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Nandrolone

Old 06-23-21, 01:08 AM
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Looks like most sports writers are siding with Houlihan against WADA. For good reason. The testing is flawed, and the sanctions are unreasonable career-killers.
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Old 06-23-21, 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Looks like most sports writers are siding with Houlihan against WADA. For good reason. The testing is flawed, and the sanctions are unreasonable career-killers.
I'm seeing a lot of mixed opinions with respect to this. And, now that she missed the Olympic Trials, the damage is already done.

The most common opinion is that injectable Nandrolone likely would have have shown up in much higher amounts, and in more than a single sample. Thus it gets back to something she ate, either intentional or otherwise, and likely wasn't particularly effective as a performance enhancer.

Does anybody know the concentration that she was found to have along with comparative data?

As far as I can tell, this was also from a urine sample which has the same issues that Froome had. I believe they're going by an absolute concentration in the urine, rather than adjusting for the urine concentration. So, if the urine sample is highly concentrated for one reason or another, it would give an artificially high reading. This is also a reason diuretics are banned, not as a performance enhancing method, but by altering urine concentration.

If it is true that she was in a group that ordered several burritos, some with offal, and some without... Then perhaps she should be guilty just for being around the offal just like a cyclist can be guilty for having an E-Bike in their pit, whether or not they actually rode it.
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Old 06-23-21, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Looks like most sports writers are siding with Houlihan against WADA. For good reason. The testing is flawed, and the sanctions are unreasonable career-killers.
I disagree completely. She got caught cheating and is rightfully banned IMO.
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Old 06-23-21, 09:28 AM
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A few years back NPR had a story on PEDs. If I remember correctly, the expert (a research scientist, not a nutritionist or trainer) said the most effective way for a male to increase his performance in endurance sports without getting caught is to take anabolic steroids while his testosterone level is at its highest, between ages 16 and 19. Doing so will greatly increase the number of mitochondria (the cell powerhouses) in the muscle cells. Of course, during these years, he must avoid events with testing to avoid detection. This artificially high level of mitochondria (I think he said by 10X) will remain in his cells for a decade or two after he stops taking the steroids and provide significant performance benefits.
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Old 06-23-21, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by James1964 View Post
A few years back NPR had a story on PEDs. If I remember correctly, the expert (a research scientist, not a nutritionist or trainer) said the most effective way for a male to increase his performance in endurance sports without getting caught is to take anabolic steroids while his testosterone level is at its highest, between ages 16 and 19. Doing so will greatly increase the number of mitochondria (the cell powerhouses) in the muscle cells. Of course, during these years, he must avoid events with testing to avoid detection. This artificially high level of mitochondria (I think he said by 10X) will remain in his cells for a decade or two after he stops taking the steroids and provide significant performance benefits.
I've heard that some countries are apparently doing the same thing with weightlifting. They keep their top junior prospects out of competition so that they can juice freely. Much of the extra muscle they build can then be kept because retaining muscle is always easier than building more.
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Old 06-24-21, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
I disagree completely. She got caught cheating and is rightfully banned IMO.
What, you think she was deliberately doping, by injecting PEDs or orally taking concentrated PEDs (which isn't an efficient method)? Or you think she deliberately ate a burrito knowing it contained pork organ meats that would slightly boost her nandrolone level?

As I wrote earlier in this thread, pretty much everyone who keeps up with sports news -- and doping in particular -- must be aware of the history of positive tests allegedly associated with consuming meat products.

But there's no evidence Houlihan was injecting PEDs or even taking concentrated oral PEDs. The news reports indicate her levels were within the limits expected for consuming organ meats that are naturally high in nandrolone.

And as the interviews with Houlihan's friends indicated, not all of the burritos contained the same filling. Some of the burritos were described as somewhat dry, as we'd expect for grilled carne, while other burritos were greasy -- which could be assumed to be due to excess fat left untrimmed on the carne. Even though I know some organ meats contain nandrolone, I wouldn't assume that a greasy burrito, taco, etc., was organ meats. I'd probably just assume the chef didn't trim off all the fat. I happen to like the taste of fatty brisket, etc., so I don't always trim off all the fat unless I'm cooking for other people.
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Old 06-24-21, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
What, you think she was deliberately doping, by injecting PEDs or orally taking concentrated PEDs (which isn't an efficient method)? Or you think she deliberately ate a burrito knowing it contained pork organ meats that would slightly boost her nandrolone level?

