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Monday 19, Dec 2016

  Doping Common Among Well-Known Athletes, Says Former WADA Vice President

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Former World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) vice president Arne Ljungqvist has disclosed that well-known athletes have “legally” used banned substances after they received permission for their use to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Ljungqvist, who served as WADA vice-president from 2008 to 2013, made the comments in a documentary film shown on Russian television station Channel One. This program led to an investigation into allegedly-falsified Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) documents that allowed many athletes to take the banned drugs. It was based on information published by hacker group ‘Fancy Bears’ that disclosed six lists of athletes who have been granted Therapeutic Use Exemptions that permit them to take medication at the time of competition. These list included big names such as American tennis champion Serena Williams, British cyclist Bradley Wiggins, and Team USA’s four-time Olympic gymnastics gold medalist Simone Biles.

Ljungqvist said in the program that there were a lot of disagreements in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) hierarchy when talks began on the topic of TUEs. The former World Anti-Doping Agency VP said if an athlete is suffering from illness and needs to take strong medication, then it is not worth them competing. Ljungqvist added ADHD in teenagers did not present any issue as they rarely compete at the highest level. But when these diagnoses were made for adults, it caused greater problems and said tere are some high-level athletes using that diagnosis – we know who they are, and you know who they are.

Ljungqvist was also quoted as saying that he did not have any injuries or illnesses that could warrant a TUE, but he doesn’t think he is the only one who doped otherwise he would have always been first. Ljungqvist said everything is done quite easily as you write to them saying you have an injury, what medication you need, including a seal of approval by the doctor of the diagnosis, which is forged and you can get permission to use banned substances in five minutes. Ljungqvist also said they let me know about TUEs the moment I signed a contract with a top team and we all planned in advance, the doctor said, when we needed to take the substance glucocorticosteroids when you succumbed to fatigue, he could lose weight, but nevertheless not feel weakness in the muscles or any weariness.

Norwegian cross-country skier Martin Johnsrud Sundby was recently banned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for an anti-doping rule violation. The use of medication Salbutamol resulted in the test levels of Johnsrud’s urine sample exceeding the limits set in anti-doping rules.

The authors of the film say WADA remain tolerant to the asthma issue – even without TUEs it allows as much as 1600 mcg (16 inhalations) on a daily basis. They added but the dose of the drug used by one of the Norwegian skiers was not just a bit higher, it exceeds the norm by nine times. A Norwegian media investigation revealed 46 of Norway’s 61 Olympic champions since 1992 have used asthma medication which contains banned substances.

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Friday 21, Oct 2016

  Doping In Top-Level Sports Recommended By Norwegian Professor

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Jan Ove Tangen, a professor of sports sociology at the University of South-Eastern Norway, has advocated controlled doping use for eliminating suspicion and providing equal opportunities to contenders.

In an opinion piece in Norwegian newspaper Forskning, Tangen remarked Norwegian cross-country top-level skiing has given itself further and further into the grey area in its hunt for medals and added some have even gone into the forbidden territory, and some of our most renowned skiers have now been convicted of doping. Tangen radically proposed that doping should allowed and as accepted.

In recent months, the clean image of Norwegian athletes has been tarnished. The success of the all-time leading Olympic nation in Nordic combined and cross-country skiing has been bruised by dark strains on its “clean” reputation. A few months back, the Finnish anti-doping agency called for a closer review of the practices of the Norwegian Ski Federation. A physician for the Swedish national ski team and member of the Swedish Olympic Committee has communicated to the media that the Therese Johaug case undermines the credibility of all medical professionals in sports and called for a discussion of ethics and morals and a curb on the ‘medicalization’ of cross-country skiing.

Norway’s top male cross-country skiier and 2014 Sochi Olympic bronze medalist Martin Johnsrud Sundby was recently given a suspension of two months after he tested positive for Salbutamol, an asthma medication.

