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May 31 2013

NFL and NFLPA on HGH Testing: Still Divided on Major Issues

Published by under Football

nfl-and-nflpa-on-hgh-testingThe World Anti-Doping Agency or WADA has long been questioned by the National Football League Players Association regarding the validity and reliability of the HGH testing they have conducted, which put cross-country skiing champion Andrus Veerpalu into a doping scandal after he tested positive for human growth hormone.

Although a 10-year collective bargaining agreement had the NFL and the NFLPA on the same page, the players’ union quickly backed out of introducing the test within the sport due to Veerpalu’s victory against the doping charge against him.

Although the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is mediating the issue, the division has become farther apart ever since. The NFL has become divided into two debating groups: the union, which doubts the accuracy of the test, and the league, backed by WADA on pushing for the test to be a mainstay in the sport’s anti-doping policies.

The Union’s Reasons for Backing Out

When news of the inaccurate HGH test result of Veerpalu came out, the union retreated from agreeing to add the test into the sport. They contended that there have not been any other peer-reviewed studies conducted by anyone aside from WADA, which makes it quite understudied. Regarding the population studies that WADA claims to have conducted, there is no information whatsoever presented to the union and the court to make them aware of how the test was formulated.

Also, the NFL did not have any outside appeals process in which football players would be able to appeal on just how valid the test for HGH is.

The concerns of the NFLPA is rational enough to be considered, but they have let out overstated claims that may be somewhat pushing the envelope a little farther than it should. Since the arguments rooted from the Veerpalu case, most ideals and opinions were related to its specifics.

It is true that CAS found the baselines for normal limits scientifically invalid, however, the union overstated it saying that the actual HGH test was invalid, not just the baselines.

WADA’s Defense

Just like the NFLPA, there was an issue of overstatement with regards to the defensive side of WADA and HGH testing. CAS has stated that a population study is indeed necessary in order to justify the baselines for deciding whether a certain result is within or past the normal levels of human growth hormone in the body. However, WADA implied this to be another way of saying that “there is nothing wrong with the test”.

The league is wondering on the real intentions of the union to delay the testing. Some even say that the probable reason is that there is a real issue on PED-use with the athletes and that this is the union’s way of protecting their assets, who might be violating the anti-doping rules.

What’s in Store for the NFL

There are various issues, both big and small, within the NFL that requires immediate attention. However, the debate on testing for human growth hormone is somehow stealing the thunder away from other concerns within the sport.

If the clash between the league and the union goes on even further without a hint of resolution anytime soon, the sport, as well as everything and everyone within it, just might lose its spirit and inspiration to maintain the interest of football enthusiasts.

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May 30 2013

Clemens Defamation Lawsuit May Keep Steroids Issue Afloat

Published by under Baseball

roger-clemens-steroid-issue-still-lingersRoger Clemens, the only seven-time Cy Young award winner, has fought many different fights both on the field and in court. He is one of the best pitchers in the history of baseball and has become an intimidating factor for batters from various teams. When issues on steroid use and HGH surfaced in 2008, he was one of the many athletes who were accused of doping. He is also one of the few who were able to get past it victoriously.

However, despite the “not guilty” verdicts, Clemens’ career is forever marred with the issue of using prohibited drugs to synthetically enhance his performance. Also, the ongoing civil case filed against him by former trainer Brian McNamee may not clear the athlete’s name of any issues on cheating very soon, be it within the sport or within his marriage.

“Not Guilty” Verdict on Perjury Case

One of the many charges against Roger Clemens was perjury, in which he was accused of lying in front of a House committee regarding the use of banned substances. In June 2012, on the second day of deliberations in the United States District Court, he was found not guilty. As he and his wife and kids huddled together, thankful and teary-eyed, the public knew that this is again another failed attempt by the government in bringing good athletes down with doping charges.

This should be a ticket to remove any link he may have on issues on steroids and HGH use. Unfortunately, there are those who could not clean the stain off of the baseball star’s name and reputation.

Clemens Vs McNamee

When Clemens’ former trainer, Brian McNamee, stated that he injected the athlete, along with two others that he trained, with steroids and HGH, Clemens filed a defamation lawsuit against him, which the trainer countered. He said he injected the banned substances into the athlete from 1998 through 2001. The athlete adamantly denied it.

The case is still ongoing due to strong evidences from both sides. Clemens had witnesses and documents that prove that it was not him using HGH, but his wife, and McNamee had witnesses and syringes he said could prove that he is telling the truth.

Steroids and Extra-marital Affairs

Although winning the perjury case was a way of clearing Clemens’ name from any issues that made a lot of people questions his abilities as a pitcher, the ongoing case against his former trainer might just keep the steroids and HGH issue afloat for a long time. Even issues on certain extra-marital affairs, like the rumor about the late Mindy McCready, just might forever stain the athlete’s reputation as a legendary baseball pitcher.