As I wrote earlier in this thread, pretty much everyone who keeps up with sports news -- and doping in particular -- must be aware of the history of positive tests allegedly associated with consuming meat products.

But there's no evidence Houlihan was injecting PEDs or even taking concentrated oral PEDs. The news reports indicate her levels were within the limits expected for consuming organ meats that are naturally high in nandrolone.

And as the interviews with Houlihan's friends indicated, not all of the burritos contained the same filling. Some of the burritos were described as somewhat dry, as we'd expect for grilled carne, while other burritos were greasy -- which could be assumed to be due to excess fat left untrimmed on the carne. Even though I know some organ meats contain nandrolone, I wouldn't assume that a greasy burrito, taco, etc., was organ meats. I'd probably just assume the chef didn't trim off all the fat. I happen to like the taste of fatty brisket, etc., so I don't always trim off all the fat unless I'm cooking for other people.
Of course I think she was deliberately doping.
As I wrote earlier in this thread, pretty much everyone who keeps up with sports news -- and doping in particular -- must be aware of the history of ridiculous excuses dopers make when they get caught.
There's evidence Houlihan was taking PEDs... the fact that they showed up in her failed drug test.
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Old 06-24-21, 07:35 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
There's evidence Houlihan was taking PEDs... the fact that they showed up in her failed drug test.
A natural hormone made by many animals including HUMANS was found in her urine.

No evidence of longterm injectable use.

There is a lot of information that I haven't read including fine details related to the sample, why were there apparently different types of burritos ordered, and what her regular diet is. I'd also look at other subthreshold tests she has had taken in the past.
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Old 06-24-21, 08:23 AM
  #34  
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I think it's totally wrong to think someone is guilty based entirely on the guilt of others. Yes, she did fail the test, but these tests have been getting much more sensitive and there are many other points already made here and elsewhere on why this doesn't seem to be a case of doping.
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Old 06-24-21, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I think it's totally wrong to think someone is guilty based entirely on the guilt of others. Yes, she did fail the test, but these tests have been getting much more sensitive and there are many other points already made here and elsewhere on why this doesn't seem to be a case of doping.
She didn't just fail the test. She failed the A sample, the B sample, had a chance to refute the evidence before an arbitration panel but declined, and presented her case to CAS. After all that, CAS, knowledgeable in the rules and testing standards, heard the evidence and her defense and ruled against her. Until that ruling is published, we really have no way of knowing the true evidence against her. I don't take her self-serving explanation as worth very much.
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Old 06-24-21, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
A natural hormone made by many animals including HUMANS was found in her urine.
A banned substances (in the quantities found). Hence why it is tested for. The rest is irrelevant.
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Old 06-24-21, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I think it's totally wrong to think someone is guilty based entirely on the guilt of others. Yes, she did fail the test, but these tests have been getting much more sensitive and there are many other points already made here and elsewhere on why this doesn't seem to be a case of doping.
For the record, I think she was guilty because she had a banned substance in her body.
Note: regardless of how it got there, it's the athlete's responsibility. So even if she ordered beef but got pork instead, and that pork happened to be in the ~2% of the pork in the USA that has this substance, and she happened to consume enough of it to show up on a test (I've heard 3/4 of a pound), she's still guilty.
Of course, that's all about as likely (Occam's Razor anyone?) as an elite athlete, in a sport with many dopers, not knowing about Nandrolone... which she also claims.
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Old 06-24-21, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
A banned substances (in the quantities found). Hence why it is tested for. The rest is irrelevant.
Itís also worth noting she got the full four year ban. If CAS believed there were any mitigating factors, and inadvertent ingestion is certainly one, they would have reduced the length of the suspension.
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Old 06-24-21, 02:05 PM
  #39  
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I can't argue about how these arbitration panels and all the other legal stuff work, since I don't follow these issues that closely. All I'm saying is DNA evidence has proven many criminals innocent and it should be our basic practice to assume someone's innocent, until there's enough evidence to prove otherwise, but if you all want to believe she's guilty, I won't argue that anymore, especially since, as asgelle said, we really don't know ALL the evidence against her, so I'm also openminded to the possibility that she is guilty; I'm just not ready to close the books on the case yet.

