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Archive for  October 2008

Sunday 26, Oct 2008

Florida man faces multiple felony charges for steroid distribution and other crimes

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florida-steroidsThe Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office reported that Christopher Edward Abate, 44, of 2511 Mauritania Road, was charged with five felony counts of possession of controlled substance for methadone, oxandrolone, fluoxymesterone, and oxymetholone.

Abate was also charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute of oxandrolone (anavar), 42 counts of possession of prescription forms, and misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana less than 20 grams and possession of paraphernalia. Abate was booked into the Charlotte County Jail on the drug and counterfeit-making equipment charges on a $52,100 bond.

The Sheriff’s office reported that Abate has been under surveillance for nearly five months before his arrest. His arrest also resulted to the seizure of more 3,000 pills, steroid drugs, counterfeit identification and nearly $500,000 in cash.

According to the police report, some of the vials and bottles found at the house had handwritten labels on them. There were also equipment found at the scene apparently used to fill up and seal steroid vials. Bags of raw steroid powder were also discovered during the search and seizure. Authorities also found several blank cards used for making counterfeit driver’s licenses and identification cards.

Abate also has six different licenses that contained his picture and three with different names. Also recovered from the house were blank doctor’s prescription pads for four different doctors in Florida and Connecticut. Further, among the documents seized was Abate’s release order from Federal Probation from prior prescription fraud.

Saturday 25, Oct 2008

Steroids, illegal drugs found at a Howell Township house

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new-jersey-steroidsTwo police officers in New Jersey scored double when they discovered illegal drugs in the house where they were executing a domestic violence restraining order.

Officers Sean O’Neill and Cristopher Schirripa of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office were authorized to search the house for weapons but instead discovered a cache of illegal drugs and paraphernalia. The officers found 233 hypodermic syringes, 31 vials of anabolic steroids, under 50 grams of marijuana, and three ecstasy pills.

Jonathan Lester, the proud owner of the house at Howell Township, was not initially at the place but showed up when he was called up by the officers. Lester, 24, was later charged with possession of controlled dangerous substances (steroids and ecstasy), possession with intent to distribute (steroids), possession with intent to distribute drug paraphernalia (syringes), possession of under 50 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sheriff Kim Guadagno said the finding was significant because “the use and distribution of anabolic steroids is a serious issue particularly this time of year when high school sports are in full swing. It’s important for parents to be aware that this type of illegal activity exists.

Saturday 25, Oct 2008

Illegal distribution of hGH (Human Growth Hormone) is getting worse says research group

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hghThe hGH market reportedly amasses $2 billion annually, and majority of this staggering amount is not earned through hGH therapeutic applications but for its anti-aging and athletic-enhancing properties. And this is causing jitters from both the medical community and the federal government.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center and the University of Illinois published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) with regards to this growing concern. The article revealed many concerns about nonmedical use and distribution of hGH and principal of these concerns are the so-called anti-aging and age-management clinics, which aggressively market hGH (Human Growth Hormone) and use deceptive marketing tactics to lure customers. By deceptive, the group says, these clinics intentionally cross out the potential risks of hGH use. Since the article’s publication in 2005, the research group says the problem is getting worse, and the public should be warned against this.

“Despite the overwhelming evidence that the risks and dangers of growth hormone far outweigh the clinically demonstrated insignificant benefit in normally aging individuals, the prescribing, distribution and sale of hGH for alleged anti-aging aesthetic and athletic enhancement has dramatically grown over the past few years. Clearly, the coordinated and aggressive marketing campaigns of the anti-aging and age-management industries are highly and most unfortunately effective,” says Dr. Thomas Perls, Director of the New England Centenarian and medical professor at the Boston University School of Medicine.

“In my capacity as a reviewer of medical records seized from anti-aging clinics by the DEA, I almost never see hGH provided in isolation. It is usually a part of a complex cocktail of one or more anabolic steroids, human chorionic gonadotropin (specifically for men to decrease the obvious signs of steroid abuse such as small testicles and enlarged breasts), thyroid hormone, DHEA and other drugs. Additional drugs such as blood pressure medicines, diuretics and insulin may be given to treat the side effects of the basic cocktail,” Perls adds.

The authors of the study propose that several measures need to be taken to address the inappropriate distribution and use of hGH.

