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When former baseball player Ryne Sandberg said that “tainted numbers do not belong in the Hall”, he was only talking about those who have been suspected or proven to use performance-enhancing drugs. The Baseball Writers Association of America or BWAA has not been able to elect a player to the Hall of Fame this year. One reason is that the votes did not reach the required 75 percent in order to be inducted. Sandberg says the election system has been excellent in terms of voting baseball players who are clean.
Hall of Fame Election Results
In the recent election for the Hall of Fame, well-known baseball players failed to make the cut. Craig Biggio got 68.2, which was the highest number of votes. Unfortunately, it was not enough for him to be inducted. Next in line were Jack Morris with 67.7 percent, Jeff Bagwell with 59.6 percent, Mike Piazza with 57.8 percent, and Tim Raines with 52.2.
While some people are wondering why no one got in this year, Commissioner Bud Selig says the election is not just about inducting someone every year, but more on choosing someone who deserves it.
Players Who May Not Get Inducted Ever
Based on the results of the election and the perspectives of people within the sport, baseball players who may have been involved, or even suspected, with the use of steroids may have little to no chance of being inducted, regardless of their achievement and performance.
Former USA Today baseball columnist Hal Bodley says clean athletes paid the price in a steroid-stained era. While they can easily forgive athletes who used PEDs at a certain point in their career, it would still be difficult to give them a chance to get in the Hall of Fame.
One of those who failed to make it is Barry Bonds. He was voted Most Valuable Player seven times and is the home run leader of the career and of the season. However, he only got 36.2 percent of the votes. Although he has denied any use of prohibited drugs, he was convicted for an evasive answer he gave in front of a grand jury during a PED investigation.
Roger Clemens is the only player who got the Cy Young Award seven times. He placed third in strikeouts and ninth when it comes to wins. However, when it came to votes, he only garnered 37.6 percent. Like Bonds, he also denied using any type of banned substances. He is also acquitted of perjury charges due to a congressional testimony related to PEDs.
These are just two of the many baseball athletes who might never get inducted into the Hall of Fame. It is very unfortunate that a lot of great players would not be recognized for their achievement due to an involvement to performance enhancing drugs. However, it would be difficult to justify these issues.
The Effect of PED Issues in Baseball
Hal Bodley has said that the results of the recent elections for baseball’s Hall of Fame are a great indication of what voters think of athletes who cheat. It served as a “loud and clear” message with regards to the issue on steroids.
Several writers have already voiced out their opinions saying they have too much passion for the sport to even think about voting for someone who has been linked to drugs.
Vitor Belfort, a Brazilian UFC fighter and former light heavy weight champion, showed in impressive win over former Strikeforce’s final middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold at UFC FX 8. The event was held last May 18, 2013.
During the promotion of the fight, new and old issues surrounding Belfort’s fighting career is again being brought up. His past steroids-related suspension as well as his physical transformation blamed on his current therapy that involves testosterone replacement is being questioned. While Belfort is confident that he is doing everything “by the book,” his opponent thinks otherwise.
Career Marred by Suspension
On October of 2006, Belfort tested positive for 4-hydroxytestosterone, an illegal anabolic steroid. The news came after he lost a fight against Pride welterweight champion Dan Henderson. His defense was that a Brazilian endocrinologist, Dr. Rodrigo Greco, have injected him with post surgical medications containing steroids. The Nevada State Athletic Commission did receive word from the doctor that he injected Belfort with 4-hydroxytestosterone to repair a knee injury.
Although unintentional, NSAC said it is still considered a violation. Therefore, he was suspended for nine months and was required to pay a $10,000 fine.
TRT Usage Met with Criticism
Vitor has admitted to using TRT or Testosterone Replacement Therapy, which was prescribed to him by his doctors. Having a past issue with prohibited drugs, it isn’t surprising that people would question and criticize the treatment. Belfort says the negative things people say is not justified because the therapy isn’t illegal. He says his doctors said he needs it and that they went through commissions and the UFC.
Dana White, UFC president, has been very vocal about his feelings on TRT abuse. He orders tests to be done on fighters often in order to track their testosterone levels. Belfort said he has taken several tests already and has never failed any of them. Surprisingly, his results show a much lower level than what is normal. He also said TRT does not, in any way, influence a person’s performance enough to guarantee a win. Chael Sonnen, another TRT advocate, has been losing rounds even while on the therapy.