Tangen made these comments Therese Johaug, one of Norway’s most decorated female cross-country skiers of all times, tested positive for the steroid Clostebol. It was later revealed by the Norwegian ski federation that the substance came from a cream that was given to Johaug by team doctor Fredrik Bendiksen to treat sunburn on her lips during high-altitude training in Italy.

The professor of sports sociology said the legalization of doping may make competition more equal and would even save the necessity of running numerous anti-doping agencies and spending of a fortune by them. Tangen added only athletes get punished most of the times while coaches, managers and sports federations usually continue unscathed. Tangen also criticized media, sponsors, politicians, and the public for setting too high expectations on athletes to win awards. The sports sociology professor also commented that it is rather difficult to draw a clear line between what constitutes permissible performance-enhancing methods and what is doping that result in lengthy bans and destroyed careers. Tangen also said doping can be used as a legal solution for continuous performance improvements, provided that the intake happens under the control of specialists.

The University of South-Eastern Norway professor said top level sports are already largely unhealthy and imply a tremendous stress for the human body. Tangen added doping is seen by many as a means for keeping athletes healthy. Tangen rhetorically said doping is not really more unjust than the fact that some of the athletes have been blessed with superior genes over their competitors or the fact that a country may have more resources and knowledge to for talent-hunting and performance development.

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Saturday 17, Sep 2016

  Therapeutic Use Exemptions Can Be Abused, Says McLaren

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Dr Richard McLaren, who authored the exploding report on state-sponsored doping by Russia, has remarked the system of therapeutic use exemptions for athletes is open to abuse.

Hackers Fancy Bears this week released stolen TUE medical files of athletes. The records released mostly detail TUEs that allows banned substances to be taken for verified medical needs of athletes.

The hacked files included those of three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome and five-time Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins. The medical files of golfer Charley Hull, rugby sevens player Heather Fisher and rower Sam Townsend were also made public. British Olympic champions Laura Trott and Nicola Adams had files released on Friday. Trott had TUEs for Salmeterol and Salbutamol, which are used in the treatment of asthma and expired on 31 July, 2013.  The 31-year-old Froome remarked he had already made public his use of therapeutic use exemptions. Froome twice took the steroid Prednisolone for “exacerbated asthma” while Wiggins used Salbutamol to treat chest conditions and asthma.

Canadian law professor and sports lawyer McLaren remarked one would have to conduct investigations on specific sports as to whether or not too many TUEs are being used with respect to particular substances. McLaren remarked one of the common TUEs is for Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication – there may be abuse there and added that is one area that probably needs to be looked at – how frequently are certain medicines being used in particular sports.

Methylphenidate, which is prescribed for ADHD, is a stimulant that helps improve brain function in people with the health complication. However, it also has the ability to improve the performance of an athlete and is only allowed to be used by elite performers with medical approval.

McLaren also questioned response of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to his Russian state-sponsored doping investigation that is believed to have prompted the hackers to break into the systems of WADA and release files of athletes. The Canadian law professor and sports lawyer said the IOC downplayed the findings of his report that concluded the sports ministry of Russia “directed, controlled and oversaw” manipulation of urine samples provided by its athletes between 2011 and 2015.

The WADA report author also said the IOC turned it into an issue about individuals. McLaren also remarked the report looked at individuals not because they had committed doping infractions, but to ascertain whether they were part of a system that was operated outside of their national governing body, and was being run by the state. He also commented he was “confident” sufficient proof of Russian state-sponsored doping, “beyond a reasonable doubt” was disclosed by the report. McLaren added they were not interim conclusions but they were final conclusions, and not allegations, as was suggested by various organizations including the International Olympic Committee.

McLaren also commented decision by the IOC to impose a ban only on individual Russian athletes guilty of doping offences in the past turned that on its head and turned it into an issue about individuals and their rights to compete, which was nothing to do with the report.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Therapeutic Use Exemptions Can Be Abused, Says McLaren

Monday 10, Jan 2011

  Edwin Raju returns a second positive sample

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Edwin Raju returns a second positive sampleOne of the two weightlifters from India who tested positive for banned steroids in Melbourne failed to clear a drug test.

