Thursday, September 24, 2009

How many people are unknowingly using PEDs?

This month, I suffered a number of setbacks. From a freakish running injury to a serious bout with pneumonia, it has not been a productive month for fall marathon training. As a result of these issues, the fall marathon is in serious jeopardy. Having a time goal for the race and missing weeks of training is leaning towards choosing a race later in the year.

The freakish injury is possibly for a later time. At first, I thought I was suffering a severe cold with major congestion in the lungs. Sleep it out over the weekend and I should be good to go. Like the ad says, not exactly.

Still experiencing problems breathing, racing heartbeat going to bed, wheezing cough I went to the doctor. I told him I thought I had pneumonia. Ran through my symptoms, he ran a few simple tests and said my diagnosis was spot on.

He prescribed amoxicillin and gave me an inhaler. Before telling me what it was, he showed me how to use it and excitedly encouraged me to take a pull. I did as I was told and after looking at the box I recognized the drug. I’m neither a pharmacist nor a doctor, but Symbicort is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. This drug falls under WADA’s Beta - 2 Agonists.
Was the doctor obligated to advise me of this beforehand? What if I requested an alternative that is not banned by WADA, could he have obliged or is their a relationship between the manufacturer of Symbicort and this doctor? Several doctors I visit seem to have only one drug sample or prescribe only one drug – why is that?

Athletes are famous for going to the “I never knowingly used PEDs” card. My experience lends some credence to that excuse, but with one major exception: elite athletes need to question everything given to them – period. Dara Torres uses Symbicort to treat her asthma.

If my doctor freely gave me a banned substance by WADA, how many other people are using banned substances unknowingly? It’s scary to speculate. ADD, Viagra and other asthma medications just to name a few, but unlike elite athletes, these average joes and janes are using those meds to treat their illness or enhance their life, not get an unfair edge against the competition.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The good old days of passing drug tests

Stop the presses! According to the New York Post, Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor submitted a teammate’s urine sample when he failed his first drug test in 1987. Taylor disclosed this information on the YES network’s “Centerstage” program.

Is this revelation shocking? Absolutely not, Taylor has had repeated run ins with the law and displayed erratic behavior throughout the years attributing most of that behavior to drug use. He also explained to host Michael Kay that after he retired, he wanted to “do recreational drugs again.”

Mission accomplished LT. It would appear that LT didn’t just jump back into recreational drugs half ass. He pursued it like Joe Montana in the 4th quarter of the NFC Championship Game. While he didn’t admit to using PEDs, it’s amazing how the evolution of avoiding detection has transpired since the days of LT.

Back in LT’s day, someone else provided “clean” urine. ..or so that was the plan. Then it evolved to Whizzinators and once that was discovered as a way of passing drug tests, officials then had to witness athletes provide samples. Why the need for officials to witness a sample being provided? Athletes will do whatever it takes to get an edge: real or perceived. They have been doing so since the dawn of time.

The evolution will continue. The cheaters are always ahead of the enforcers. Eventually other cheaters will admit to how they were caught or evaded authorities, but while these athletes might eventually come clean, they still will have their moment in the sun when they achieved greatness through artificial means.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pro wrestling takes another hit

Another pro wrestler has been linked to painkillers. This time Rey Mysterio, real name Oscar Gutierrez , was brought down for not providing a valid prescription for painkillers, in violation of the WWE's Wellness Program.

Give World Wrestling Entertainment credit: they have a wellness program in place and enforce it. Their main competition Total Nonstop Action (TNA) does not. Even though the company's announcement of the suspension was only 26 words and did not specify how Gutierrez violated the program, putting one of their most popular stars on the sidelines for 30 days furthers the argument that there are no favorites under this policy.

The real test will be when the main character is caught red handed; will the company suspend the employee that brings in the most money for them?