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 More Bad News In Doping Scandal
Submitted by Rickshaw :: Fri Dec 10, 2004 1:59 pm
In the latest installment of the doping scandal that continues to plague professional sports, US sprinter Michelle Collins has been banned from the sport for 8 years for a doping violation. Although she never tested positive for drugs, an arbitration panel concluded that she was guilty of doping based on patterns observed from blood and urine tests, along with documents seized from BALCO by federal prosecutors and statements made by BALCO officials. Collins will forfeit her 2003 indoor world and U.S. titles in the 200 meters. As one insider to the BALCO scandal remarked, "Steroids are so ubiquitous, so omnipresent in sport; they have been for decades. There is a level playing field out there, it just isn't the playing field you thought it was."

This news comes right on the heels of other recent high-profile doping revelations. New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi admitted taking steroids and human growth hormone, and baseball great Barry Bonds admitted he took unknown substances from his personal trainer, but says he believed the substances were not steroids.

BALCO chief Victor Conte also appeared on 20/20 last week, and claimed he had supplied "World's Fastest Woman" Marion Jones with a variety of illegal drugs from August 2000 through September 2001. Conte claims he instructed Jones on how to use the drugs, and personally observed her inject the drugs into her quads. Jones continues to deny she has ever used performance-enhancing drugs, and has never failed a drug test.

Meanwhile, Arizona senator John McCain has demanded action on the doping issue, threatening to push for federal legislation to address doping if the sports federations do not adequately deal with it themselves.

It remains to be seen how the recent doping controversy will affect professional sports in the long term. While polls show that fans are concerned about doping, most are not concerned enough to stop attending events or watching them on television. A New York Times poll last December indicated that 41 percent of people under 30 are not bothered at all by the use of performance-enhancing drugs among professional athletes.


Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 30

Re: More Bad News In Doping Scandal Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 2:30 am 

What's the dope (pun intended) on drugs for distance runners. It is only EPO, no? What is the effect in terms of improved performance?

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: More Bad News In Doping Scandal Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:55 am 

I should look this up before replying, but I'm lazy. I think EPO is the main one, and as I understand, it enables your blood to carry more oxygen than normal. Other types of steroids are common too, and basically help build larger muscles. Those might not be as helpful for long-distance runners, however.

I can't recall seeing any specific numbers on how much EPO actually helps you, but it would be interesting. I'm guessing that the effect would be small, but if you're already at the elite level, even a small boost can be very important.

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