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Old 08-09-2004, 10:58 AM   #1
Brad Hirakawa
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Several years back (maybe 1999 or 2000?), a scientist applied for a position at a biotech company I employed with at the time. It was a Ph.D. position in our analytical chemistry group that would require some extensive experience with fancy instruments like our newly acquired LC / mass spec. Combined with good extraction methods, and some solid HPLC work, that machine is the word of God.

To make a long story short, she had just come from working for a laboratory with a project that revolved around testing Olympic athletes for steroids. Her group had access to several mass spec. machines, and enough funding to really hammer out some solid methods. I was very jealous… I think she had something 4 or 6 of those bad boys! Regardless, her group succeeded in lowering the detection limits significantly. When they presented their results to those in charge, they were met with friction. I don't know the whole story, but she told us she quit shortly thereafter, for ethical reasons. I can imagine what happened:

Scientist: “We have successfully lowered our detection limits to such and such. Using these new methods, we classified over 80% of the blinded samples you sent to us as positive for some sort of illegal substance.”

Committee: “That is interesting, than you for your time and efforts.”

Scientist: “Would you like us to draft an SOP, and publish these new methods?”

Committee: “Thank you for your time and efforts, the door is behind you.”

The scientist was a professional, who understood the politics, so she was understandably reluctant to share details. But it didn’t take a genius to understand what happened. I’m getting too old to remember details, but I am certain there was an article about her laboratory in either Newsweek, the LA times, or perhaps Time? If anyone knows of the article, I’d love a copy.
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Old 08-09-2004, 01:44 PM   #2
Brad Hirakawa
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In the same breath I would like to add that I believe the majority of the Olympic athletes are incredible and dedicated folks, who I admire and respect... and that steroid abuse is hopefully only a problem in the minority.

Brad
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Old 08-10-2004, 05:15 AM   #3
Larry Lindenman
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Brad, have you read anything from Charlie Francis, Ben Johnson lost millions of $$$ in ad contracts in the 80's, Oly medals are gold in more ways than one, add the super competetive nature of elite athletes and you have a recipe for performance enhancement drugs. Curling is clean though!
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Old 08-10-2004, 07:28 AM   #4
Steve Shafley
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Pretty much every world record in every sport contested in the Olympics was set using some sort of doping. It doesn't matter much whether or not the particular method, or pharmaceutical, or procedure was banned at the time. The first step to drug free/nonm-doped olympiads would be to eliminate these records and instigate a comprehensive testing program across every country and every athlete.

Too much money. Plus, the records would be reset at a significantly lower level.

Brad, I hate to say it, but doping is probably used in some form or other by the majority of Olympians.

Even with bicycle racing, which is the most doped sport by far, there are high profile, racers who have gotten around the testing using new and cutting edge techniques. Lance Armstrong's personal physician is an expert in doping procedures...you do the math...
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Old 08-10-2004, 09:43 AM   #5
Brad Hirakawa
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Yeah.. I understand that the level of competition those athletes face must be super-human. At the most basic level, if everyone is using performance enhancing substances and you are not, then you are at a disadvantage. Under similar circumstances, with those pressures, I can't honestly say I would deny an enhancement cocktail either.

Brad
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Old 08-11-2004, 04:54 AM   #6
Robert Wolf
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while we are talking steroids...there was a book out several years ago "Built to Survive". The thoery was anabolic steroids for HIV/AIDS to counter act the wasting associated with said diseases. The program seemed to work and at a fraction the cost and toxicity of the protease cocktail.
Robb
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Old 08-11-2004, 04:22 PM   #7
Brad Hirakawa
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Steroids (aside from the obvious corticosteroids) certainly do have their medical uses. I knew a fellow in high school who had a genetic problem that resulted in very low testosterone levels. Never really started to develop until the treatments began. Today, he's healthy as can be.
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Old 08-11-2004, 06:56 PM   #8
Steve Shafley
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Do a google search on Medibolics and Michael Mooney. An advocate for the use of anabolics for HIV/AIDS. Anabolic steroids SHOULD be used in a variety of conditions when lean body mass is directly proportional to survival. Some appetite increasers, like MEGACE, actually reduce LBM while increasing fat stores, which isn't going to do it.

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Old 08-12-2004, 11:37 AM   #9
Brad Hirakawa
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Have you see the Olympic Curling athletes? They are obviously on the juice!!
:-)
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Old 08-12-2004, 01:31 PM   #10
Ryan Atkins
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I liked how Robin Williams poked fun at the issue (this is from 'Live on Broadway').

When the gold medalist for snowboarding was asked if he'd like to be on the cover of a Wheaties box, he looked in the camera with a glossy eyed stare and replied, 'Nah, dude - Count Chocula!' (Hmmm, a clue, Sherlock?).

Robin Williams then proceded to make fun of the fact that the type of drugs these athletes were on were anything BUT performance enhancing (unless there's a gigantic Hershey bar at the finish line).
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