September 20, 2020

World Anti-Doping Association Allows Surgically Enhanced Performance

Several observers, including myself, have wondered why surgical procedures such as LASIK laser eye surgery or ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (better known as Tommy Johns surgery) are not considered cheating. After all, they could arguably offer a greater advantage than anabolic steroids. If steroids are considered cheating, why aren’t these surgical procedures?

The answer is quite simple. It is not against the rules. The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) has no prohibitions whatsoever on performance enhancement surgeries. They are all permitted. [Read more…]

Athletes Using Steroids and Amphetamines for Legitimate Medical Conditions

I’ve written a lot about the loophole of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) that allows athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids, growth hormone, amphetamines, etc. for a competitive advantage. I used the 2006 Tour de France as a prime example, where 60% of drug-tested riders had a TUE for some banned substance. The congressional hearings on the Mitchell Report included testimony that over 8% of Major League Baseball players had TUEs for ADD/ADHD drugs such as Adderall or Ritalin.

Gary Gaffney, M.D., from the University of Iowa College of Medicine, offers a defense of TUEs in his blog: [Read more…]