Just like many other athletes who have been suspected of doping, Clemens may have to face the consequences of violating anti-doping laws, even his alleged usage has not been proven yet.

Sadly, most athletes who have been linked to PEDs could not get elected into the Hall of Fame, even if their achievements have been proven to be remarkable and undeniably impressive. For now, Roger Clemens and his family might just have to deal with the issues of PED use and illegal affairs until all lawsuits are resolved.

If the issues are true, then it is just right for baseball to clear itself of cheaters. But, if Clemens is indeed telling the truth, then it would be such misfortune to be forever remembered as an anti-doping violator.

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May 28 2013

NFL Proposal on Immediate HGH Testing Not Accepted by Union

Published by under Football

nfl-hgh-testing-proposal-2013-seasonFootball is always hounded by issues on performance-enhancing drugs. In order to revive the good reputation that the sport had, the National Football League is always finding ways to ensure all players are clean. The league has created a proposal to the players’ union regarding the HGH testing in an effort to have each one of them tested for the 2013 season.

However, the National Football League Player’s Association does not seem to see eye to eye with the league when it comes to the validity of HGH testing, thus, causing a delay on the actual testing.

Flashback on HGH Testing Issue

It was in 2011 that the NFL and the NFLPA came into an agreement for HGH testing to be added. The anti-doping guidelines of the sport already include most types of steroids and other prohibited drugs, except human growth hormones. However, despite this, not a single test has been performed.

The union said that the credibility and validity of the actual test was questionable. They said that each player wanted to go through the test but are unable to do so until the NFL could show proof that testing for HGH levels is legal, effective, and accurate.

League’s Proposal Details

The league has recently sent a new proposal to the union with regards to the issue on testing for human growth hormones. The test, which was sent and received sometime in April 2013, asked for the union to agree for a test to be done immediately for the upcoming season. Sources say that it contained a concession that game-day testing will not be included in the agreement, something that was suggested by the NFL in the past.

The blood samples, the proposal says, would be collected and tested, and then all results will be stored just until the World Anti-doping Agency is able to establish the baselines for normal HGH levels.

Unfortunately, WADA is still working on learning about just how much of this hormone should be acceptable and what the exact effects it may have on the human body. Once all these have been determined, a baseline for comparison would be able to support testing.

The Response of the NFLPA

The league’s persistence in establishing a test for the said hormone is part of their effort to eliminate the issues revolving around performance-enhancing drugs. The union agrees to the intentions of the test but would not want to sacrifice their careers and reputations for something that lacks accuracy.

A source from within the player’s association said that the union would rather give samples only after WADA has come up with the actual baselines for full testing procedures.

As of today, the NFL has not received a counter document or any other response for that matter since they have sent and presented their proposal to the player’s union.

NFL not Keen on Conducting Population Study

Adolpho Birch, NFL’s senior vice president of labor policy and government affairs, has recently sent a letter to the National Football League Player’s Association that the league had already lost any interest to conduct a population study in an effort to come up with the appropriate baselines for use on testing results.

This may mean that the tug-of-war between the league and the union on the issue of HGH testing would remain vague and unresolved.

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May 27 2013

UEFA will Conduct Blood Testing as Anti-Doping Measure

Published by under Football

uefa-blood-testing-steroids-playersThe Union of European Football Associations, popularly known as UEFA, has decided to expand their anti-doping program in all competitions under their wing. Although the committee has already implemented anti-doping rules and regulations, they were only reliant on urine samples.

In an effort to study the prevalence, if any, of drug use, league players will be submitting blood samples which will be tested for steroids and PEDs. The possible implementation of steroids biological profiling is also being discussed by the league.

900 UEFA Players to be Tested for Steroids

Blood samples that will be collected from almost 900 players, who played since 2008, are to be tested for traces of performance-enhancing drugs next season. The samples, however, will not be labeled according to source to promote anonymity. This means that all results will be exclusively for research purposes, in an effort to empower the existing anti-doping program to further eliminate drug cheats.

Since the samples are anonymous, any result, be it positive or negative, will not be rendered as an anti-doping violation. However, after random blood testing has started on all players from all competitions, anyone who tested positive for steroids and other performance enhancing drugs will be dealt with accordingly.

Aside from incorporating blood testing into their anti-doping efforts, the committee also says that this might pave the way for implementing a biological passport for each player to keep track of their test results. “We have measured the steroid profiles of 900 players since 2008 and are considering the passport as part of the anti-doping measures” UEFA’s general secretary Gianni Infantino said.

Athlete’s Biological Passport

A biological passport is an electronic record of each athlete’s doping test results compared against biological profile markers. This is being used in other sports as well with the intention of catching drug use earlier. Any violation can be discovered through analysis of certain variances in normal levels of testosterone in the bloodstream. Most sports enthusiasts believe that this is an effective method in ensuring fairness in sports.