Meanwhile, Rockhold doubts the legality of the said therapy. He says Vitor’s physical attributes look too unnatural to be right. Rockhold has been adamantly open about his opinions on the veteran fighter. Belfort, on the other hand, just laughed it off and said that his conversation with his opponent will be inside the cage.
TRT Exemption in the UFC
Testosterone Replacement Therapy is meant to raise the testosterone level of a person to a more normal level. Although having higher levels of the hormone is illegal in this sport, the commission can provide exemptions for fighters who really need it, as per doctor’s prescription. Those who suffer from primary or secondary hypogonadism require this type of therapy to maintain their health and lifestyle.
In order to prevent abuse, regular testing during training, before, and after a fight is being practiced to ensure that levels stay within legal boundaries. Tests involve urine testing where the ratio of the testosterone and epitestosterone is studied.
If anyone under the therapy is caught with an intention for abuse or advantage, the appropriate punishments shall be applied by the commission. But it seems that many MMA fighters are getting away from the possible sanctions of the UFC because of the therapeutic exemptions.
Daniel Dailey, the former operator of the Deerfield Beach anti-aging clinic called PowerMedica, got an 18-month reduction on his sentence for cooperating with the authorities in building the case. The company allegedly sold prohibited substances to athletes and bodybuilders. Although convicted in 2010, Dailey will only report to federal prison on the 28th of October. According to federal prosecutors, the unavoidable delay helped them gain more information on other related cases within the state of Florida and in Albany, New York that they are handling.
Prescription Drugs Seized During Clinic Raid
In February of 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA raided the PowerMedica Clinic along Hillsboro Boulevard where they seized several boxes of prescription drugs and as well as 16 file cabinets filled with documents that include client lists. The clinic stopped operation 8 months after the raid, but federal reports say that Daily has moved all assets to his other business, Metragen, and that they continued selling steroids and human growth hormones until 2007.
Five years after the raid, Dailey pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute steroids and conspiracy to unlawfully distribute human growth hormones. The boxes of drugs seized during the raid contained performance-enhancing drugs which were all imported from China.
PowerMedica’s Controversial Doctors and Client List
This case was so controversial due to the number of law enforcers included in the patients lists of the said clinic. The list included several officers from Palm Beach Counties and eight deputies from Broward. Although the deputies were cleared by internal affairs, almost 60 firefighters and law enforcers are clients of the PowerMedica according to Dailey.
Dailey’s associates were also charged for illegal practices during their employment with the now defunct clinic. Manuel Sanguily, a doctor from New York, admitted to rubber-stamping medical prescriptions for PEDs without proper consultation. James D’Amico, a dentist from Cape Coral, posed as a doctor and signed off various prescriptions for their clients. Sanguily has served 18 months while D’Amico is still in prison for his 4-year and 3-months jail time.
Shorter Jail Time for Dailey
In August 2010, Daniel Dailey was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison. However, his sentence was shortened as compensation for his cooperation on the case. Difficult as it was, he testified against his father, William Dailey, and his role as an executive in PowerMedica. This act of a son testifying against his own father, according to Dailey’s attorney, is one of the most difficult decisions that his client has to make.
He also provided information about the HGH and steroids they sell without valid prescriptions, and the signed-off prescriptions made even without meeting their clients or reviewing their medical records. Dailey’s father has just been recently released from his 18-month jail time.
Dailey’s new sentence is 28 months in federal prison as per decision made by U.S. District Judge James Cohn.
According to court records, Dailey told the judge that he is sorry for having been involved in such type of business and that it has ruined his life. He admitted that they illegally sold anabolic steroids and human growth hormones even with the knowledge that the clients were going to use it to enhance strength and performance. Most of these PEDs were used for bodybuilding.
Peptides have been popular among bodybuilders for decades for building leaner muscles, enhancing recovery, and increasing strength. Although it works just like steroids and HGH, it has not been scrutinized as a banned substance for use on athletes. The recent death of an Australian rugby player has been somehow associated with the supplement.
Now, more and more people are getting concerned about what it is, what it can do, and what dangers are waiting to happen.
The Dangers of Peptides in Sports
Jon Mannah from Australia’s National Rugby League had a previous bout with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and was on remission. He was only 23 when he suddenly died due to the cancer, which was normally curable. It was found out that the athlete was taking peptides given to him by his team to improve performance.
Peptides encourage growth of certain hormones and this might have been the reason why the disease was re-ignited and why it led to his death.
