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Archive for  September 2008

Tuesday 30, Sep 2008

Bodybuilder sentenced to prison for steroid-related charges

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justin-deprospo-steroidsTwenty-two-year old Jonathan DeProspo of Watertown, MA., has been sentenced due to his role in an international steroid distribution ring.

A US District Court in Boston handed down the decision Wednesday, sentencing DeProspo to a year and a day in prison. After serving his prison term, he will be put under supervised release for three more years.

In February, DeProspo pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to possess anabolic steroids with intent to distribute, possession of anabolic steroids with intent to distribute, and money laundering.

He has been under investigation by DEA and Internal Revenue Service agents for months before he was charged.

A month prior to his guilty plea, DeProspo’s brother, Justin, also pleaded guilty to similar charges.

The case against the DeProspo brothers was made using video surveillance, public records, telephone records, as well as Internet transactions. The brothers have been linked with British Dragon, an online source for anabolic steroids. In March this year, the two alleged founders of British Dragon have been arrested in Asia in an international sting operation.

According to court documents, Jonathan DeProspo has revealed during a taped conversation that “he had been involved in the steroid business for over four years and has two to three different steroid sources and tons of customers.”

Tuesday 30, Sep 2008

Greg LeMond welcomes back Lance Armstrong with doping questions

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Greg LeMond steroidsTo Lance Armstrong, Greg LeMond is like a nasty habit – he won’t go away despite taking him by the horn.

LeMond has been quite vocal about his concern whether Armstrong is using anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. And now, as Armstrong readies himself for an impressive comeback, LeMond is there to put a damper on every twist and turn Armstrong takes.

When Armstrong attended an Interbike trade show a day after officially announcing his comeback to talk with the media and other stakeholders in the cycling sport and industry, one of people sitting in the front row was, you guessed right, Armstrong’s nemesis – good old LeMond.

This news from Bike Radar:

LeMond led off the questioning with some pointed ones, all surrounding the theme of questioning the reasonability of the planned special testing of Armstrong by Don Catlin of the UCLA lab.

“I see Mr. Greg LeMond is here,” Armstrong said somewhat wryly, but allowed him to have the first question.

LeMond pressed Armstrong and Catlin about the type of testing they had planned. He called into question the proposed testing, arguing that it is not comprehensive enough, such as using T/E ratios and tests for specific EPO drugs as opposed to measuring physiological variables such as power output changes over time. LeMond inferred that a spike in power output would better indicate the use of something illegal compared to trying to test for particular substances.

“That is not my area,” responded Catlin. “He will be subject to testing by everyone under the sun. I think that will be all sorted out.”

Catlin said that the actual program is still taking shape. “[Lance] has agreed to a couple of a few very fundamental points. One is his data, like T/E ratio and all that kind of stuff that a doping control is allowed to do will be on the web, so you can see it. ‘Ah, your T/E ratio changed today, what happened?’ Like to see if he is taking EPO – all the actors to make it a very public campaign.

“The other thing is samples will be kept frozen for a good long time so that if next year, five years a new test comes out and someone says Lance was doing something five years ago, we can pull out the samples and test them. This is longitudinal testing whereas the usual type of testing is taking a stop in time. This is where you connect the dots and is much more powerful kind of program to understand the physiology.”

“That is all irrelevant,” LeMond responded. “It doesn’t matter about T/E ratio but watts and power output…”

“I don’t think it is irrelevant,” said Catlin. “I dare say you know this business pretty well! Come with your ideas of what we should do!”

At that point Armstrong stepped in tried to move things along. “You’ve done your job,” Armstrong said to LeMond. “We are here to talk about a couple of things, like the Global Clinton campaign and my comeback to cycling. It’s time for us, everybody in this room, to move on. We are not going to go there, I appreciate you being here – next question.”

We’re sure that brush off would not be enough to deter LeMond’s crusade to prove that Armstrong is not as clean he wants the sports world to think.

