When the Olympics came to Park City, Utah, I volunteered and as a physician was assigned to the position of doping control officer. I was responsible for overseeing doping control stations in Provo and Park City Mountain resort. It was then that the idea came to me to write a book about how one might get away with doping during an international sports competition.
What can and can't be allowed should be treated similarly to doping in sports. The anti-doping agencies publish banned substances lists, develop scientifically vetted laboratory tests to determine their criteria and respond to ever-evolving doping techniques. Pressure should be put on the sports federations, World Anti-Doping Assn. and the Olympic and Paralympic committees to assure the same sort of approach to ever-advancing technical devices.
Oscar Pistorius completed his groundbreaking dual-Games trip to London by winning an individual gold, successfully defending hisParalympic 400 meters title Saturday at Olympic Stadium. Pistorius, a South African who also competed in the London Olympics, lost his 100 and 200 Paralympic titles this week, but won the 400 in 46.68 seconds. Read More...
"Since my days as a doping control officer in the 2002 Olympics, Olympics I began to see this event within the context of a huge sport-industrial-entertainment complex. The International Olympic Committee rules with almost absolute power. Its round table of lords and knights exhibit appetites and egos that consume vast quantities of monetary, social and consumable resources. The IOC has fed growth hormone to their enterprise as our over-heating Earth pleads for some restraint.
"We are all going to be let down by this news," says Harvey Shapiro, professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, medical school and an avid cyclist. "Those people who believe that he couldn't possibly dope are still going to believe it. And those who staunchly believe that he did dope are still going to believe it."
As Shapiro points out, our society is already addicted to performance enhancement technology for ourselves. We use drugs and machines and other boosters to work and play in more advanced ways than our ancestors.
CHEN WS / Shutterstock.com
"...some Paralympians cheat in ways not on the World Anti-Doping Association's banned substances and methods lists. Disability-based techniques are little known to the general sports establishment. They include "boosting," disability classification gerrymandering, and differential access to sports adaptive equipment. Though technically not considered doping, they achieve the same end."
Lance Armstrong’s giving up his quest to prove he didn’t dope to win will not answer the “Guilty or not” question for years to come. A retired athlete of his renown does not easily give up his right to fame. Now Lance's most important performance enhancers will be his lawyers, who threatened today to sue anyone who defames their client or takes away his victories and medals. Both those who believed him guilty or innocent will not have to give up their biases for years to come.
According to a twist in the new International Olympic Committee gender tests, if my sister can’t be my sister—then she must be… my brother—and may be eligible to compete in the Olympics as a man, provided she qualifies for a male team. She won’t be able to compete against women because of her high level of endogenous, or self made, testosterone, which may or may not render her gender indecisive or give her an unfair athletic advantage. I hope her effective hormone level is high enough that she crushes some man competing against her.