However, I do find this article interesting and I don't believe the person being interviewed has any dog in the fight. I also find it interesting that he also questions the burrito defense, but he does say it's so easy to innocently/accidently ingest enough nandrolone to fail the drug tests.

Just an excerpt of the article.

https://slate.com/culture/2021/06/sh...ck-trials.html

Josh Levin: As soon as I heard about the story, I started bothering David about it because it seems so ridiculous. Shelby Houlihan claims she ordered a carne asada burrito, which is a beef burrito, but that she ingested the nandrolone because she’d eaten pig offal. So she was alleging burrito cross-contamination. But David, you told me that you don’t think her story is so ridiculous, or actually if it is ridiculous, you don’t think it has much bearing on whether she’s innocent or guilty.

David Epstein: There are a lot of issues here. She had to try to establish the source of the nandrolone for her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. They were appealing on a technical matter that hasn’t really been in the news, which is that if it is meat contamination, as opposed to injected nandrolone, the testing procedure is different.

So with a female athlete, first they check, are they pregnant? Because there’s some natural nandrolone if they’re pregnant. When they say they’re not, it goes to this other testing area, and then there’s another split in what happens depending on if it turns out that the nandrolone was naturally produced by some other animal or it was injectable. And so to argue the case, they were forced to try to come up with some plausible story.

Houlihan gave her hair samples, she had other tests around it that were negative, so she’s probably not injecting it, or those tests would have been positive. It’s improbable that someone would be taking nandrolone orally—it doesn’t work as well orally. The burrito story is improbable. Maybe they don’t know where it came from.

What we’re left with is: Nandrolone is a common contaminant. It makes up most of the positive tests that the Athletics Integrity Unit finds. We know it gets injected into meat illegally. Versus the chance that she was for some reason taking it orally, which would be very rare, and the stupidest thing you could possibly take.

So I’m sort of stuck between these improbable stories, but my reflex these days when someone tests positive for nandrolone is to think that it may be accidental because it’s a substance that everyone knows not to take on purpose anymore.

Joel Anderson: Is your sense then that people really don’t mean to take nandrolone anymore as a performance-enhancing drug? Because I remember even going back to the ‘90s, like Linford Christie, Merlene Ottey, great Olympic sprint champions tested positive for nandrolone and were suspended. So is your sense then that it really has fallen out of favor with elite athletes because it’s so easy to detect?Last week, Shelby Houlihan, the American record holder in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters, announced that she had tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone and received a four-year suspension from the sport. Houlihan says she has never doped, and her team offered an alternative explanation for the positive test: She had ingested the banned substance from a burrito she ordered from a food truck. Houlihan’s suspension knocked her out of this month’s U.S. Olympic trials and also will prevent her from competing at the 2024 Olympics in Paris if not overturned.

On this week’s episode of Hang Up and Listen, the hosts discussed Houlihan’s case with David Epstein, the author of The Sports Gene and Range. Their conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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Josh Levin: As soon as I heard about the story, I started bothering David about it because it seems so ridiculous. Shelby Houlihan claims she ordered a carne asada burrito, which is a beef burrito, but that she ingested the nandrolone because she’d eaten pig offal. So she was alleging burrito cross-contamination. But David, you told me that you don’t think her story is so ridiculous, or actually if it is ridiculous, you don’t think it has much bearing on whether she’s innocent or guilty.

David Epstein: There are a lot of issues here. She had to try to establish the source of the nandrolone for her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. They were appealing on a technical matter that hasn’t really been in the news, which is that if it is meat contamination, as opposed to injected nandrolone, the testing procedure is different.

