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Zero Tolerance Anti-Doping Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 4 - June 2004

Athletes' questions ...
From the USATF Mailbag

Q: "What if the athlete has a cold or the flu? Can he or she be excused when taking medicine to get well?"

A: If an athlete has a cold, flu, or hay fever there are a number of allowed medications. The antihistamines are, in general, allowed as are cold medications and some decongestants purchased over the counter. A major change on the 2004 Prohibited List is the removal of pseudoephedrine, but note that it is still on the Monitored List. Ensure medications do not contain a prohibited stimulant by checking USADA web site or calling USADA Drug Reference Line (800-233-0393). Know the exact name and spelling of your medication. The athlete is responsible for ensuring that pseudoephedrine is not prohibited by their IF. Athletes are advised that the use of the medication is at their own risk.

This month's Q&A is courtesy of the USADA website.

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.


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.


Effects of Hormone Use

What?

EPO is a hormone that is naturally secreted into the body. Its role is to increase the amount of oxygen in blood, by stimulating the bone marrow which is responsible for the production of red blood cells (vehicles for oxygen).

Uses?

EPO is used to treat anemia (low levels of hemoglobin [Hb] in the blood), dialysis patients, and any patient who suffers from other blood disorders. Use of EPO allows for faster delivery of oxygen, when fuel (oxygen) is spent on periods of activity.

Effects?

For medical purposes, patients who are monitored by a physician can benefit from the effects of EPO. But unmonitored users and users with normal blood oxygen counts can suffer greatly from the effects of EPO, including the risk of death.

EPO raises the amount of red blood cell production, thus making blood thicker and causing the heart to work harder to pump the blood throughout the body. This increase in effort by the heart can cause the heart to not compensate for the increase in work and as a result the heart can suddenly stop. Heart failure is the biggest side effect from illegal use of EPO.

What?

Insulin is a hormone the body secrets in order to absorb sugar into the cells. This serves a way of providing the cells with needed calories and nutrients for strength and increases muscles and cells ability to do work.

Uses?

Insulin injections are used for medical treatment of diabetes. Diabetics are patients that do not have the ability to absorb sugar into the cells. This inability causes the blood to continue carrying high levels of sugar never emptying into muscles and cells.

Effects?

Insulin can increase the body's ability to do more work and lessen chances of muscle breakdown. But in the case of insulin use for athletic purposes, the effects are short term with long-term negative and life-threatening repercussions. Insulin use not monitored by a physician can lead to overuse. It can cause a user to become diabetic, along with increasing chances of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. This increase in blood sugar or decrease in sugar absorption cause anywhere from hunger, drowsiness, blurred vision, depressive mood, dizziness, sweating, palpitation, tremor, restlessness, tingling in the hands, feet, lips, or tongue, lightheadedness, inability to concentrate, headache, sleep disturbances, anxiety, slurred speech, irritability, abnormal behavior, unsteady movement, and personality change. Along with the risks of becoming hyper or hypoglycemic, insulin abusers also risk the chances of comas and death.

EPO and Insulin are prohibited substances under The World Anti-Doping Code. Use by athletes can result in a minimum two-year ban.


Upcoming U.S. Events

Jul. 8-19 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field, Sacramento, CA
Jul. 13-18 IAAF World Junior Championships in Athletics, Grosseto, Italy
Jul. 25 Norwich Union Challenge (GBR vs. USA vs. RUS), Birmingham, Great Britain
Jul. 30 - Aug. 1 NACAC Under 23 Championships, Sherbrooke, Canada
Sep. 18-19 IAAF World Athletics Final, Monaco
Dec. 1-5 USATF Annual Meeting, Portland, OR
Dec. 5 USATF National Club XC Championships, Portland, OR

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.


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

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