September 15, 2014

Cyclist Tammy Thomas Awaits Jury Verdict

The jury in cyclist Tammy Thomas’ doping perjury trial did not reach a verdict after the first day of deliberations (“Thomas jury deliberations to continue,” April 3).

Thomas, whose case is the first to go to trial in the five-and-a-half-year Balco investigation, was charged with making false statements to a grand jury in 2003 about substances she is suspected of receiving from Arnold. For the jury to convict Thomas, it must conclude that her statements were false and that they were material to the government’s investigation.

I am certain that Tammy Thomas is anxiously awaiting the verdict. Not only is her freedom in jeopardy but also a future career as an attorney. She has been silent about the case and has not spoken to the media; however, she has been very outspoken in her fashion statements outside the courtroom where she was photographed wearing a San Francisco Giants baseball cap, no doubt in support of other athletes who have been targeted for perjury by this federal investigation. [Read more...]

"Stupidity and Mistakes of the Anti-Doping Crusade"

Velo Vortmax blasts WADA for its resistance to change in the face of additional new evidence that the testosterone:epitestosterone ratio test is flawed (“Genetic variations in enzyme UGT2B17: Implications,” April 3).

WADA refuses to worry about trivial genetic factors. WADA is loath to do longitudinal tests of athletes. WADA might find a variable that might refute their laboratory findings or challenge their presumption of laboratory perfection. WADA would never invest time and money doing pedigree studies to determine if a single metabolite above threshold for exogenous testosterone is a trait common in a family, or among a group of people found in a geographical region. But idiosyncratic individual differences in medicine have been documented in many pedigree studies. For example, hematocrit levels above 50% have been found in fathers and sons of elite cyclists. These hematocirt levels are inherited tendencies, not based on EPO doping. The same is true for testosterone/epitestosterone ratio(s) and may be true for Carbon Isotope metabolite delta/delta scores.

[Read more...]

Doping for Eggheads is Good, Doping for Athletes is Bad

While the controversy and debate over the use of anabolic steroids and growth hormone in sports continues, little attention is paid to the use of Adderall and Provigil in academia. Cycling Fans Anonymous discusses an interesting article that appeared in the New York Times earlier this month.

Doping in academia is common, with Provigil and Adderall being the drugs of choice amongst professors and students at university. Apparently these drugs make it possible to concentrate without getting distracted for long periods of time, and to never get sleepy when pulling an all-nighter.

The New York Times compares doping in sports to doping in academia [Read more...]

Testosterone:Epitestosterone Ratio Test – False Negatives and False Positives

Source: Wikipedia

The scientific and anti-doping community continue to struggle with the development a test for exogenous growth hormone in athletes. They haven’t even been able to produce scientific evidence that growth hormone enhances athletic performance in spite of anecdotal evidence [from athletes and strength coaches] that this is the case.

But science continues to do a good job at finding weakness in the doping controls currently in place. Tip of the hat to Trust But Verify for alerting us of a new study which, among other things, tells us exactly how much exogenous testosterone some athletes can use and still pass the drug test.

The study reveals serious weaknesses in the testosterone:epitestosterone ratio test used by WADA and other anti-doping organizations (“Doping Test in Sports Confounded by Common Genetic Trait,” March 21). [Read more...]

Floyd Landis and Court of Arbitration for Sport

The Floyd Landis hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) began today in Manhattan; for an excellent overview as usual see TBV. The five day appeal hearing is the last remedy in the appeal process for Floyd’s doping case involving positive testosterone test (“Landis, Stripped of Tour Title, Begins Final Appeal,” March 19).

Landis, 32, has spent millions of dollars on a defense that tried to cast doubt on the scientific validity of doping tests and the procedures followed at antidoping labs. But last September, in a 2-to-1 ruling, a United States Anti-Doping Agency arbitration panel concluded that Landis had used synthetic testosterone to achieve his comeback win at the 2006 Tour. As a result, he was barred from racing until January 2009….

In its 84-page ruling last year, the United States Anti-Doping Agency panel accepted Landis’s argument that the French antidoping lab that tested his urine samples from the Tour was sloppy in some of its operating procedures, and in how it documented its work. But the panel also found that a more sophisticated second test, conducted after the initial screening proved positive, was accurate.

But make no mistake about it, this isn’t just about Floyd Landis. It is also about the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the anti-doping organization and program that is held as the model for drug testing around the world.

Federal Government's Role in Enforcing Rules in Sporting Events

The press appears to be upset with Floyd Landis for defending himself and forcing USADA to waste taxpayer funds (“Landis Case Costs US Taxpayers,” March 15).

The 2006 Tour de France winner, who was stripped of his victory last year, seeks to have his title restored by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It’s the final step in a series of appeals that have cost upward of $2 million, a good portion of which has been paid for with federal funds…

But it will still be costly, and a good chunk of the cost will be footed by USADA, which gets about 70 percent of its $12 million annual budget from the federal government, and the rest from the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Some newspapers, like the Akron Beacon Journal, have redistributed the aforementioned Associated Press news article only to change the title and imply that U.S. taxpayers are also paying for Floyd Landis’ defense [Read more...]

Synergistic Effects of Growth Hormone with Performance Enhancing Drugs

Dr. Gary Gaffney from Steroid Nation posted an article on Huffington Post about the performance enhancing effects of human growth hormone. Gaffney responds to so-called experts who assert with certainty that growth hormone does not help performance in sports. As Lou Schuler stated in a recent post, the true effects of growth hormone on performance are not always empirically “knowable and measurable.”

Gaffney takes note of the lack of empirical research examining the performance enhancing effects of drugs that has historically resulted in mainstream medical organizations failing to recognize performance enhancing drugs. Given this along with results seen in “experiments of nature,” Gaffney feels it is reasonable to conclude that GH has performance enhancing effects:

[Read more...]

Lawsuit Accuses United States Anti-Doping Association of Cheating

Lawyers Maurice Suh and Howard Jacobs have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Association (USADA) on behalf of an anonymous professional cyclist that has been identified as Rock Racing’s Kayle Leogrande. The organization in charge of catching “cheaters” in sports has been accused of “cheating.” [Read more...]