Another issue they are tackling is racism. UEFA has imposed a 10-game ban and a 15-match suspension penalty for officials or players who might discriminate other officials or players because of racial difference.

Enhanced Blood Testing for Doping Prevention

In the 2006-2007 seasons, they recorded three doping cases, which was four less than the season that came before it. Although they involved cannabis and Betamethasone, not steroids, it was still a cause for alarm. When other sports started getting rumors and proven cases of steroid use, it was up to UEFA to make their anti-doping more thorough and effective in order to prevent any drug cheat from participating in this elite sport. So, even without any major case involving the use of anabolic steroids and other PEDs, they keep enhancing their anti-doping programs.

UEFA’s expansion of the anti-doping program could mean that football enthusiasts have a growing concern over how prevalent PEDs are within the sport. However, the sport organization denied that there is such thing in their league. Gianni Infantino said that the tests and the biological passport “…does not mean we have any concerns at all” and that it was merely a study to check if blood testing can be an additional test to ensure that players are clean prior to tournaments.

Infantino also stated that “We already have a very detailed and elaborate anti-doping program, but we envisage a few hundred tests, across all our competitions, from next season.”

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May 26 2013

Long-term Steroid Use Can Cause Mental Issues According to Study

Published by under Steroids and Sports

effects-mental-health-long-term-use-steroidsThere have been theories about how steroids can make athletes dumb and aggressive. Certain users who have used the drug has shown signs of mental incapability, but it has not been directly associated with the drug alone. Being dumb was blamed on the lack of education on other things aside from sports, while aggressive behavior was blamed on fame and popularity.

However, a recent study has gathered results that showed a direct link between performance-enhancing drugs and mental health. These results are based only on professional athletes who have abused drugs for a long time.

Steroids and Its Proven Effects

Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are prescription drugs meant for patients who suffer from diseases. They are mostly used in the building and repairing of muscles. These are also used for the treatment of delayed puberty.

But steroids are not only used for medical treatment. They are also popular as performance enhancing drugs used by professional athletes. Although people produce testosterone naturally, going past the normal levels could produce remarkable results, like extreme body mass, more strength, enhanced performance, and fast recovery from injuries.

However, too much of AAS can cause side effects like breast enlargement (reduction among women), severe acne, impotency, and more. All these have been proven to be associated to the use of steroids.

Study on the Link between Mental Health and Steroid Use

A recent study conducted by the University of Gothenburg of Sweden was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. It showed results that puts a link between the long-term use of anabolic steroids and possible mental health conditions. Claudia Fahlke, who co-authored the study, said that they have found a clear link when they tested almost 700 retired athletes in the field of wrestling, weight lifting, and track and field. They specifically chose those who used steroids and competed between the years 1960 and 1979.

Majority of these individuals have undergone or are going through treatment for various psychiatric and psychological issues such as depression, aggressive behavior, and problems in concentrating.

However, further studies are required to determine if the prolonged use or abuse of steroids is responsible for the mental issues or if any mental conditions could push or encourage an individual to use something that is known to be prohibited and harmful.

Fahlke says it remains to be crucial to maintain anti-doping guidelines especially at this point where PEDs and psychiatric conditions seem to reinforce each other in a certain cycle that has yet to be specified.

Reduced Mental Capabilities from Prolonged Use and Abuse

The study has clearly shown a relationship on how athletes think and behave years after they used anabolic steroids. Those who took supplements laced with this drug and have done so regularly for a very long time are likely to develop mental incapacities in the future. Other factors that might also cause mental decline is the increased intake of smoke and alcohol, which in some way is induced by the steroids working inside an athlete’s body.

Football player Lyle Alzado has provided significant information on how his use of steroids ever since he started in 1969 caused damage to his brain. In his confession published in Sports Illustrated, he said he was having trouble comprehending questions, he often forgets things, and he was irrationally aggressive even in public.

The results of the study has helped medical experts understand Alzado’s case and although the results are still tentative, the possible relation of abusing anabolic steroids and future mental decline can now be used as a warning to professional athletes.

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May 23 2013

Why Steroid Tainted Players Shunned from the Baseball Hall of Fame

Published by under Baseball

steroid-tainted-players-hall-of-fameWhen 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.

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May 21 2013

Belfort’s Testosterone Use: Is it Helping Improve His Cage Performance

Published by under MMA

vitor-belfort-testosterone-use-ufcVitor 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.

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May 18 2013

PowerMedica’s Owner Received Lower Sentence for His PEDs Case

Published by under Bodybuilding

powermedica-owner-lighter-sentence-for-pedsDaniel 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.

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May 16 2013

Peptides Need to be Scrutinized after the Death of an Australian Athlete

Published by under Bodybuilding

peptide-supplements-bodybuilding-sportsPeptides 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.

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May 14 2013

Winnipeg Blue Bombers Gives Previous Doping Offender a Second Chance

Published by under Football

blue-bombers-pavlopoulos-steroids-suspensionBilly 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.

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