The scandal implicated several dozen athletes. The original technique was for an athlete to withdraw blood and freeze it, then re-inject some just prior to competition.
See a Problem?
The strategy became easier in with the approval of erythropoietin EPO as a medical treatment for anemia based on a naturally occurring hormone that spurs red blood cell production. When experts learned to detect illicit EPO use by athletes, dopers changed their doses to evade the test. In , researchers unveiled a test to detect a blood transfusion from a donor—which is how Tyler Hamilton was caught blood doping at the Tour of Spain and the Athens Olympics. Elite athletes have used them illicitly to increase muscle mass and speed recovery. Insulin has become popular in recent years, but taken in the wrong dose, it can kill.
Sprinter and three-time Olympic medalist Alvin Harrison received a four-year suspension in after admitting to using six performance-enhancing drugs, including insulin and human growth hormone. He kept his Olympic medals, which he won before the admitted doping. Asthma medications: Also known as beta-2 agonists, salmeterol and clenbuterol act as muscle-building agents if taken in large doses. The drugs are detectable in urine. A large dose of testosterone may stimulate a body to produce additional estrogen, with unwanted results in men such as enlarged breasts. USADA slapped Houston-based cyclist Mitch Comardo with a two-year suspension in after he tested positive for tamoxifen, a drug that blocks estrogen.
Experimental substances: To stay ahead of testers, cheaters regularly turn to drugs still in development, often obtaining them on the black market. WADA is partnering with the pharmaceutical industry to develop tests to detect experimental drugs. Olympic organizers plan to conduct 5, drug tests—an unprecedented number—during the London Games. Nearly half of the 14, athletes competing, including all medalists, will be taken aside after their event and brought to a private testing room.
It sounds impressive, but competition-day testing is not especially effective. Athletes can easily load up on anabolic steroids to increase their muscle mass and allow themselves to work harder during training, then stop before an event to test clean, says Daniel Eichner, executive director of the WADA-accredited Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Salt Lake City. Similarly, EPO continues to enhance performance long after the drug can be detected in the body.
Athletes must keep anti-doping agencies apprised of their whereabouts via a confidential system they can access from the Internet and smartphones.
Drugs and the Evolution of Bodybuilding
Through candid discussions with reformed dopers, officials keep tabs on the unexpected ways that illicit drug users enhance performance. Endurance athletes such as marathon runners and distance swimmers use them, at low doses, to train harder with less rest. The agency can also catch past cheaters. WADA rules permit samples to be stored for up to eight years so they can be subjected to new tests that are developed well after an event.
The IOC will soon retest samples from the Games. This kind of retrospective testing cost Rashid Ramzi his 1,meter run gold medal from the Olympics after he came up positive for CERA months after the Games had ended. Had Ramzi known that the test was imminent, he might have abstained.
Traditional tests are like police radar—easily avoided if you know when to be on the lookout, Eichner says. The blood passport, which was developed first, analyzes blood samples over the course of a season to flag discrepancies that indicate doping.
For instance, the passport tracks levels of newly formed red blood cells, called reticulocytes. Taking a drug like EPO that promotes red blood cell production creates a rapid increase in reticulocyte numbers, while blood transfusions cause reticulocytes to drop, as the body shuts down its own blood cell production. Hemoglobin, a molecule that carries oxygen in the blood, also rises and falls in response to various blood-doping regimens, so testers can keep tabs on its levels to look for signs of doping. A growing challenge, Howman says, is organized crime.
WADA has to make sure that stops. Tygart says athletes have been talked out of confessing to illicit drug use by lawyers who would earn more in a lengthy litigation process. Track standout Michelle Collins was shocked the first time that someone in her inner circle offered her THG, a steroid designed to evade drug tests. The Olympic sprinter and former world champion was told the drug would make her stronger and speed recovery after training.
Tygart recalls seeing her after her confession. Her whole posture and personality was completely changed. It was amazing. When the Olympics begin this summer, all eyes will focus on the medal counts and podium ceremonies. While those who fall short of a medal may comfort themselves in having fought a good fight, the truth is, winning still matters.
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In the world of sports, nothing commands greater regard than an Olympic gold medal. Yet the question remains, at what cost? Will that shiny gold medal represent integrity and sportsmanship, or a value system that puts winning ahead of everything else?
This is a question that the athletes themselves must answer. I believe Trotter, because I believe that authenticity still exists in sports. Editor's note: Trotter won the bronze medal in the meter race at the London Olympics, wearing her "Test Me, I'm Clean" wristband For every medal-stealing fraud like Tyler Hamilton or Marion Jones, there are other athletes who choose to do the right thing. The Olympics still provide a stage for human excellence.
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Even at his peak, Schwarzenegger never exceeded a competition weight of pounds. The physiques of modern bodybuilders were quite literally unattainable during the early days of the sport. The popularity of these exhibitions soon exceeded that of the strength events that typically preceded them, and, regardless of whether they were held first or last, they invariably attracted larger crowds than the athletic components of the AAU meets.
Joe Weider, a fitness magazine publisher whose offerings included such titles as Demi-Gods and The Young Physique , recognized the economic potential of these spectacles and began staging his own bodybuilding-only pageants.
First held in , the Mr. From the outset, Mr.
Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and the drama of the Dirtiest Race in History
Olympia participants benefited from one of the great discoveries of the s: anabolic steroids. After physician John Ziegler developed the oral steroid Dianabol, a host of other androgenic drugs entered the market. Following the success of s bodybuilding icon Steve Reeves , who boasted a better-defined physique than his predecessors, judging standards in the sport evolved in the direction of vascular, striated muscle—muscle that was much easier to develop and maintain with such pharmaceutical assistance. Larry Scott , who won the first Mr.
Subsequent winners Sergio Oliva and Arnold Schwarzenegger pushed the envelope still further, cultivating physiques unrivaled by even the finest examples of Greek statuary. When pound Lee Haney emerged as an unbeatable competitor in the early s, it appeared that human development could go no further. With his victory in the Mr. Olympia, English bodybuilder Dorian Yates changed all of that.
DIETARY SUPPLEMENT TESTING & CERTIFICATION
Though only five-foot-nine, Yates competed at a lean pounds through the combination of a maniacal training program with precise steroid usage that was stacked with growth hormone. GH proved to be a missing link in the chain that allowed athletes to reach unprecedented lean weights , a trend that culminated with Ronnie Coleman winning the Olympia at pounds only a few years after competing and losing at a mere When Heath, Kai Greene, and Branch Warren take the stage in Las Vegas, their bodies will glisten with the sheen of superhuman perfection.
Their fat-free mass indexes will be impossible for well-meaning amateurs like myself to replicate.
Related True To Me - An Olympians Victory Over Steroids (First)
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