Among their recommendations are (as published at Science Daily):

•    The public must be accurately informed by physicians and scientists who do not have a vested interest in hGH, about health risks, fraudulent marketing and illegal distribution of this drug.
•    Organizations that promote or indirectly profit from the medically inappropriate and illegal distribution of hGH that have been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to offer American Medical Association Physician Recognition Award (PRA) category 1 CME credits or other categories of CME credit should, at a minimum, have their accreditation revoked.
•    U.S. manufacturers of hGH must be more effective in, and held accountable for, controlling the distribution of the drug to companies providing the drug for illegal uses.
•    Congressional hearings and media attention surrounding hGH should focus less on athletes and prominent entertainers who are also victims of deceptive marketing and pushing of hGH, and much more on the distributors who are violating federal and state laws by making the drug available for non-approved uses.

Friday 24, Oct 2008

Bobsledder Martin Galliker tested positive for steroid

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martin-galliker-steroidsSwiss bobsledder Martin Galliker has tested positive for doping with testosterone and has immediately resigned from his team. The announcement was made by his national team federation Wednesday.

According to the Swiss bobsled federation (SBSV) Galliker’s backup sample yielded excessive levels of the anabolic steroid. The sample was taken from the 34-year-old athlete while he was training in Italy.

Galliker finished eight in the four-man event at the FIBT World Championships in St. Moritz last year. He was also part of the Swiss team that finished second in the four-man bob event at the European Championships last January held at Cesana, Italy.

It was also in Italy during the 2006 Winter Olympics that a bobsledder was one of only two athletes sent home from the Torino Games due to doping violations.

Brazilian Armando dos Santos tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone. Dos Santos was a former hammer thrower.

Friday 24, Oct 2008

Chinese skin cream recalled due to steroid content

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china-steroidsSeveral weeks ago it was Chinese dairy products contaminated with industrial chemical melamine that had caught international attention. Now, another Chinese product has been getting publicity – very bad publicity – since it has been discovered to be tainted with a potentially hazardous ingredient.

A skin cream, which has been used to treat eczema in babies, was discovered to contain clobetasol propionate, a steroid hormone. The Miaoling Medical Technology Group, manufacturer of the product, said it had recalled and stopped production of the cream.

Clobetasol, technically a corticosteroid, is  used in medicines prescribed for dermatologic and gynecologic treatments. Although the hormone is used to treat skin disorders, it is not recommended to be used on children under 12 years old.

Among the side effects of this hormone include changes in blood sugar and Cushing’s syndrome, an endocrine disorder characterized by rapid weight gain often referred to as central obesity and a ‘moon face’.

The packaging of the cream stated that it only contained 25 natural ingredients and clostebol was not listed as one of these ingredients.

According to AFP report, the company’s license is likely to be revoked.

A report published in Xiaoxiang Morning News in central China said that an eight-month-old girl in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, had appeared to menstruate after being given the cream for seven months. Doctors there said the hormone was the cause.

Thursday 23, Oct 2008

India’s hammer thrower thrown out of competition due to an anabolic steroid

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india_steroidsIndia’s hammer thrower Kanika Kumari’s random test came up positive for an anabolic steroid. This resulted to her being pulled out of the competition at the ongoing 3rd Commonwealth Youth Games by the Athletics Federation of India.

According to sources, Kumari had failed the dope test before the start of games in Pune, the host city of CYG. The test was conducted by the National Dope Testing Laboratory in New Delhi and it was the lab which confirmed the results to the AFI officials.

Kanika was considered to be one of the top contenders in the event.

“Her participation could have been very embarrassing moment for the country (if her samples were taken and tested at the WADA accredited laboratory),” said one AFI official who refused to be named.

Many sports observers in India have been suspicious of Kanika’s fast improvement in her sport, fanning rumors that she might be using anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. This was only the first time, however, that the young athlete had failed a doping test.

Thursday 23, Oct 2008

Seven Russian athletes get two-year ban for violating doping code

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russia_steroidsThe Russian athletic federation slapped suspensions to seven high-profile Russian woman athletes due to doping violations.

The said athletes had been initially suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations in August when it was discovered that they switched urine samples in drug tests conducted last year. They were found out when DNA results pointed to sample irregularities.

According to AFP report, the seven athletes who each received a two-year retroactive ban included  middle distance runners Yelena Soboleva, Svetlana Cherkasova, Yulia Fomenko, former double world champion Tatyana Tomashova and Olga Yegorova, hammer thrower Gulfiya Khanafeyeva – a former world champion, and reigning European discus champion Darya Pishchalnikova.

Valentin Balakhnichev, the head of the Russian athletics federation, said Monday: “We suspended for two years all of the seven athletes involved in the case for violations of the doping code.

“The bans come into action from April or May 2007, the date when the samples were given for tests.”

Wednesday 22, Oct 2008

300 test results lost and found in Beijing; all are negative for steroids and other PEDs

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steroids-2008olympicsA big “OOOPS” from the anti-doping officials.