Armstrong’s career has been dogged by doping rumors. The book L. A. Confidentiel – Les secrets de Lance Armstrong, published in 2004, tells of the allegations of Armstrong’s former masseuse that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs.  Steve Swart, Armstrong’s former teammate, has also alleged in the same book that Armstrong was into PEDs.

On August 2005, a French newspaper has reported that six urine samples taken from Armstrong Tour prior and during the 1999 Tour de France had tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO).

There have been more similar allegations that have been thrown against the seven-time Tour de France champ; most have ended in lawsuits, which have been either dismissed or settled out of court.

In 1999, his urine sample has shown metabolites of corticosteroids, but it was reported the amount was not within the positive test range. Armstrong claimed the he used the drugs to treat saddle sores, substantiating his statement with a medical certificate. He has continually denied allegations of steroid and PED use.

Tuesday 30, Sep 2008

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Monday 29, Sep 2008

Usain Bolt says he’s clean; dismisses Carl Lewis’ doping allegations

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usain-bolt-steroidsIn a recent telephone interview with Reuters, Usain Bolt insists he is squeaky clean and that he has gained track stardom due to hard training.

Bolt also answers back to American sprint superstar Carl Lewis’ scrutiny that he may be on some performance boosters when he smashed world records at the recently concluded Beijing Olympics.

Lewis has dropped some controversial comments during his interview with Sports Illustrated. His comments have sparked indignation in Jamaica, Lightning Bolt’s country.

“I’m still working with the fact he dropped from 10-flat to 9.6 in one year,” American Lewis was quoted as saying. “I think there are some issues … countries like Jamaica do not have a random (dope control) programme so they can go months without being tested.”

But Bolt attempts to negate Lewis’ insinuation.

“I know I’m clean. I work hard for what I want,” said the 6-foot-5 sprinter.

“I know what he said,” said the Jamaican. “To me it doesn’t really matter what he said, a lot of people were saying that.

“When you run the 100 metres that’s what you get. As long as you’re fast they start saying that.

“It’s like a trend. I’m trying to change that. It’s a bad image for the sport.

“Carl Lewis can say whatever he wants. That’s just his opinion.”

Indeed, a lot of tongues went a-wagging when Bolt won the gold in 100m, 200m, and 4×100 relay events – quite easily in the view of many observers. Thus, the suspicion that Bolt maybe using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs for such an impressive runs.

But Bolt says he owed it all to strict training.

“The 200 is also sprinting, that was key,” he said. “The only thing I had to do was get my start right and I got my start right.

“That’s why my last 50 metres are so good because I’ve got speed and endurance.”

Bolt also denies the accusations thrown at him by many of his naysayers that there is inadequate testing program in his country, as well as in other Caribbean nations.

“For sure we get tested in the Caribbean,” he said. “They like to come to your house early in the morning.

“It’s not cool getting up at six, seven in the morning when you’re just trying to enjoy your sleep. But I know what it’s for and it’s fair. We get tested all the time.

“When you’re in the top 20 in the world you get random tested. They get to know your whereabouts.”

Further, Bolt talks about his career path. He says he would definitely defend his records at the London Olympics in 2012.

I’ll be in London … I hope it isn’t cold,” he said. “I’m looking forward to that. “I can be champion again. I’ll be 26 then. I have a lot of time on my hands. All I have to do is stay focused, train hard and be ready.”

And track fans would probably see him in the 400 meters.

“In the future I’ll probably step up to 400 metres,” he said. “But it’s a lot of work. I’m not ready for that kind of work.”

Monday 29, Sep 2008

Saints’ Jamar Nesbit blames tainted supplement for failed doping test

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NFL-steroidsJamar Nesbit is planning to take legal action against the company who provided him with tainted supplement.

Nesbit was recently penalized with a four-game suspension for violating NFL’s policy on anabolic steroids and related substances. And he will not be paid with that suspension.

“My only comment was that I took something that was advertised as being natural,” said Nesbit in one interview. “I looked at it three times. I have to be the one who has to take responsibility for what goes into my body.”

From his words, Nesbit has no intention to use banned compounds but, unfortunately for him, sports organizations like the NFL do not argue a case based on intent.

