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Saturday 29, Jun 2013

  Spanish Police Arrest 84 In Doping Crackdown

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Spanish Police Arrest 84 In Doping Crackdown

The Spanish interior ministry has announced that police have arrested 84 people and dismantled two criminal gangs accused of importing and distributing sports doping substances across Spain.

It was further disclosed by the ministry that the raids were conducted over a period of ten months in ten regions of the country, with half the arrests in the country’s three largest cities: Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. In all, the authorities seized about 707,000 doses of anabolic steroids, blood boosters, and growth hormones and these substances were distributed through Spanish private homes and sports centers, according to the ministry statement. The ministry also revealed that one of the involved gangs imported the illegal products from Portugal, and the other imported their substances from Greece and China however the ministry desisted from disclosing the identities of those arrested but said they included a pharmacist.

The Ministry said in a statement that officers have dismantled two organizations importing the products, which can cause severe damage to health. The security forces, in their first operation, arrested 75 people accused of using the postal service to introduce doping drugs from Portugal to then sell on in gyms and private homes in Madrid, Valencia, the Basque Country and Asturias. Forty-seven homes were searched by police seizing more than 24,000 doses. According to estimates by the Spanish police, the organization could have introduced doping substances valued at more than 11,000 euros per day during the first trimester of 2013. The second ring made use of social networks for advertising and luring potential clients and introduced the drugs from China and Greece in postal packs. The Spanish police was able to seize 683,000 doses of steroids, EPO, and growth hormone and arrested nine people.

Spanish lawmakers this month approved a new measure that is intended to counter the doping concerns that have damaged the reputation of different sports in the country. The new measure will expand the range of doping tests and imposes larger fines for those dealing in illegal substances along with creating a more autonomous national anti-doping agency to fight the use of performance enhancing drugs. Many believe that this is a desperate attempt by the country because of Madrid’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics where it is competing with Istanbul and Tokyo, with the host city expected to be chosen in September. This measure is also expected to bring the country in line with the international norms and dispel the impression that Spain is soft on doping.

The country also wants the world to forget the controversial decision of a Spanish judge after she ordered the destruction of seized blood samples in the Operation Puerto doping scandal, a move that was criticized by the World Anti-Doping Agency and eminent sports personalities like Rafael Nadal. The verdict was even criticized by Alejandro Blanco, the president of Spain’s Olympic committee, who remarked the judge’s verdict had been “a mistake and a disaster” for Spanish sports but insisted that the outcome of the investigation should not undermine Madrid’s bid for the 2020 Summer Games.

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Thursday 02, May 2013

  Newmarket Trainers In A State Of Shock

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Newmarket Trainers In A State Of Shock

After Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni was charged after tests found traces of anabolic steroids in 11 of his horses and subsequently banned, Newmarket trainers are in a state of shock.

While a few said they cannot get over how insane the whole thing is, others said the horses administered with steroids could have even won without them, while some believe a big stable like Godolphin should lead by example.

Michael Bell, one of Newmarket’s Derby-winning trainers, said the home-bred trainers are acutely aware of what drugs are legal and illegal and anyone who does it risks their license. Bell said one is putting his livelihood at stake if he uses illegal substances and so he would say it’s not an across-the-board problem and it appears to be one guy going off on his own, taking the law into his own hands. He also added by being tested, you get found out and there’s no escape.

John Berry, speaking at his yard in Newmarket’s Exeter Road, is not much confident about the existing system and said there are so many things about the affair that just defy belief but one of them is that he’s stupid enough to get caught pointing out that two horses of Zarooni tested positive for a painkiller last year and that therefore he would have known that he was odds-on to receive a spot-check at some point. The BHA investigation will continue with the testing of all horses at Moulton Paddocks, but Berry can see no point to that and said it won’t add to anyone’s knowledge of who’s had what, all it’ll do is tell us who’s got what in their system now. Berry also reports that the testers of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) descend unannounced on “a handful” of stables each year, which he believes is enough of a deterrent for most people but he also feels such measures have a limited impact as larger stables use pre-training yards and so if [drugs] were in any horse’s system, the ones who would have them in their system wouldn’t be present at the time anyway.