So with a female athlete, first they check, are they pregnant? Because there’s some natural nandrolone if they’re pregnant. When they say they’re not, it goes to this other testing area, and then there’s another split in what happens depending on if it turns out that the nandrolone was naturally produced by some other animal or it was injectable. And so to argue the case, they were forced to try to come up with some plausible story.

Houlihan gave her hair samples, she had other tests around it that were negative, so she’s probably not injecting it, or those tests would have been positive. It’s improbable that someone would be taking nandrolone orally—it doesn’t work as well orally. The burrito story is improbable. Maybe they don’t know where it came from.

What we’re left with is: Nandrolone is a common contaminant. It makes up most of the positive tests that the Athletics Integrity Unit finds. We know it gets injected into meat illegally. Versus the chance that she was for some reason taking it orally, which would be very rare, and the stupidest thing you could possibly take.

So I’m sort of stuck between these improbable stories, but my reflex these days when someone tests positive for nandrolone is to think that it may be accidental because it’s a substance that everyone knows not to take on purpose anymore.

Joel Anderson: Is your sense then that people really don’t mean to take nandrolone anymore as a performance-enhancing drug? Because I remember even going back to the ‘90s, like Linford Christie, Merlene Ottey, great Olympic sprint champions tested positive for nandrolone and were suspended. So is your sense then that it really has fallen out of favor with elite athletes because it’s so easy to detect?
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Epstein: When I reported on baseball, when someone would say they had a false positive test, I always said, “BS,” except I came around on nandrolone specifically because it’s a common contaminant and it’s the single easiest thing to test for. Even baseball’s sorry-ass testing basically kicked nandrolone out of use, because if you inject it, which is how people typically use it, it is detectable for months.

As testing has gotten somewhat better and more truly random, it quickly fell out of favor, because if you’re injecting it, which again, is the way that people take it, it gets stored in your fat deposits and the metabolites are detectable for a long time. Otherwise, you could take it orally. I haven’t really heard of people doing that before. And it also wouldn’t be as effective. But I do think it’s a drug that for professional athlete use, it kind of went bye-bye when testing became legitimately random and independent.

Stefan Fatsis: So it’s not that the burrito story is improbable. It’s that it’s irrelevant. Like you said, she had to make up something because to take your case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, you need some defense. When the real defense here is that these tests are probably too sensitive now, they’re too good, they can detect too small traces of banned substances, and they sort of defy logic because the logic of using nandrolone just doesn’t exist anymore.
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Old 06-24-21, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
A natural hormone made by many animals including HUMANS was found in her urine.

No evidence of longterm injectable use.

There is a lot of information that I haven't read including fine details related to the sample, why were there apparently different types of burritos ordered, and what her regular diet is. I'd also look at other subthreshold tests she has had taken in the past.
​​​​​​Just how many years does someone have to juice before it's unfair to everyone else competing against them?
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Old 06-24-21, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I think it's totally wrong to think someone is guilty based entirely on the guilt of others. Yes, she did fail the test, but these tests have been getting much more sensitive and there are many other points already made here and elsewhere on why this doesn't seem to be a case of doping.
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Old 06-24-21, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
For the record, I think she was guilty because she had a banned substance in her body.
Note: regardless of how it got there, it's the athlete's responsibility. So even if she ordered beef but got pork instead, and that pork happened to be in the ~2% of the pork in the USA that has this substance, and she happened to consume enough of it to show up on a test (I've heard 3/4 of a pound), she's still guilty.
Of course, that's all about as likely (Occam's Razor anyone?) as an elite athlete, in a sport with many dopers, not knowing about Nandrolone... which she also claims.
​​​​​​You were a competitive power lifter. Would you buy tacos from a street vender immediately before a competition knowing they could be tainted, and then eat it when you get something you didn't order? Say your chances of being in the Olympic depend on you passing drug tests, is that bad taco worth the risk?

Maybe she's never heard of cheating before and made it so far without being aware that people dope.
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Old 06-25-21, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​You were a competitive power lifter. Would you buy tacos from a street vender immediately before a competition knowing they could be tainted, and then eat it when you get something you didn't order? Say your chances of being in the Olympic depend on you passing drug tests, is that bad taco worth the risk?