It is quite surprising to know that, despite the popularity of the drug among athletes, little is known about it. Just like human growth hormones, peptides stimulate substances in the body that work to enhance performance, build muscle, and quicken recovery. These are not new in the world of sports and bodybuilding.
However, they have been subject to minimal attention that they have remained undetected and free for use.
The Link between Peptides and Biogenesis
Biogenesis, the Miami anti-aging clinic that allegedly provides performance enhancing drugs to NFL and MLB, is under watchful eyes after a list of athletes were found to have connections with them. In the documents derived from the clinic recently, peptides are listed as one of the drugs that they prescribe. This was enough reason to research further on the substance and the possible negative effects it may have on its users.
The MLB’s current lawsuit against the controversial clinic with the intention of gaining access to their documents might just pave the way to gain more information on peptides and to, hopefully, include it in the list of banned supplements in their sport and in many others. The NFL, although still focused on the HGH testing issue, seems to be heading in this direction as well due to public pressure.
Peptides: Pros and Cons on Pro Sports
Peptides have been in the industry of bodybuilding for a long time and have slowly made its way into baseball, rugby, football, and other sports. It is capable of stimulating the development of leaner muscle mass while making an athlete faster and stronger, and testimonials from users state that these actually work. Unlike other performance-enhancing drugs, it is barely detectable and there is no real testing procedure made specifically for tracing it. Although increases in hormone levels could be detected in biological passports, the cause may not point solely to the drug.
On the downside, the only con known about the drug is that it could contribute to the growth and spread of cancer cells. Other than that, any negative effects would need to be researched through.
This fact is something that sports authorities should be worried about. An undetectable and dangerous drug that works effectively for some will do more damage in the industry that they have been trying to keep drug-free.
Billy Pavlopoulos, a football player from the University of British Columbia, is given another chance at the sport after he was suspended for doping in 2012. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers chose the former punter/kicker of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport in the seventh round and is at number 54 in the overall draft of the Canadian Football League.
Pavlopoulos’ suspension, which happened while playing as an amateur in UBC, is not considered a heavy case unless committed within the league. Also, the ban was only from playing in any sport or game certified by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES).
Pavlopoulos’ First Doping Offense
During the off-training season, Billy Pavlopoulos took a supplement he thought was safe to take. Based on his statements, he checked the list of ingredients and researched if it contained any steroids or the like. Thinking it was safe, he took the 1MR supplement, which was manufactured by BPI.
However, in an out-of-competition test in January 2012, he was found to have traces of the anabolic steroid Stanolozol. Because of this result, he was given a 2-year ban which was supposed to end on January 2014, the exact time when his eligibility as a CIS player is going to end.
A Second Chance in Football
Joe Mack, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ GM, said that they had spoken with Pavlopoulos before. The athlete said he unknowingly ingested stanolozol when he took a supplement which he thought was safe. The Bombers believed Pavlopoulos that he already learned from his mistake and the athlete promised not to take any type of supplements anymore.
Special team coordinator Craig Dickenson said they believe that he is a strong athlete and that he has what it takes to compete, which is why they are considering him for the seventh round. Pavlopoulos holds the record of the second-best 43-yard punting average in CIS. In 2011, he made 13 out of 19 field goals as well.
The CFL club invested time and effort in checking the athlete’s track record, his off-game life, and the status of his stanolozol issue. After reviewing all information and having a discussion with the punter/kicker, they still regarded him as a genuine prospect.
Taking Responsibility over Drug Issues
Billy Pavlopoulos denies taking the anabolic steroid stanolozol intentionally, but he says he takes full responsibility for not having done a more extensive research on the product. Although he checked the list of ingredients in the label, most supplements are not required to list every substance it contains. In an interview, he said “I had done what I thought was qualified with enough research personally…. I thought I could take this product.”
Theresa Hanson, the associate director of high-performance sport in the UBC, said that it is the responsibility of every athlete to make sure that whatever they are taking is safe and free from any banned substances. It involves a lot of research and sound decision-making.
UBC’s football head coach, Shawn Olson, says it is impossible to 100 percent sure that a supplement does not contain anything prohibited. He tells his athletes to not take any supplement instead, in order to prevent taking something that might result in a positive drug test.
Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun has gone through a roller coaster of events after he tested positive for high levels of synthetic testosterone in his urine sample back in December 2011. Although he was bound for a 50-game suspension, he successfully appealed against it.
