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Zero Tolerance Anti-Doping Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 3 - April/May 2004

Athletes' questions ...
From the USATF Mailbag

Q: "What happens if USADA comes to test me and I am competing at a meet in another city?"

A: Athletes in the USADA Out of Competition drug testing pool are responsible for notifying USADA of any changes to their schedule in order to avoid being changed with a Missed Test-Unavailable. Athletes are randomly selected for testing by USADA quarterly and doping control officers use your Athlete Location Form as a guide of when to surprise you for a test. If you are deviating from your normal training schedule, the one on your USADA athlete location form, athletes need to notify USADA of that change. The best way to do this is to email USADA at update@usantidoping.org with the following information - your name, sport and that you will be traveling either for a competition or for personal reasons on the dates that you will be away from your primary residence and training location. Athletes can also fax USADA at 719-785-2001 with their change of plan.

Because the USOC requires that all athletes in our OOC pool have at least one out of competition test in the 120 days leading up the Olympic Games - many athletes are incurring a missed test because they did not notify USADA of their travel plans. Remember - any athlete who is charged with 3 missed tests in an 18 month period is subject to a doping violation - a two-year ban - in accordance with USADA guidelines.

Also, in many instances the IAAF may be attempting to test you if you are ranked in the Top 20 in the world. Athletes who file a change of plan with USADA and have signed an authorization form for USADA to share their whereabouts information with the IAAF will also be covered if the IAAF attempts to test you when you are away from home.

If any athletes has any questions regarding this process, either with USADA or the IAAF, please contact USATF's Melissa Beasley.

Athletes can e-mail questions to the USATF mailbag.

In This Issue

Why Zero Tolerance?

USA Track & Field CEO Craig A. Masback and USATF President Bill Roe developed the plan in concert with the USATF Board of Directors in October 2003 by combining existing programs and USATF priorities with ambitious new initiatives. "Zero Tolerance" focuses on three goals: increasing efforts to catch and punish cheaters; expanding educational efforts and focusing the message on the theme that cheating is wrong and cheaters will be caught; and taking a more visible role on these issues.

With its emphasis on "significant, substantive action steps," the plan specifically addresses issues in the anti-doping movement that have been writ large, particularly in recent weeks and months.

Among the initiatives being launched by USATF as part of the plan are:

A substantially increased set of punishments and fines for athletes who cheat and their coaches, including lifetime bans for first steroid offenses and fines up to $100,000 for steroid convictions.

Implementing a groundbreaking effort to proactively root out cheaters. This program will encourage whistle blowing and ask former cheaters to tell us how they did it so we may share this information with testing authorities.

Creating an elite athlete outreach program focused on anti-doping messaging. Utilize Golden Spike Tour community outreach programs and USATF youth events to introduce the "Zero Tolerance" program to other elite athletes, young people and college athletes.


Message from USATF National Office on BALCO Investigation

As all of you are aware, the investigation by the federal government and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency into BALCO have dominated the sports pages this spring. The press has been especially aggressive about unearthing rumors or leaks in the various investigations.

USATF has gotten many inquires, from athletes, the press, and fans of the sport about this investigation. We want to ensure that elite athletes - the most affected of any group in the investigation - are kept informed of our current position and role.

USA Track & Field has no role in the investigation, nor are we informed of any developments by either the federal government or USADA. We have not seen any documents, nor do we know what "facts" investigators might have. In other words, what we know is what we read in the papers.

That said, we are very concerned, as are you, about what effect the investigation has on our sport and the way it is perceived by the public. As we have stated to the press, it is very important for everyone - athletes, USATF, the USOC, and the Olympic movement - that the investigation is conducted rapidly and fairly. It is important that innocent athletes be able to emerge from a cloud of suspicion, just as it is important that anyone who cheated should be punished. Until such time as the investigation is concluded, however, it is inappropriate for USATF to comment to the press or act upon rumors and leaks regarding individual athletes.

We, the USOC, the IAAF and the IOC all are concerned about the impact of the investigation on the Olympic Team and the Olympic Trials. USATF's Board of Directors is taking a forward look at issues that might arise, so the organization can be prepared to act at an appropriate time.