The 10-year veteran is not the first one to point finger elsewhere when caught in a sticky situation and, honestly, we hope he will be able to prove himself innocent of any wrongdoing and restore his reputation as a clean guy. Nesbit has never failed a drug test prior to this incident.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis expressed regret over Nesbit’s case.

“We are disappointed in the suspension of Jamar,” Loomis said in a statement. “We will support Jamar through this process and look forward to having him rejoin the team soon.”

Nesbit is expected to return to Saints’ active roster October 20.

Sunday 28, Sep 2008

Steroids still boost powerlifters despite years of intake discontinuance

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A breakthrough study by a team of researchers in Sweden documents that anabolic steroids’ effects still provide advantage for those who have used them even after stopping intake.

The research was conducted by Anders Eriksson and Lars-Eric Thornell, Department of Integrative Medical Biology, Section conducted the study for Anatomy, Umea University, Umea, Sweden; Christer Malm, Umeå University and Winternet and Patrik Bonnerud, Department of Health Science, Section for Medical Science, Lulea University of Technology, Lulea, Sweden; and Fawzi Kadi, Department of Physical Education and Health, Orebro University, Orebro, Sweden. Bravo, guys!

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, anabolic steroids increase muscle strength via three mechanisms – increase protein synthesis, blocking of the catabolic effects of glucocorticoids after exercise by increasing the amount of hormones in circulation, and steroid-induced enhancement of aggressive behavior that promotes a greater quantity and quality of weight training.

Anabolic steroids are analogs of the male hormone testosterone. Anabolic steroids were developed to treat patients suffering from hypogonadism and undernourishment as may be caused by surgery or muscle-wasting diseases. Their potential as performance boosters was recognized as early as the 1950s as weightlifters began using them to enhance their athletic performance. Steroids’ popularity then steadily spread to other sports and eventually into the non-athletic demographics.

Sunday 28, Sep 2008

Post-Olympics news: Four Belarusian athletes implicated in steroid use

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steroids-2008olympicsThe Belarusian Athletics Federation said Tuesday they penalized shot putter Yulia Leantsyuk and steeplechaser Irina Bakhanouskaya for two years after testing positive for anabolic steroids.

BAF spokesperson Nastassia Maryinina said the organization decided to ban the two athletes last month. Maryinina said samples taken from Leantsyuk on July 22 tested positive for testosterone. Bakhanouskaya’s samples on July 21 tested positive for stanozolol.

Meanwhile, two other Belarusian athletes are given until October 17 to explain why they tested positive for testosterone after the August 17 hammer final in Beijing.

Vadim Devyatovskiy and Ivan Tsikhan met with the International Olympic Committee’s Disciplinary Commission this weekend and both were provided with ample time to prove their innocence against doping allegations.

“We are waiting and we hope,” silver medalist Devyatovskiy said through an interpreter. “We know that we are clean but we are waiting for information.”

The Belarus pair could be disqualified and stripped of their medals if found guilty of doping. Devyatoyskiy won the silver in the final while Tsikhan took home the bronze medal. If found guilty, Devyatovskiy could be banned for life since it would be his second doping infringement; he served a two-year suspension from 2000-2002. It would be Tshikhan’s first doping violation.

The doping case involving Polish canoeist Adam Seroczynski was also heard by the commission on the same day. The 34-year-old Seroczynski, who competed in the flatwater K2 class at Beijing, tested positive for clenbuterol. He, with his teammate Mariusz Kujawski, finished fourth in the event. Kujawski is not under suspicion.

The disciplinary commission is expected to decided on the Seroczynski case on October 8.

Saturday 27, Sep 2008

Prosecutors to prove Bonds knowingly took steroids

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barry bonds steroidsBarry Bonds’ belief of Nietzschian philosophy of ‘whoever cannot lie does not know what truth is’ could be his admission to a correctional institution.

As you well know, Bonds is now facing charges for lying to 2003 grand jury investigating anabolic steroid use among professional athletes, including those from the Major League Baseball roster.

