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Friday 12, Sep 2008

  Somebody’s ‘butt’ got kicked because of steroids

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Nameed Ahmed Butt, a 37-year-old powerlifter who hails from Pakistan tested positive for a banned compound in the ongoing Paralympic Games in Beijing.

The urine sample was taken Sept. 4, two days before the opening ceremony.

“In accordance with the IPC anti-doping code, and after a hearing of the IPC anti-doping committee, the IPC ratified the decision to disqualify Butt from the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games,” the statement said, adding that a two-year ban had been imposed.

Peter Van de Vliet, the IPC’s medical and scientific director, said Butt’s accreditation was also being canceled.

The IPC has said it plans about 1,000 in- and out-of-competition tests on both blood and urine.

Another Paralympian also was kicked out of Beijing because he tested positive for a masking agent.

Ahmet Coskun, German wheelchair basketballer, was disqualified from the games for using a banned drug. Coskun’s pre-competition urine test on August 23 tested positive for finasteride, a compound used to treat hair loss.

According to the statement released by the German National Paralympic Committee, although finasteride does not enhance performance it can be used to mask or cover up drugs that do. Coskun, meanwhile, denied he had used performance-enhancing drugs.

“I was thinking about my hair and had no idea that the drug, which is against hair loss, contained a banned substance. I’m very upset. I never intended to do doping,” the 33-year-old Coskun stated in said statement.

“We take the issue of anti-doping very seriously. We’ve been carrying out an intensive anti-doping campaign for years in cooperation with NADA (the German anti-doping agency),” German chef de mission Karl Quade said in the same statement.

In 2004 Paralympic Games held in Athens, two powerlifters from Azerbaijan were banned after testing positive for anabolic steroids in out-of-competition screenings.

Urine samples from Gunduz Ismayilov showed traces of stanazolol while Sara Abbasova tested positive for nandrolone. They were the second doping offenses for both athletes as such they received lifetime ban from the sport.

Ismayilov had served a two-year ban after testing positive for methandienone and nandrolone metabolites at the Sydney Paralympics in 2000.

Abbasova’s first offense was at the 2001 European powerlifting championships where she tested positive also for methandienone.

Methandienone is a steroid derived from testosterone that exhibits strong anabolic and moderate androgenic properties. This compound is popular among athletes because it is one of the most effective steroids around. This steroid is known to yield impressive muscle mass and strength in just a short period of time. It derives strength for athletes by readily augmenting depleted glycogen storage. Glycogen is a form of glucose which functions as the primary short term energy storage in human cells.

The incident with the Azerbaijan athletes was the first time the International Paralympic Committee has imposed a lifetime ban.

The Paralympic Games in Beijing commenced September 6 and will run up to September 17. That’s a few more days to go and so other Paralympian might be tested positive for banned compounds. We’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday 30, Jul 2008

  China’s crackdown on steroids – Better late than never

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china-steroidsIn preparation for the coming Summer Olympics in Beijing, and probably in response to the recent showing of a documentary in Germany about gene doping and steroid trade in China, Chinese officials are now intensifying their drive against suppliers of performance-enhancing drugs.

Those who have suffered the brunt of now embarrassed local anti-doping officials include manufacturers of steroids and peptide hormones, wholesalers, consumer outlets and websites.

The Earth Times has the complete report:

China has begun a clampdown on companies making drugs that can be used to enhance sporting performance ahead of next month’s Olympic Games in Beijing. Production bans, licence withdrawals and fines have all been used by the authorities, the national anti-doping agency (CHINADA) and other ministerial agencies reported Monday.

According to the reports, 257 companies which deal with or manufacture anabolic steroids and peptide hormones, 2,739 wholesalers and 340,000 consumer outlets were inspected.

As a result, 30 companies were ordered to suspend production while 25 firms had their licence to manufacture drugs which can be used for doping withdrawn.

Another 318 websites, which gave information on the sale of steroids and peptide
hormones, were also targeted.

“We have punished those who have broken the rules,” said Yan Jiangyung, spokeswoman for the Chinese state authority that overlooks nutrition and medicinal drugs.

Earlier this month, a German television documentary suggested that genetic doping is possible in China.

The documentary broadcast by the state-run ARD network showed a reporter, claiming to be a swimming coach, inquiring about performance- enhancing stem cell treatment for athletes in a Chinese hospital.

While Yan called on the ARD to hand over any information it had on Chinese medical practitioners who were involved in doping, a spokesman for the Health Ministry said genetic doping was not possible.

“I can say in agreement with international experts that such a therapy does not exist in China or elsewhere internationally,” said Mao Qunan.

With less than two weeks before the start of the Games, many consider the move to be a belated attempt to curb the use of these banned compounds. But China is under intense pressure from anti-doping agencies, particularly the World Anti-Doping Agency. WADA’s top gun John Fahey has been proclaiming that the 2008 Summer Olympics will be the cleanest ever.

From AFP:

Though Fahey refused to guarantee a completely drug-free Games, he said cheats are more likely to be caught by the doping agency this year than ever before.
“One has to recognise the question of doping in sport has been around now for a long time,” Fahey told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio.

“There’s been evidence that at successive games it’s occurred. (But) I can give this guarantee: there’s a far greater likelihood that anybody cheating or attempting to cheat in the Beijing Games will be caught than in any other time of our history.”

It is expected that around 4,500 tests for banned compounds will be implemented on participating athletes in the Beijing Olympics. This is significantly higher with those that had been carried out in Athens and Sydney, numbering to 3,700 and 2,800 tests respectively.