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Monday 27, Sep 2010

  Arizona starts tracking users of prescription drugs

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Arizona starts tracking users of prescription drugsA centralized, state-managed database that can be accessed by doctors and pharmacists around Arizona, will be storing prescription information of legally sold drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Ritalin, and Ambien.

Dr. Stephen Borowsky, an anesthesiologist and pain-management specialist, said that he is happy to learn that Arizona has finally decided to keep a close eye on medicines that have potential for addiction.

Pharmacy Board officials remarked that database access is recorded and limited to doctors and pharmacists.

Friday 15, Aug 2008

  Boxer Joey Gilbert to pay $10,000 as steroid fine

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Joey Gilbert SteroidsAn ESPN article in October 2007 called the Joey Gilbert case as a “strange one.” And if you’re going to look at the circumstances surrounding his case, you would probably agree with that observation.

Gilbert was suspended from boxing last year because of a positive test of the anabolic steroid stanozolol and a long list of banned compounds – amphetamine, methamphetamine, oxazepam, diazepam, temazepam, and nordiazepam. So, you could say that Gilbert has this chemical romance thing and, since he is a licensed lawyer, perhaps you could call him Atty. Strangelove.

Gilbert has agreed yesterday to pay a $10,000 fine as part of a settlement with the Nevada Athletic Commission (NSAC). His compliance will allow him to fight as soon as Sept. 22, according to reports.

Gilbert agreed to the fine and a one-year suspension retroactive to his last fight, which was against Charles Howe on Sept. 21, 2007 in Reno. In exchange, the panel dropped charges related to his positive tests of the other compounds except for the stanozolol metabolite found in his system.

Background of the case of Atty. Strangelove

Now, let’s explore the case of Gilbert.

It was on October 5 last year when the middleweight fighter was temporarily suspended by the NSAC due to his positive test for several banned compounds (mentioned above). The Nevada attorney General’s Office has filed a disciplinary complaint against Gilbert.

Now, this is not the first time Gilbert has figured in a, shall we say, bizarre testing behavior.  When he fought Juan Astorga on May 5, 2007, Gilbert volunteered to a urinalysis drug screening. Gilbert told the attending ring physician that he was taking the medications Ambien and Xanax, and Ultracet. This is the SOP for such a screening, in which an athlete should notify NSAC all the over-the-counter and prescription drugs taken pre-fight. When the results came, it was found out there were indeed the presence of medications found in his system; however, what surprised officials was the fact there were metabolites of other compounds that he failed to mention. These other drugs include an amphetamine. Gilbert was notified by NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer of these results and was asked to respond. A week later, Gilbert complied and explained his use of Adderal, an amphetamine.

In one interview at the height of this controversy, Gilbert said: “It’s my absolute quest to clear my name and to make sure those who have supported me understand that we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that all the explanations are given, that we are eventually cleared and everybody is happy and we can move forward.”

The 31-year-old Gilbert gained popularity during his stint in the NBC reality TV show The Contender in its 2005 season. He started his amateur career at the University of Nevada, earning him winning three consecutive NCAA boxing championships and the Super Middleweight Nevada Golden Gloves championship. He has an amateur career record of 27-1. Gilbert, according to his website, is “a successful professional boxing champion, practicing attorney, sports commentator, product spokesperson and now fight promoter.”

Some castigatory remarks from the ESPN article for this jack-of-all trades

Perhaps Gilbert will produce medical records explaining why so much of this risky polypharmacy was allowed. But it’s hard to imagine an adequate explanation for the use of stanazolol metabolite. When it comes to steroid use, many athletes claim that they unknowingly took a banned substance or that its presence in their body must have come from the breakdown of another supplement that they believed was legal. But that old dog doesn’t hunt well anymore. Fighters should be held responsible for anything that they put into their body before a fight and accept the consequences if illegal drugs are detected.

One hopes that the NSAC will come to a correct decision in the Gilbert matter. If the allegations against him are proven to be true, then the commission, the state, and boxing fans have been misled. In such an event, there should be a lengthy suspension of Mr. Gilbert’s boxer and promoter licenses, he should be fined an amount equal to his entire purse from the Howe fight, and the decision in that bout should be changed to “no-contest.”

Some medical conditions are just incompatible with boxing. If Mr. Gilbert truly requires some of these medications to lead a normal healthy life, then the harsh reality might be that he should no longer box.

We just hope that Mr. Gilbert has learned his lesson on his love affair with polypharmacy.

Athletes’ affair with stanozolol

Stanozolol is one of the most commonly used anabolic-androgenic steroids by athletes because of its ergogenic effects. It is available in oral (Winstrol) and injectable (Winstrol Depot) versions. In humans, it is used in the treatment of certain forms of anemia as well as hereditary angioedema. In animals, it is sought after for its promotion of appetite, muscle growth, red blood cell production, among other desirable properties.

Another publicized case of stanozolol use in boxing is of former middleweight champion Fernando Vargas during the mandatory testing after his fight with Oscar De la Hoya in September 2002. He was knocked out by De la Hoya in that fight. Vargas was suspended for nine months and was fined because of his failed test.

Stanozolol is also the culprit in the case of former Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, mixed martial arts fighter Tim Sylvia, and Major League star Roger Clemens who was allegedly had been injected by his former strength coach during the 1998 baseball season.