The Indian team made a request to adjourn the hearing after Edwin Raju returned a second positive sample.

Hopper said Mouttet had not committed an offence but was warned for her tardy paperwork.

Wednesday 24, Mar 2010

  Asthma can worsen with ventolin inhaler compound

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Asthma can worsen with ventolin inhaler compoundA compound used in the leading brand of asthma inhaler can make the allergy worse, as per scientists. Millions of people suffering from asthma make use of inhalers also known as salbutamol or salbuterol for getting relief from wheezing and also use inhaled steroids for preventing occurrence of the condition.

It was feared by the scientists that a compound in Ventolin inhalers can react with steroids that are used for preventing asthma attacks.

It was remarked by Dr Mark Aronica, of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio that clinical studies in future would be required if this is the case.

Monday 22, Feb 2010

  Ventolin inhaler compound can worsen asthma

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Ventolin inhaler compound can worsen asthmaAccording to findings disclosed in a meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in San Francisco, a chemical used in inhalers (salbutamol or salbuterol) by a leading brand can actually make the allergy worse.

It was feared that the compound in inhalers can react with steroids used for preventing asthma attacks.

This finding will surely encourage clinical studies in the near future on how to eliminate the possible risk.

Tuesday 22, Sep 2009

  List of 2010 WADA banned substances out by January 1

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List of 2010 WADA banned substances out by January 1According to World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) President John Fahey, the 2010 list of banned substances reflects scientific advances.

Among those added in the list is the stimulant found in cold medicines, pseudoephedrine. According to the agency, the substance showed performance enhancing effects beyond certain doses.

The agency has been monitoring its use for the past five years, particularly the over-the-counter drugs Chlor-Trimeton Nasal Decongestant and Sudafed.

WADA will provide information and education about the use of this over-the-counter medicine. A urinary threshold was also set by the agency for this particular drug.

Salbutamol, an anti-asthma drug, will be allowed in minimal presence at the time of testing. Instead of requiring a Therapeutic Use Exemption, it will require a declaration of use.

“Blood spinning,” a process wherein platelets are segregated and injected into the area of injury to speed up tissue healing was also prohibited if administered through intramuscular injection. Other methods of administration will require a declaration of use.

However, supplemental oxygen, which was one prohibited, is now allowed by the agency.

During WADA’s executive committee meeting in Montreal, Fahey said that the annual revisions are founded on expanding anti-doping knowledge and continuous understanding of doping practices and trends.

Sunday 09, Aug 2009

  Young Children taking Drugs to win at sport

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Young Children taking Drugs to win at sportAccording to a recently concluded study by researchers from France that was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, children as young as eleven are using drugs to improve their on-field performance. This clearly suggests that steroids have also reached hands of the young children who are willing to take on steroids with an aim to win.

In the last few years, the growing bond of steroids and sports has amazed all. This is primarily because steroids have been helping sportsmen to deliver dramatic performance on a consistent basis without feeling fatigue.

It can be easily concluded from the above discussions that the use of steroids has now reached almost every home. The fact that steroids are not harmful when used according to medical advice and are easily available make them closer to young children, who want to taste ‘success’ with every attempt.

Thursday 30, Jul 2009

  Young Children using drugs to win at sport

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Young Children using drugs to win at sportAs per the findings of French researchers that were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, children as young as eleven are using drugs to enhance their sporting performance and stay ahead of the competition.

It was also found during the study that while 44 percent of children under eleven confessed to use of steroids in sports, the number got increased from 1.2 to 3.0 percent in case of children who celebrated their 15th birthday.

This study was concerned with the use of drugs banned under the World Anti-Doping Agency International Standard and involved answers to questions asked from 3,500 eleven-year olds.