And recently, he also denied having derived PEDs from BioGenesis, the controversial Miami anti-aging clinic. He and other professional athletes have been linked to BioGenesis regarding prohibited substance purchases.
Anthony Bosch, the now defunct clinic’s former head, backed up Braun’s defense that the latter did not purchased PED’s from him. Braun’s lawyers only consulted him about T/E ratio and possible sample tampering. This is response to the report about the appearance of Braun’s name with a big amount next to it on Anthony Bosch’s notes.
The Failed Test that Led to Suspension
Ryan Braun took a confident urine test in October 2011 and tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs when results came back on December of the same year. The test showed high levels of a testosterone that is not naturally produced by his body. Although a second urine test showed normal results, the Major League Baseball immediately sprung into action. Braun faced a 50-game suspension just after he was named the National League Most Valuable Player.
First-time Win for a Suspension Appeal
On January of 2012, Braun and his lawyers filed an appeal against the suspension. For the first time in the history of PED suspension cases, it was a victorious appeal. He won on technicality because of the mishandling of his urine sample by a collector.
According to Braun, his urine was collected on a Saturday but was only delivered two days after because the collector thought the FedEx office was closed for the weekend. The sample was left sitting in a basement for two days, thus, causing imbalances.
Although baseball arbitrator Shyam Das’ decision was in favor of Braun, the MLB has every intention of reversing the decision by suing in federal court. They said that testosterone does not just grow in a sample that was not tested immediately.
The Braun-Bosch Link
During the 50-game suspension appeal, Braun’s lawyers consulted Bosch to gain information about T/E ratio and if there is a possibility that urine sample could be tampered to provide a different result.
This claim was backed up by Bosch and that the only reason Braun’s name appeared in his notes with an amount is because he was used as an expert witness to the case. He claimed to have only answered some questions, not to provide Braun with any performance enhancing drug.
The Consequences of Bosch’s Alleged Illegal PED Prescriptions
In a related story, the Florida Department of Health sent a cease-and-desist order for Anthony Bosch for allegedly prescribing prohibited drugs to MLB patients over the years. Although the BioGenesis clinic is now defunct, the damage to the sport, due to steroids, HGH, and other PEDs, has been strongly linked to its former head. This is the reason why MLB has been hounding him for years.
Bosch has also violated state law by diagnosing and treating patients even if he was not a doctor. Prescriptions derived from the clinic shows that he forged the signature of Daniel Carpman, a physician from South Florida, in order to get prescription-only medication.
The debate on whether HGH testing should begin on NFL players is still ongoing and, until today, the league and the union are still far from coming to a mutual decision. Although the NFLPA said that they want more information and investigation on the credibility and validity of the test, there were doubts on the real reason behind their hesitancy.
Recently, an NFC starter was reported to have told Tyler Dunne of the Journal Sentinel that usage of the said substance is rampant within NFL teams. If this is true, then the reason for their hesitation to start testing may be finally clarified. Although the union said that they are continuously working with the league in order to implement a test that is safe, effective, and fair.
Confirmation or Misinformation?
Based on Dunne’s article, the anonymous player admitted that 10 to 15 players per team are actually using human growth hormones to shape up. The way he said it made it seem like they were merely taking this PED as a gum and not as a drug.
The player also suggested that taking HGH should be allowed in the sport since they need it to improve their career and to put on a good game for viewers and football enthusiasts.
While this may sound like a confirmation of the issues on why they refuse testing, there is still no proof that it is accurate. NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello said that the number of players using HGH is just a guess. The football league can’t verify the anonymous player’s information since the testing has been blocked for more than 2 years now.
Stronger, Faster, and Definitely Bigger
Testing for steroids has been implemented in the NFL and most players have been getting negative results, which is a good thing. However, people are noticing that a lot of players are performing better and getting bigger too rapidly. There are, of course, legal factors which may influence growth and improvement in performance like advanced training equipment, better nutritional sources, and more efficient diet plans.
But after the NFC starter’s admission, those legal factors may very well be a myth in the sport of football.
Stalled HGH Testing: Who’s Benefiting from it?
Football fans and observers worldwide are debating whether the test for human growth hormones is valid and reliable.
NFL has confirmed that the test is indeed valid and that testing needs to be started immediately. However, some people think that doing so might hurt the league, instead of helping it.
If 10 to 15 players per team are truly taking the drug, testing could mean that the majority could get suspended for who knows how long. The fallout could mean financial distress to the league.