The 300 or so test results, which had initially been reported missing by a team of independent observers during their recent visit in Beijing, have been traced by the International Olympic Committee. All tested negative for prohibited compounds.

According to the AP report, the team of 10 observers had been tasked by the World Anti-Doping Agency to review the Beijing Olympics drug-testing program.  The missing test results had been included in the team’s final report to WADA.

“Once the laboratory had apparently delivered all reports to the IO (independent observer) team, it transpired that around 300 test results were missing in comparison to the doping control forms,” the WADA report said.

“Regarding the ‘300 missing tests,’ it is our understanding that there has been a communication problem between the Beijing laboratory and the IO team on the results of a number of tests,” IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said in an e-mail. “The results of these tests were communicated to the IOC by the end of August. All were negative. The results have now been transmitted to the IO team.”

Apparently, the team conferred with the IOC’s medical commission regarding said results’ status, but IOC was unable to finish processing of the lab results in time for the group’s completion of their final report last month.

The procedural lapse had put the credibility of the anti-doping program in the Beijing Olympics. Additionally, the team reported another significant loophole in IOC’s control doping process at the Beijing Olympics.  It was found out that 102 of the 205 participating countries failed to provide sports officials with whereabouts information regarding their athletes. Such information is needed to implement pre-Games and out-of-competition testing.

It was not all negative points for the IOC however. The WADA group gave their thumbs up to the increased number of overall tests (4,770), blood tests (969) and tests for EPO (817) and human growth hormone (471). The 2008 Olympics implemented the largest drug-testing program in the history of the Olympics.

Six athletes were thrown out for doping violations during the Olympics, and three other cases are still pending.

The most controversial case of doping at Beijing has been Fani Halkia, the Greek hurdler who won the gold at the at the women’s 400m hurdles at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. On August 16 at the Beijing Olympics, Halkia tested positive for the anabolic steroidss methytrienolone.

Wednesday 22, Oct 2008

Major League Soccer awards its first steroid-related suspensions

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major-league-soccer-steroidsAfter nine years of testing for anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, the Major League Soccer finally netted violators.

New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Jon Conway and defender Jeff Parke each received a 10-game ban after testing positive for androstatriendione and boldenone. Androstatriendione is actually a metabolite of the anabolic steroid boldenone.

The duo was also fined 10 per cent of their salary. The Associated Press reported that Conway makes $115,000 US this season, while Parke has a base salary of $57,488. The two players are also banned from participating in other competitions while serving their suspensions.

“MLS has one of the strictest drug policies in professional sports and holds its athletes both responsible and accountable for what they put into their bodies,” commissioner Don Garber said. “This is an important statement as to the high standards to which we hold our players.”

MLS has adopted testing for performance-enhancing substances in 1999.

According to MLS, the positive test results was due to the players’ use of over-the-counter supplements obtained from a vitamin store that is part of a national chain.

Eric Stover, the team managing director, expressed his regret over the doping incident. “This is a sad day for our club and our fans,” Stover said. “We are extremely disappointed that Jon and Jeff have tested positive for a substance banned by MLS’s policy.”

Tuesday 21, Oct 2008

Judge dismisses anabolic use alibi, sentences teenage rapist to a minimum of 14 years

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Australia-steroidsJudge Michael Finnane of New South Wales District Court decided that a teenage defendant, who launched a ‘rampage of rape’ on a topless waitress, deserve to be behind bars for 14 years. The judge stated that the defense did not offer enough evidence that the criminal act has been brought about by the teenager intake of “very, very nasty cocktail” of alcohol and anabolic steroids.

James Nigel Stephens, rugby league player, pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated detention of a person for advantage over the incident that took place at Waterloo in inner-Sydney.

According to reports, Stephens, 18 when he committed the crime last year, saw the 22-year-old victim bucks’ party where the victim had been employed. Stephens secretly took her car keys and later got into the car’s boot.

“What he did was horrifying in its cruelty,” the judge.

“It was planned and calculated.

“He hid himself in the boot of her car and when she was alone, emerged suddenly, grabbed her from behind, threatening her with a plastic fork pressed to her neck, causing her to scream with fear.”

Stephens then sexually assaulted the woman several times in her car.
The judge found Stephens of sound mind when he committed the crime and nothing in Stephen’s background would explain his behavior.

“Some of the offences had a sadistic quality to them and he showed, during the time of committing these offenses, an attitude of contempt for the complainant and utter indifference to her suffering,” he said.

“I must emphasize that I have no acceptable evidence that he drank to excess or that he consumed anabolic steroids,” the judge.

During the sentencing submissions last month, Stephens’ lawyer has offered that his client had been under the influence of alcohol and anabolic steroids.

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