As the investigation unfolds, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Michael Conley.


Latest News

USADA Testing Increases leading up to Games

In accordance with the United States Olympic Committee 120-day rule, all athletes in the USADA Out of Competition (OOC) Drug Testing pool will need to have at least one out of competition drug test in the 120 days leading up to the Olympic Games! Athletes in the OOC pool need to remember to notify USADA of any travel or competition plans between now and the Games to avoid being charged with a Missed Test. For more information - see this issue's athlete question.

New Application required for athletes who use Restricted Substances

Abbreviated Therapeutic Use Exemption (Effective January 1, 2004, replaces the Restricted Substance Medical Notification): There is a new procedure for athletes seeking permission to use restricted beta-2 agonists for asthma or glucocorticosteriods by non-systemic routes. Athletes must comply with the Abbreviated TUE process in advance of using any of the specific medications.

USADA stated in a memo dated January 8, 2004 to athletes that currently approved Restricted Substance Medical Notification Forms will be valid for their one-year period. As in the past, these forms will expire one-year from the date of the physician signature. You must add topical corticosteroids by abbreviated TUE if they are not listed currently and you use those substances prior to or in competition. See the list of examples in Table 10 of the USADA Guide.

List of Prohibited Substances

Although the new list of Prohibited Substances when into effect on January 1, 2004, the IAAF did not begin enforcing the new list until March 1, 2004. To see the New List of Prohibited Substances, visit the USATF Anti-Doping section. While new substances have been added and removed from the list, some that have been removed are still being monitored for abuse in sport. To read about WADA's Monitoring Program, visit the USATF Anti-Doping section.


Upcoming U.S. Events

May 22 GST - Home Depot Invitational, Carson, CA
May 31 GST - Coach Payton Jordan U.S. Open, Palo Alto, CA
June 5 U.S. Women's 5 km Championships, Albany, NY
June 5 GST - adidas Oregon Track Classic, Portland, OR
June 9-12 NCAA D-I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Austin, TX
June 19 GST - Nike Prefontaine Classic, Eugene, OR
June 25-27 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships, College Station, TX
July 8-19 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field, Sacramento, CA

Effects of Steroid Use

USA Today recently did a detailed breakdown on the impact of steroids in the human body. Below is a brief summary of the negative effects of steroid use, described in progressive stages of excessive use:

  • Overall: User initially feels euphoric and stronger. Muscles get bigger. Surge of energy lets user recover more quickly from workouts and train more often.
  • Heart: Like other muscles, often becomes enlarged, raising the risk of sudden heart attacks and blood clots. Enlargement makes hearts prone to arrhythmia, a disturbance in the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. The heart either beats too rapidly or exhibits random or uncoordinated muscle contractions. An arrhythmia can occur at any time.
  • Tendons: These connect muscle to bone and become less resilient as bigger muscles put more pressure on them.
  • Liver: Tumors may develop among heavy users of oral anabolic steroids. That can lead to fatal internal bleeding and, in rare cases, cancer.
  • Hormones: Excessive use can turn the male hormone testosterone to the female hormone estrogen, cause user to develop breasts and smaller testicles. User may also become sexually aroused or, in some cases disinterested. Hair loss can occur.
  • Behavior: Irritability, aggression (or "roid rage")
  • Skin: User develops acne.

Reminder

Attention athletes in the USADA Out of Competition drug testing pool!

The forms for the 3rd Quarter of 2004 are due to USADA on June 1, 2004.

Forms can be submitted online, via fax to USADA 719-785-2099, or to USATF 317-261-0481 or regular mail to USADA or USATF.


Important Numbers

  • USADA Drug Reference Line - 800-233-0393 (toll free)
  • USATF Whistleblower Hotline - 866-809-8104 (toll free)
  • USATF Anti-Doping Liaison (Melissa Beasley) - 317-261-0478 x335

Links to other Anti-Doping Websites

USATF - www.usatf.org/about/legal/antidoping

USADA - www.usantidoping.org

IAAF - www.iaaf.org/antidoping

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