Endless Debate and Feud
The ongoing issue on human growth hormones and tests related to it remains to be far from a resolution, even when new information has come out. Although the player admitted that football players are using the prescription-only drug to enhance performance and built, it can’t be proven until the union allows testing to proceed.
Some say the drug is helpful and should not be banned while others say it could cause damage in the long run. With all these scattered pieces, one thing is for sure: Everyone needs to know more about HGH in order to finally put the puzzle together.
Asli Cakir Alptekin, the female middle distance runner from Turkey who just recently won the gold in the 1500m event at the 2012 Olympics held in London, has been charged with doping after inconsistencies were found within her biological passport. Further tests will be conducted to determine if the inconsistencies were due to steroids or other performance enhancing drugs.
If the result is positive, it will be her second offense and she may be facing the possibility of being stripped off of her title and getting banned from the sport for life.
Past Doping Issues
This is not the first time that Alptekin has been involved in doping issues. She tested positive for using banned substances following the 2004 World Junior Championships and was given a 2-year suspension from the sport. She can be remembered as the fastest in the steeplechase but only got to place sixth in the finals.
After her suspension, she was able to compete once again at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2009 World Championships in Berlin, 2010 European Championships in Barcelona, 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzen, 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, 2012 European Championships in Helsinki, and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London where she is once again charged for doping.
Charged Based on Biological Passport
The International Association of Athletics Federation or IAAF charged Alptekin with anti-doping rule violations after there were anomalies found in her biological passport. Adapted in 2010, the athlete biological passport was intended to measure as well as monitor the blood variables of each athlete in order to establish a profile.
This way, it would be easier to detect any illegal practice based on sudden and elaborate changes on the blood testing results. Although it is based on the biological passport, IAAF is confident that the case is a positive one. They believe that if Alptekin was to undergo any drug testing, traces of PEDs would be found.
Possible Lifetime Ban for Alptekin
The IAAF has forwarded Alptekin’s case to the Turkish Athletic Federation where it will undergo further investigation and adjudication. If proven, the athlete could face a lifetime ban, especially since this is the second offense. This would also result to the stripping of her Olympic gold, which would be the second instance after Nadzeya Astapchuk, a Belarusian shot putter, also tested positive for steroids.
Reports revealed that Alptekin may have used banned performance-enhancing drugs in and out of the competition. This particular information is also being considered in the current doping case against her. Sports fans agree to a lifetime ban since she never really changed after the first offense, according to reports. Fellow athletes have been reportedly posting tweets about their hatred against athletes who play unfairly.
Current Update on Doping in Athletics
The case of Alptekin sparked debates on the effectiveness of the anti-doping rules of most professional sports bodies. Although the tests were effectively catching athletes who use steroids and the like, the games happen first before results come in, thus causing a mess in the results of the games.
Also, the credibility of the biological passport is being questioned. While it is meant to create individual blood profiles where probable drug-use can be based on, it does not specifically test for certain performance-enhancing drugs. So if an athlete’s blood reading slightly differs from the usual readings, they could already be facing possible doping charges even though the changes may have resulted from legal causes.
Based on a study co-commissioned by the baseball’s Hall of Fame, adults in the U.S. give steroids a low ranking when it comes to issues that endanger adolescents. They believe that there are problems that need more attention like sexually transmitted diseases, eating disorders, obesity, marijuana, and bullying.
Although 97 percent agree that steroids may cause negative effects on the health of adolescents, only 19 percent perceive it as a problem that needs to be dealt with utmost attention.
Hall president Jeff Idelson says the result of this study goes to show just how misinformed Americans are about performance-enhancing drugs.
Specifics of the Study on Steroids’ Effects on Teens
The Taylor Hooton Foundation along with the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society recently commissioned a study about the effects of steroids on adolescents. It was conducted by The Gallup Organization from October 9 up until November 10 this year. The survey, which involved 1,002 American adults, showed alarming results.
The study confirmed that most parents are unaware of the growing problem on the prohibited use of steroids. It also showed that 63 percent of adults thought that the issue only involve professional athletes, 46 percent thought only college athletes had that problem, and only 17 percent believe that it is already an issue among athletes in high school.
Steroid Use in High School
Neil Romano, Hooton Foundation’s chairman, says an average of one student per class is using steroids. Adults are too restricted on the knowledge that steroid is only being used in the world of professional sports. They failed to see that there are actually students who use steroids for weight loss or to enhance growth merely for self-esteem.