Maybe she's never heard of cheating before and made it so far without being aware that people dope.
I would never have given a 2nd thought to food.
Having said that, I wasn't very good and tests didn't happen all that often (they were quite expensive and there isn't much money in PL). I knew I wasn't trying to cheat, and since I was maybe cat 3 level, I wasn't going to obsess over stuff. I did check when I got some meds from my doctor though.
Mrs. OBoile got tested after winning her first national championship. Neither of us had paid attention to what she ate previously. She passed.
That being said, a surprising number of people did test positive for what was essentially a hobby (no one is making a living doing this). This is particularly depressing wrt human nature when you factor in that there was another league which was untested (i.e. drug use was welcome). This was quite eye-opening for me. I like to think that people are fundamentally honest, but that really isn't the case for a very large portion of the population.
To the best of my knowledge, no one ever got caught based on the food they ate.
Right as I was getting out of the sport, they introduced a new program (for all Canadian sports that follow WADA I believe) that upon joining, you had to take a course on the rules wrt anti-doping so that you couldn't claim ignorance in cases like this. Unless the rules have changed in the last couple of years, it's quite clear that athletes are responsible for what is in their body, even if it is by accident. As asgelle said, the fact that the sentence wasn't reduced indicates the CAS didn't fell that was the case here.

I'm sure there are hundreds, if not thousands of tested athletes in the USA who eat pork. If this was something that could easily happen, you'd likely hear about "false" positives more often.
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Old 06-25-21, 08:37 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
I'm sure there are hundreds, if not thousands of tested athletes in the USA who eat pork. If this was something that could easily happen, you'd likely hear about "false" positives more often.
There seem to be a few. As noted above, there was a Kenyan who used a lot of pork fat (or so he said).

I'm trying to think of "organ meats". Almost all is eaten at home. I don't think it is ever eaten out.

Chicken gizzards, heart, liver, etc are common.
I've had beef tongue, and I presume liver and maybe heart, but those are rare.

I just don't think I've had kidneys or spleen. Likewise uncastrated male meat as a whole (or sex organs) are rarely eaten in the USA.

I'm going to have to track down this Mexican food stand at the heart of the story and try some offal. Hopefully it isn't awful.

It could be testing is more rigorous in the USA now than in the past.

The other thing is this whole WADA thing seems to ignore how concentrated the urine is. This is particularly problematic for cyclists who may finish a race dehydrated, but may impact other athletes too. We don't have enough data on this runner's sample.
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Old 06-25-21, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
There seem to be a few. As noted above, there was a Kenyan who used a lot of pork fat (or so he said).

I'm trying to think of "organ meats". Almost all is eaten at home. I don't think it is ever eaten out.

Chicken gizzards, heart, liver, etc are common.
I've had beef tongue, and I presume liver and maybe heart, but those are rare.

I just don't think I've had kidneys or spleen. Likewise uncastrated male meat as a whole (or sex organs) are rarely eaten in the USA.

I'm going to have to track down this Mexican food stand at the heart of the story and try some offal. Hopefully it isn't awful.

It could be testing is more rigorous in the USA now than in the past.

The other thing is this whole WADA thing seems to ignore how concentrated the urine is. This is particularly problematic for cyclists who may finish a race dehydrated, but may impact other athletes too. We don't have enough data on this runner's sample.
CAS has the data. They gave her the max punishment.
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Old 06-25-21, 10:51 AM
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The article I posted above does open some questions. One is, how long does a steroid stay in the system after eating tainted meat? If it's injected, it can stay in the system for months and be detected in various ways, but I'm totally clueless on something is simply ingested. Other questions, but I'm just taking a break from my work
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Old 06-25-21, 09:47 PM
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Personally, I think there should be divisions or leagues or whatever where juicing is allowed. Put everyone on a level playing field. You want to dope, you're going to compete against other dopers, people competing naturally won't have to face people like you. 🙂
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Old 06-26-21, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
The article I posted above does open some questions. One is, how long does a steroid stay in the system after eating tainted meat? If it's injected, it can stay in the system for months and be detected in various ways, but I'm totally clueless on something is simply ingested. Other questions, but I'm just taking a break from my work
Most articles I've read indicate oral ingested nandrolone and other substances classified as PEDs from organ meats and similar substances lasts about a day or two. It's not as efficient as injection, doesn't reach the same concentration and is eliminated quicker. Some articles say it can still be detected up to a couple of weeks after ingestion.