He went on to add that even though anabolic steroids can pass through a horse’s system in a short time, the benefit derived from them may last for much longer and a horse may spend months in a pre-training yard, getting daily doses of steroids, and the British Horseracing Authority would be unable to prove it as such yards are unlicensed and their testers have no right to enter them since horses are only required to be in a licensed yard for a fortnight before racing. Berry also said that anabolic steroids cannot be relied upon to improve a horse’s ability as they would a human athlete and added that if you could get a horse so that he was that much bulkier than the others, he’d probably break down and if you could get his blood so much richer than the others, he’d start bleeding. He also said there are optimum levels for everything and if it’s been routine to use this in Zarooni’s stable, his results suggest they’re more of a hindrance than a help.

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Wednesday 02, Sep 2009

  Higher rejection incidence keenly associated with early steroid withdrawal

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Higher rejection incidence keenly associated with early steroid withdrawalAccording to a new study, there is a high incidence of rejection and low incidence of intolerance necessitating treatment for diabetes in human beings when it comes to early steroid withdrawal following liver transplantation.

The results of this first double-blind placebo-controlled study were published in an issue of Liver Transplantation, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS) and were focused on examining the effects of early steroid elimination.

It was concluded by the involved authors that early steroid withdrawal at day 14 cannot be termed as a safe practice though this practice is efficient in terms of tolerability to glucose.

Wednesday 26, Aug 2009

  Higher rejection incidence following early steroid withdrawal

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Higher rejection incidence following early steroid withdrawal  According to a new study on early steroid withdrawal following liver transplantation, it has been revealed that there is a high incidence of rejection and a low incidence of intolerance that necessitates treatment for diabetes. This first double-blind placebo-controlled study was conducted to examine the effects of early steroid elimination.

The results of this study were published in an issue of Liver Transplantation, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS).

From Eurekalert.org:

The normal course of treatment after liver transplantation includes calcineurin inhibitors (a class of immunosuppressants) and steroids to minimize rejection and improve survival rates, but the long-term complications of these drugs can be fatal. Steroid use in particular can lead to diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension, which increase the risk of heart disease, and can lead to death. Several previous studies have reported that early withdrawal from steroids reduced the incidence of these side effects, but that rejection increased, although it could be controlled with steroid pulse therapy (in which high doses of steroids are administered intravenously for a short period of time). The current multicenter study was the first prospective double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to compare early steroid withdrawal with continued use.

Led by Georges-Philippe Pageaux, of the Centre Hospitalier University St.-Eloi in Montpellier, France, the study examined 174 patients in 15 French liver transplantation centers over a 14-month period from December 1999 to August 2001. The patients were randomly divided into two groups seven days following transplant: 90 of them continued to receive steroids for six months, while 84 received a placebo starting at day 14 (following 7 days of tapering from steroids). At the end of six months, 22 patients in the steroid group (24.4 percent) and 32 patients in the placebo group (38.1 percent) experienced acute rejection. Although there was no statistical difference in the two groups for high cholesterol and hypertension, 22.2 percent of patients in the steroid group developed diabetes compared with 14.3 percent of placebo patients. At the end of 12 months, the incidence of acute rejection was 25.6 percent in the steroid group versus 39.3 percent in the placebo group, but there no longer a difference in diabetes between the two groups.

The authors concluded that early steroid withdrawal at day 14 is not considered to be completely safe in terms of rejection but it was also found that it is efficient in terms of glucose tolerability.

Wednesday 01, Jul 2009

  New Interventional Radiology Treatment offers New Paradigm

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New Interventional Radiology Treatment offers New ParadigmAs per a study, graft-versus-host (GHVD) Patients after a bone marrow or cord blood transplant with intravenous steroids who do not respond to the steroid treatment can be treated with higher doses of steroids with a new interventional radiology treatment.

It was found that higher doses of steroids can be given via catheter to the arteries, which are supplying the GHVD-affected organs since the remaining body is spared from side-effects of the steroids, as per Joshua L. Weintraub, M.D., chief of the Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

GHVD is a common complication, related to an allogeneic bone marrow transplant, in which the immune cells from the donated cord blood or marrow pose a threat to transplant patient’s body.

This first of its kind study in the United States reveals a viable option for treating patients with GHVD as per Weintraub.