport. Samples are tested and analyzed by the UCLA Olympic and Analytical Laboratory.

Proponents of the drug testing program regard their achievements as a victory, claiming that most student athletes avoid using steroids because they knew that they could be chosen for drug testing any time.

Effects of Steroid to the Body of Young Athletes

Anabolic steroids rapidly improve different muscles in the body marking an increase body strength and stamina. The effects of steroids on young athletes are more dangerous since their bodies are still growing. Using anabolic steroids can trigger adverse effects to their physical and mental development.

Steroid use for long period of time can affect bodily functions including the natural production of testosterone, hair loss and balding, infertility in women and impotence for men. Behavioral problems, development of inappropriate sexual characteristics, insomnia and risk of heart disease are likely to be expected for someone who uses steroids.

Despite the side effects, there are still student athletes who turn to anabolic steroids in order to cope up with the ever-increasing competitiveness in high school sports. This is the reason why many state athletic associations continue to implement comprehensive drug testing program.

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Mar 26 2012

Anti-Doping Agency Wants More Blood from Athletes to Detect Dopers

WADA president wanted to increase blood testing to detect athletes using HGH The President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) urged sports organizations around the world to increase the number of blood testing on their athletes. He suspects that many of these athletes circumvents the anti-doping programs because of the failure of some of sports organizations to implement stringent and pro-active anti-doping policies.

WADA President John Fahey told Bloomberg recently that national anti-doping agencies must adopt a more robust blood testing program to catch doping athletes. “What we’re seeing happening is another disappointment to us. Sports generally are not spending enough on anti-doping agencies and not putting enough blood testing forward. That being the case, I suspect HGH cheats are getting away with it,” Fahey said.

Funding Common Problem of Anti-Doping Agencies

WADA oversees the programs of various anti-doping agencies. The International Olympic Committee and other major sports organizations follow the WADA code. But most national anti-doping agencies can’t cope up with the stringent policies of WADA.

The usual problem is the availability of funds to pay for the laboratory tests. Blood testing for example is a more expensive method of detecting human growth hormone. Collecting and transporting blood samples to accredited laboratories is also expensive. Traditional urine testing may not be able to detect all type of anabolic steroids. Additional tests would mean additional cost to the sport organization or anti-doping agency.

Solution to Catch HGH Users

According to Fahey, agencies must increase the rate of blood testing to 15-20 percent to be more effective in catching cheating athletes. “What is an effective and robust program? It’s a hell of a lot more than 2 percent of the samples being blood samples. It’s probably got to be 15 percent, or maybe 20 percent blood samples to be effective,” Fahey said. Last year, the anti-doping body already made recommendations that blood testing must be at least 10 percent of the total number of tests conducted.

Based on previous statistics, the blood testing only comprise a little more than 2 percent of the entire samples subjected to laboratory tests. Out of 258,267 samples taken from in- and out-of-competition worldwide in 2010, 5,000 were blood samples. So far, there were only 3 professional athletes who were caught using HGH. Synthetic HGH is only detected through blood tests while anabolic steroids can be identified using urine tests.

The anti-doping body also approved a new testing method for HGH. This will be used when the 2012 London Olympics starts. Anti-doping scientists said that this method will improve the detection period for the synthetic HGH from the usual 48 hours to at least a week after the PED was taken.

UKAD and Cycling Hailed by WADA

Fahey commended the UK Anti-Doping and the sports of cycling for their efforts in curtailing the use of steroids and human growth hormones. In this year’s Olympics, the UKAD is expected to conduct 7,000 tests and 10 percent of this will be for blood tests. They also built a high-tech laboratory for the Olympics to ensure dopers will be caught.

Professional cycling, which is plagued by PED use years ago, already implemented major changes in its anti-doping policies. A lot of cyclists were involved in the use of performance enhancing drug like EPO, anabolic steroids, and even blood doping. But the recent policies of the sports organization are seen as an effective deterrent to dopers.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) adopted a biological passport program which will monitor all drug test results of a cyclist. This could be used as a basis for determining if the athlete is doping. Another key policy is the whereabouts program of the UCI. They also increased the number of blood testing. Out of 13,057 drug tests conducted last year, 5,154 were for blood tests. Fahey said that cycling is now addressing the doping problem in their sport.

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