U.S. cycling phenom Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his only Olympic medal. On Wednesday, January 16, officials with the International Olympic Committee sent Armstrong a letter requesting the return of the bronze metal he won in the road time trial during the 2000 Sydney Olympic games.
Airing late Thursday on OWN, Armstrong will admit to using performance-enhancing drugs in an Oprah Winfrey interview. To read more about Lance’s tell-all interview, click here.
As many of us remember, Armstrong’s seven Tour de France victories were removed from the books when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced proof of Armstrong’s involvement in an illegal doping program.
Unfortunately, the scandals surrounding illegal doping are not far and few between. Let’s take a quick look at the regulations when it comes to performance enhancing supplements for professional sports and athletics.
Here are a few of the categories that the banned substances and techniques fall into:
- -blood doping
- -peptide hormones
Also, he use of alcohol (ethanol) is banned in selected sports only during the actual competition.
In addition, the use of diuretics, which increase the production of urine, interfere with drug tests, and are banned for two reasons. First, by decreasing water retention, the athlete’s weight may also be affected. This is a very important consideration in many speed sports since a lighter weight increases an athlete’s speed. Second of all, the increased urine production will deplete the concentration of both the banned drug and their metabolites, which makes their detection much more difficult for testing. These agents will make drug tests ineffective, which may lead to a false-negative.
Play it Safe
When it comes to professional or Olympic athletics, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Make sure all supplements taken are approved and follow the often-changing regulations set forth by the International Olympic Committee’s Medical Commission, or any other professional commission in charge of the sport or athletic competition you are involved in. Even “harmless” substances, such as caffeine, may get you eliminated or even banned from some major sporting competitions by resulting in positive drug testing. To learn more about the illegal banned supplements out there, and why they get the boot, check out SPORTSCIENCE’s article at http://www.sportsci.org/jour/0003/lmb.html .