September 22, 2014

Swimmer Jessica Hardy’s Competitors are Permitted to Use Similar Asthma Drugs

U.S. Olympic swimmer Jessica Hardy tested positive for the asthma medication Clenbuterol in both A and B samples at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska on July 1st and July 4, 2008. Clenbuterol is a bronchodilator belonging to a class of drugs known as beta-2 adrenergic agonists or long-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonist (LABA) . Clenbuterol is similar to Albuterol and Salmeterol which are also LABAs.

It is well-known that a high percentage of elite swimmers have exercise-induced asthma. It is also known that most asthmatic swimmers competing in the Olympics have therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to use beta-2 agonists like albuterol, formoterol, salbutamol, salmeterol and terbutaline for therapeutic purposes.

The amazing swimmer Dara Torres makes no secret of her use of albuterol and formoterol; these are two different beta-2 agonists (LABAs). She probably tests positive for these substances on a regular basis too since United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) tests her frequently due to her participation in Project Believe. [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...]

USADA Longitudinal Testing Program – Project Believe

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has been conducting a formerly secret pilot program for longitudinal testing for anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. USADA recruited twelve U.S. athletes for voluntary participation in “Project Believe.” News of the anti-doping program was leaked when decathlon champion Brian Clay and runner Allyson Felix discussed it at a press conference possibly violating USADA’s code of secrecy on the program (“US sports stars try to dim doping fears with ‘Project Believe’,” April 17).

“I may get in trouble for talking about it but I want people to know I’m doing everything in my power to stay clean,” said Clay, who began having extra tests done before last month’s world indoor championships.

In spite of Clay’s concerns, it is unlikely that Clay or Felix will face any sanctions by USADA for revealing the existence of “Project Believe” prior to its official launch. [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...]

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...]

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...]

Evidence of Steroid Use in Baseball

The Mitchell Report made some nice weekend reading; it was a good piece of investigative journalism on the history of steroid use in professional baseball.  I’ve offered my criticism of the Mitchell Report as being an overpriced review of secondary sources that was extensively documented elsewhere. But I must admit there was a good amount of primary source reporting in the testimony of Kirk Radomski and Brian McNamee (thanks to the U.S. Justice Department).

The allegations and naming of specific baseball players was the sensationalistic information that the public eagerly consumed. Some news organizations dismissed all of this as “hearsay.” This is incorrect. Willamette law professor Jeffrey Standen offers an excellent clarification: [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...]