October 21, 2014

You Can Be Healthier Doing the Tour de France on Steroids

Former professional cyclist Christophe Bassons describes a doping philosophy where sometimes it is “healthier doing the Tour de France on drugs than without anything.” In an interview with CyclingNews.com, Bassons attempts to explain the larger perspective in which doping occurs in the sport of professional cycling. Bassons characterizes the doping issue as much more complicated than the usual contexts in which it is discussed e.g. healthy vs. unhealthy, good vs. bad, right vs. wrong. [Read more...]

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Loses Its First Doping Case

Track sprinter LaTasha Jenkins is the first athlete to win a doping case against the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). She was charged with an adverse analytical finding after testing positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone in both Sample A and Sample B in July 2006. She was banned from competition for two years. Last week, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) dropped its appeal of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision which exonerated her (“LaTasha Jenkins first athlete to beat the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on a doping charge,” April 22).

A three-member arbitration panel ruled last December the testing of her sample, given at a meet in Belgium, was not done in accordance with WADA rules that require tests be run by two different technicians.

That broke USADA’s perfect record in front of arbitration panels, which was 35-0 according to the best available statistics.

To the question of Jenkins’ appearing to have won on a technicality, Valparaiso Sports Law Clinic director Michael Straubel had said, “[The arbitrators] set aside the test results because they were not based on reliable lab results.”

She was represented by the Valpo Sports Law Clinic with free legal assistance. [Read more...]

Victor Conte BALCO Book Critical of Special Agent Jeff Novitsky

Victor Conte’s autobiographical account of the BALCO steroid scandal will hit bookstores in September 2008 (“BALCO founder Victor Conte has tell-all book ready,” March 30).

Slated for publication in September under the Skyhorse imprint, the book’s working title is “BALCO: The Straight Dope on Barry Bonds, Marion Jones and What We Can Do To Save Sports.” Conte, in conjunction with co-author Nathan Jendrick, promises to share “the dirt, the drugs, the doses, the names, dates and places, and a ‘prescription’ for a brighter future.”

He promises the “complete truth in its honest, unadulterated and raw form” and says he is “ready to tell the world everything.”

[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...]

Russian Anti-Doping Agency Turns to USADA

Russia has funded the new Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RusADA) with new equipment and $5 million. RusADA is an independent agency created to test athletes for anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. Representatives from RusADA are visiting the United States to learn more about the U.S. doping control program – United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) – and strengthen relationships with their U.S. counterparts. [Read more...]

Do Athletes Implicated in Doping Scandals Deserve a Second Chance?

Many sponsors have pulled out of the sport of professional cycling which has been plagued by numerous steroid and doping scandals e.g. Phonak, iShares and T-Mobile. But the doping scandals have not deterred new sponsors from making large financial investments in cycling. Michael Ball, cycling enthusiast, head fashion designer and CEO of Rock and Republic has committed to a 5-year sponsorship of Rock Racing, a national professional cycling team; the team is also supported by Cadillac, Scott USA and Shimano. (HED withdrew because of doping controversy.) [Read more...]

BALCO "Cream" Protocol and Problem with Drug Testing

What if every baseball player used the BALCO “cream” according to protocol? Would anyone fail the current MLB doping controls?

I could figure out how to take a fair amount of testosterone and you’d never catch me, and if I can say that, a lot of others can too.

Who is accredited with the aforementioned statement? Patrick Arnold? Victor Conte? [Read more...]