Young athletes who resort to PEDs are often pressured by the need to perform better for popularity and future opportunities like scholarships. Coaches, teachers, and parents are often thinking that this issue only happens to other teens and not those under their wing.
The Need for a Solution
During the hearings on drug-use among baseball athletes in 2005, politicians have promised to do something about the issue but none have been done so far, according to Don Hooton. He suggests that the federal government should educate people about these performance enhancing substances.
Based on the survey, 75 percent were in favor of conducting mandatory testing on teen athletes. However, when asked to choose between testing and education, 56 percent opted for education instead.
While testing is a great way to make sure high school athletes are clean, it is quite difficult to do because of the amount of money that each test would require. According to the Major League Baseball, each test costs $285, which is too expensive for the government to shoulder considering the big number of high school students in the U.S. today.
Proper Education on PEDs Starts Now
Of all the stages in a person’s life, adolescence is when the use of steroids, HGH, and the likes are most likely to happen. Teen athletes often look up to their favorite star athletes and may use illegal methods in order to achieve a leaner body and better performance. Both males and females start getting conscious about their bodies, and with obesity and eating disorders grabbing too much attention, they turn to more discreet methods, like using PEDs.
The Hooton Foundation estimated that there were at least 1.5 million adolescents in the country who took or tried steroids.
Sports officials agree that the issue must be addressed at the high school level and it must start right now.
As a result of the Spanish Police’s Operation Puerto, Dr Eufemiano Fuentes was found guilty on endangering public health. His involvement regarding the provision of certain prohibited substances to professional cyclists resulted to a one year suspended jail term. He was fined $6,000 and barred from practicing sports medicine for four years.
Meanwhile, Ignacio Labarta, a former official in a cycling team, was also sentenced to four months jail time. The other three who were also charged by the authorities, including Fuentes’ sister, were acquitted. This case gained worldwide popularity because the Spanish Doctor’s clients included big and professional athletes in cycling like American rider Tyler Hamilton and German cyclist Jan Ullrich.
Since Spain has no strict anti-doping policies in place when the raids were conducted, the respondents were only charged with violating public health regulations. But the evidences gathered were indicative of systematic doping since several blood bags were confiscated as well as transfusion equipment. Anabolic steroids were also seized by the authorities.
Possible Destruction of Doping Evidence
While the public would agree with Judge Julia Santamaria’s decision to convict the doctor, a lot were not in favour of her decision to have all the evidence destroyed. While the numerous blood bags and client records in Fuentes’ computer could be used to expose athletes involved in doping, the judge decided to go against it in order to save their country from further humiliation. She also argued that making it public will violate the patient-doctor relationship which is protected by law.
However, the Spanish Anti-doping agency (AEA), the World Anti-doping agency (WADA), as well as the International Cycling Union (UCI) has appealed to the judge’s decision to get rid of all evidence presented during the trial. They have requested for access but has all been denied.
The public are disappointed with the results of the trial saying that the punishment was too light for such a heavy crime. Sports authorities are determined to retrieve all evidence in order to shed light on those who used performance-enhancing drugs as well as to protect the clean athletes.
Years of Illegal Medical Practice
Fuentes’ illegal use of PEDs and procedures has been proven to be true. Since 2002, records show that he would extract and re-infuse an athlete’s blood with the purpose of enhancing a cyclist’s physical performance. During his opening testimony, the doctor admitted to also having clients in the sports of tennis, soccer, boxing, and track and field. This admission made the public more curious about the extent of his fraudulent practices.
Reports say he dispensed erythropoietin (EPO), testosterone, and growth hormones, which he coordinated with the athlete’s physical preparation for the game season in order to optimize performance without detection. His methods are proven to be very risky to the health of his patients or clients.
Spain’s Sports Credibility in Question
This scandal in the world of sports has put Spain in a spotlight no other country would ever want to be under. Although the law on doping is not that strict in this country, sports enthusiasts are shocked at the gentle slaps Fuentes’ has received as a consequence of endangering the health of their athletes.
The Spanish Anti-doping Agency said that they would do everything in order to gain access to the evidence before they are destroyed while the WADA pledged to conduct further investigation.
Once evidence is destroyed, the names of the athletes involved in the doping scandal will forever be unknown. This issue appears to make people question the credibility of Spanish athletes as well as those who handle them. In order to clear doubts, further investigation needs to be done immediately. This, however, requires evidence.