October 1, 2020

NASCAR and Performance Enhancing Drugs

In light of revelations that NASCAR’s Aaron Fike used heroin on competition days, NASCAR president went on record to defend NASCAR’s drug testing policy based on “reasonable suspicion.”

“The [NASCAR] community polices the community,” Helton added in an interview with The Associated Press. “The positiveness of all the drivers talking and everything, I think, echoes the responsibility that exists in this sport to avoid all that and to police all that. That’s why we think that the reasonable suspicion policy works as an umbrella from a NASCAR perspective.”

Commentator David Caraviello went a step farther, not only defending the “reasonable suspicion” drug testing policy, but also asserting that NASCAR does not have any type of problem with performance-enhancing drugs either (“Addressing a drug problem that is not a problem at all,” April 16). [Read more…]

WADA Testing for Growth Hormone Within Weeks

According to  the New York Times, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has purchased thousands of doping kits that will be used to screen blood for exogenous human growth hormone (HGH). The top-secret HGH test has been available for some time but WADA only recently found a secret European-based manufacturer capable of producing significant quantities of the blood screening kits (“Agency will increase blood tests for HGH,” April 2).

WADA says the out of competition testing for HGH will begin within weeks The test will be used at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Additionally, a WADA spokesperson says the the HGH screening kits will be used to analyze previously frozen blood samples from athletes. [Read more…]

Steroid Testing Student Athletes is Unconstitutional in State of Washington

The Supreme Court in the State of Washington ruled that random drug testing of student athletes (which presumably would include steroid testing) was unconstitutional.

Other states allow it. The U.S. Constitution allows it. But the Washington Supreme Court said today that random drug testing of student athletes is not allowed under the state constitution.

If random testing student athletes for steroids and other drugs is consistent with the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, then why does the Washington state constitution prohibit random testing? Quite simply, residents of Washington have more privacy protections than those granted by the U.S. Constitution (“They Ain’t Gonna Pee-Pee in No Cup,” March 14).

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld random testing not only of athletes but of students participating in other extracurricular activities as well, and its logic (such as it is) suggests that random testing of all students also would be consistent with the Fourth Amendment. But Washington’s constitution has a privacy guarantee that goes beyond the prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures, saying, “No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.” The state Supreme Court has read this clause as providing more protection than the Fourth Amendment…

According to Reason, the State of Washington is not the only state whose residents are granted greater privacy protections than the U.S. Constitution (which I suspect would likely also prohibit random steroid testing in student athletes).

Washington is not the only state where residents enjoy more privacy protection than the Fourth Amendment (as currently read) guarantees. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, for example, has taken a dimmer view of student drug testing than the U.S. Supreme Court. The Alaska Supreme Court has interpreted the state constitution’s privacy clause, which says the “right of the people to privacy is recognized and shall not be infringed,” as prohibiting prosecution of people for possessing small amounts of marijuana at home. 

The steroid testing trend in public high schools sweeping the nation appears to be permanently stalled in at least a few states.

Critical Comments on Texas High School Steroid Testing Program

I applaud Laurie Fox of the Dallas Morning News for breaking ranks with the sycophantic cheerleaders for Texas’ UIL Anabolic Steroid Testing Program.

The short history of steroid testing in public schools has yielded little, if anything. In the handful of local school districts that already test for steroids, no positive test has been reported. The same is true for limited state programs in Florida and New Jersey.

“It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack,” said Lloyd Johnston, a noted researcher at the University of Michigan. “My guess is that the payoff relative to the cost won’t be high.” [Read more…]

Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Bigger Stronger Faster"

Unfortunately, Arnold Schwarzenegger declined to be interviewed by director Christopher Bell for his steroid documentary “Bigger Stronger Faster*.” But “Bigger Stronger Faster” nonetheless has some great scenes featuring Arnold.

I had the opportunity to ask Chris Bell about Arnold Schwarzenegger in a recent interview:

Arnold is an American hero. He’s a great success story. He can be an inspiration to anyone. He’s someone I’ve looked up to my whole life… But he’s on all these television talk shows and he’s saying we really need to do something about the drug testing in sports. He says it’s bad for the children and it sends the wrong message to the kids. [Read more…]

Steroids Found in Popular Dietary Supplements

A recent study revealed approximately 25% of popular dietary supplements in the U.S. were contaminated with low levels of steroids; 11% of supplements were contaminated with stimulants, most commonly ephedrine. These steroidal and stimulant ingredients were not declared on the product label.

The study was done by Informed Choice, a nonprofit coalition of dietary supplements, and the analysis was conducted by the British company, HFL, to investigate levels of steroid and stimulant contamination in popular supplements available on the US market. The names of the supplements that were tested were not identified. This is most likely out of fear of legal action against them by any company should it be named in the study results. [Read more…]