View Full Version : Athletics: 'Designer' drug scandal looms

Oct 18th, 2003, 10:02 AM

Athletics: 'Designer' drug scandal looms
By Tom Knight
(Filed: 18/10/2003)

The International Association of Athletics Federations could re-test urine samples collected at this summer's World Championships in the wake of the doping scandal gathering pace in the United States.

Tests on British athletes could also be reviewed, according to UK Sport, the agency responsible for anti-doping in this country.

The fear is that the samples could show yet more evidence that athletes from around the world have been using tetrahydrogestrinone, a designer steroid known as THG.

Such is the scale of this latest doping scandal, with the FBI and Justice Department also involved in the investigation being led by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), that the IAAF could yet hit those found guilty of using the drug with bans that exceed the normal two-year sanction.

The steroid was thought to have been undetectable until earlier this year when the USADA received an anonymous tip-off about its existence from a leading American coach.

According to the USADA, an effective test for THG was devised soon after they were sent, again anonymously, a sample of the steroid in a used syringe.

It meant that the USADA were able to re-test 350 urine samples taken from athletes at the American track and field championships in June, as well as 100 samples from random out-of-competition tests on track athletes and 100 random samples from non-track athletes.

So far, it appears that the A samples of half-a-dozen people have tested positive for the drug and there could be more.

Last night, the IAAF said they would wait until the athletes' B samples had been analysed before commenting.

According to reports in the Washington Post, one world-leading athlete is allegedly among those who tested positive for THG.

Terry Madden, the USADA chief executive officer, has called it a widespread "conspiracy" involving chemists, coaches and athletes.

He added: "I know of no other drug bust that is larger than this involving the number of athletes involved."

Madden said the USADA believed that the sample they received came from the BALCO company in northern California, run by Victor Conte.

The company, who were raided in September by agents from the Internal Revenue Service and San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force, also provide nutritional supplements to some British athletes and top Americans, although there is nothing to say that these are illegal.

Conte denied that BALCO were the source of the drug. He said: "In my opinion, this is about jealous, competitive coaches and athletes that all have a history of promoting and using performance-enhancing agents being completely hypocritical in their actions.

"As many will soon find out, the world of track and field is a very dirty business and this goes far beyond just the coaches and athletes."

Michele Verroken, the head of anti-doping at UK Sport, said: "We applaud the actions of USADA in their handling of this matter. We are in contact with colleagues in the United States to confirm how we might work with them in reviewing tests on UK athletes."

The IAAF, meanwhile, are bracing themselves for a rush of positives which could include some of the biggest names in the sport.

and this from yesterday
America hit by designer drug row
By Tom Knight
(Filed: 17/10/2003)

A major doping scandal looked set to erupt in the United States last night when it emerged that a number of top American and international athletes had tested positive for a new designer steroid.

The US Anti-Doping Agency refused to name the athletes concerned but, in a statement, said that until recently the drug was thought to be undetectable.

The drug, called Tetrahydrogestrinon, a synthetic anabolic steroid, was found when an International Olympic Committee laboratory in Los Angeles analysed the contents of a syringe handed in anonymously by "a top coach".

According to the USADA, a test was immediately devised to detect the drug, which, it is claimed, originated from a Californian company who specialise in supplements aimed at boosting performance.

Terry Madden, the USADA's chief executive officer, said the IOC and the International Association of Athletics Federations had been informed of the discovery of the drug and this summer's positive tests.

Madden said the affair had resulted in "doping of the worst sort". He added: "What we have uncovered appears to be intentional doping. This is a far cry from athletes accidentally testing positive as a result of taking contaminated supplements. Rather, this is a conspiracy involving chemists, coaches and athletes to defraud fellow competitors."

Oct 18th, 2003, 07:53 PM
This is HUGE. :o

I can't wait until all these cheats get busted. :banana: :aparty:

Oct 18th, 2003, 08:19 PM

Wow, this is going to be one of the biggest drugs scandals in sport :eek:

Cam'ron Giles
Oct 18th, 2003, 09:28 PM
**cough**Tim Montgomery**Cough**