Offhand, every incident I can think of in which an athlete was accused of doping and claimed it was due to something they ate, they specified having eaten the liver or organ meats from pork, beef or boar. That includes boxers Tyson Fury, Saul Alvarez, and a senior/masters category runner or cyclist, I forget which, who said he'd eaten liver the day before the event.

As I said in my early post on this thread, I'm betting that choice of food was intentional in every case. Hardly anyone would choose to eat liver or organ meats, in preference to muscle meats, a day or so before a competition unless they were looking for an edge that would also offer plausible deniability.

Lore about the benefits of organ meats, blood, etc., dates back millennia. Without scientific evidence they believed they could benefit from the "spirit" of the consumed animal (or human, in some cases). Only fairly recently did we get some evidence of some benefits in terms of anabolic agents, heme iron, etc.

But there's no evidence that consuming organ meats, blood or even muscle meats from animals supposedly treated with hormones offers anywhere near the efficacy of injected steroids, HGH, etc. It's a pretty small boost. But in a field where, ideally, nobody is cheating, I suppose even a tiny boost via dietary choices could be considered an unfair advantage.

But it's relatively safe, which is why I eat that stuff. Due to a non-functional thyroid and parathyroid, age and medical history I'm at risk for osteoporosis. My endocrinologists are very cautious and wouldn't authorize a testosterone patch even when my system was in the dumpster a few years ago. They're even extremely cautious about increasing my dosage of levothyroxine, and only recently did my endo doc agree to a small 12.5 mcg increase from the 112.5 mcg dosage I've been taking for a year.

For that matter, apparently some athletes have tried to gain that tiny advantage through thyroid supplements that were medically unnecessary. But as long as their levels are within the fairly generous range of normal limits, they can't be sanctioned if they deny taking the stuff. Personally I'd be very wary of that because the side effects are very unpleasant with excessive thyroid activity, and potentially dangerous over the long run.

Also, I was concerned about the inhalers I use routinely for allergies and asthma, but my doctors said I can't possibly ingest enough to affect my athletic performance within the normal dosages for inhalers. I was more concerned about the other side effects associated with glucocorticoids. I had cut way back on using the inhalers, to the point that they were ineffective, but my docs told me to resume using them and use them as often as necessary. I've also developed nasal polyps which swell to the point that I can barely breathe through my nose some days, and surgery is the only alternative to using Flonase several times a day. But even using my albuterol inhaler twice as often as recommended won't put me over the limit if I was tested.

That doesn't necessarily prove that athletes who were accused of misusing albuterol, etc., did indeed deliberately ingest excessive amounts to gain an advantage in building lean muscle, etc. The Froome incident a couple of years ago indicated the tests are flawed and may be skewed by dehydration, etc. But it also seems unlikely they'd fail the same tests that were passed by thousands of other athletes who use the same asthma and allergy meds appropriately, as prescribed.
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Old 06-26-21, 08:40 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Personally, I think there should be divisions or leagues or whatever where juicing is allowed. Put everyone on a level playing field. You want to dope, you're going to compete against other dopers, people competing naturally won't have to face people like you. 🙂
Did you not read my posts above. Powerlifting has exactly this, and people still get caught taking PEDs in the league where it isn't allowed.

People really suck sometimes.
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Old 06-26-21, 10:21 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Did you not read my posts above. Powerlifting has exactly this, and people still get caught taking PEDs in the league where it isn't allowed.

People really suck sometimes.
I don't believe bodybuilding is regulated very much. Nor is the Actor's guild.

I didn't realize powerlifting has both doping and non-doping classes. but I can imagine the crossover.

And, of course, the risk in powerlifting is that a person could say dope from age 10 to age 25 while staying out of the spotlight. Then take a year or so to clean out the system and join the international spotlight.
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