From the Boston Globe:

Federal prosecutors say they will prove personal trainer Greg Anderson supplied Barry Bonds with the steroids that led to a positive test in November 2000, the offseason before the slugger hit a major league record 73 home runs.

In a court filing Wednesday, prosecutors provided a glimpse of their trial strategy against Bonds, who’s accused of lying to a 2003 grand jury investigating steroids use among elite athletes. Prosecutors said they have two documents showing Bonds tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2000 and that Anderson supplied the drugs, but they did not give details.

Federal prosecutors served 15 felony charges against Bonds, but Bonds’ attorneys are maneuvering to have nine of those 15 charges be dropped. They said prosecutors asked ambiguous and confusing questions when Bonds appeared before the grand jury.

To illustrate their point, they argued that the question, “In the weeks and months leading up to November 2000, were you taking steroids?” was ambiguous because of an ill-defined time element. Bonds answered no to that query.

But prosecutors are opposing that move, stating that a jury should decide whether that particular question was ambiguous and unfair. The two documents they have as evidence will put that question into context.

Bonds has pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of making false declarations to a grand jury and one count of obstruction of justice. He was accused of lying when he said he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs during his 2003 testimony. Bonds said before the BALCO grand jury that he received ‘a clear substance and a cream’ from Anderson saying he was informed by Anderson that they were nutritional supplement flaxseed oil and a rubbing balm for arthritis. The two substances were later identified as ‘the cream’ and ‘the clear’, both anabolic steroids.

Bonds’ trial is set for March 2 next year.

Saturday 27, Sep 2008

Kenyan sprinter gets two-year ban for failing steroid test

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elizabeth-muthukaIt is now confirmed that Kenyan sprinter Elizabeth Muthuka has failed a steroid test at the July 26 to 28 national championships.

Athletics Kenya (AK) initially has not offered any explanation when Muthuka’s name was not among those who were sent to Beijing. She was the only female sprinter to qualify for the 2008 Olympics and was expected to run at the 400-meter event.

AK’s secretary general David Okeyo explained the reason for the delay in releasing details regarding the athlete’s failed test.

“Yes, Muthuka tested positive at the national championships. We had to treat the matter in confidence because procedural things had to be done to avoid legal issues,” AK secretary general, David Okeyo, said yesterday.

“At the national championships, six athletes were tested for drugs and only her results returned positive. We have forwarded her name to the IAAF. She now has to follow the full procedure if she wants to compete again,” Okeyo added.

“We could not tell you this since we had to wait until we got her B sample test results, which later proved positive. She appeared before AK’s medical board to explain her case and she was found to have no excuse to engage in drug abuse,” Okeyo further explained.

Muthuka’s A and B blood samples tested positive for anabolic steroid nandrolone and was penalized with a two-year ban by AK.

According to The Standard, the sprinter’s women’s 400m national record of 50.82 ran at the Olympic trials will be erased. She was also asked to return the monetary reward, which amounted to Sh10,000, for breaking Ruth Waithera’s record set of 53.3 in 1984. Mathuka was also compelled to give back all other earnings from the track.

Further, her women’s 400m national record of 50.82 ran at the Olympic trials is now considered deleted.

Friday 26, Sep 2008

NFL suspends Jamar Nesbitt for violating policy on steroids and related substances

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NFL-steroidsNew Orleans Saints Jamar Nesbit received four-game suspension without pay for violating the NFL’s policy on anabolic steroids and related substances, the league announced September 23. The suspension is effective immediately.

“My only comment was that I took something that was advertised as being natural,” the Saints’ starting left guard told the Sun Herald. “I looked at it three times. I have to be the one who has to take responsibility for what goes into my body.”

Nesbit, a 10-year veteran lineman, is likely to be replaced by rookie Carl Nicks. Nesbit is expected to return to the team’s active roster October 20.

“We are disappointed in the suspension of Jamar,” Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said in a statement. “We will support Jamar through this process and look forward to having him rejoin the team soon.”

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