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Zero Tolerance Anti-Doping Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 5 - July 2004

Athletes' questions ...
From the USATF Mailbag

Q: "What if an athlete needs a painkiller for an injury?"

A: Slight to moderate pain can be effectively treated using non-narcotic drugs. For example, all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (naproxen, Aleve, Bextra, Vioxx, and Celebrex) are allowed. They have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-killing) actions. For management of more severe pain, there are a number of substances that are allowed, such as codeine, propoxyphene, Ultram, and hydrocodone. For other narcotics, the athlete should ensure the medication they are considering is not listed specifically on the prohibited list.

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.


Important Olympic Games News

All athletes participating in the Olympic Games are subject to Drug Testing throughout the duration of the Games, July 30 until August 29, 2004. The in-competition full menu will be used during this period, including narcotics, marijuana, beta-2 agonists, glucocorticosteroids, alcohol (for certain sports), and beta blockers (for certain sports), anabolic agents, peptide hormones, agents with anti-estrogerneric activity, masking agents and prohibited methods (2004 Prohibited List).

Testing will occur anywhere in the world during this period. Regardless of whether your competition has completed or if you retired from the event, you will not be excluded from testing. The IOC has established the ruling that TWO missed tests will be considered a doping violation therefore all USATF Athletes must inform Melissa Beasley or your event coach of your whereabouts throughout the Games.

HGH tests to be conducted at the Olympic Games: Dick Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, has announced that doping tests for Human Growth Hormone will be conducted at the Olympic Games in Athens. Read the full article.


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.

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.


How can an athlete be safe?

Call the USADA's Drug Reference Line (1-800-233-0393) or email at drugreference@usantidoping.org for information about contents of medications that may be taken in- or out-of-competition. The Drug Reference Line is available 24-hours a day.

Do not take any unknown substances (i.e., from a friend or acquaintance who offers something to help a cold or headache). The use of foreign medications is strongly discouraged.


Reminder - Athlete Location Forms

Athlete Location Forms for the 4th Quarter of 2004 are due to USADA on September 7 if submitting a hard copy and September 13 if completing the form online, date changes are due to the Olympic Games. Athletes who do not submit an updated form by the due date, either electronically, via fax or regular mail, could be charged with a doping violation.

Forms are available at www.usantidoping.org or by contacting USATF's Melissa Beasley at 317-261-0478 x335.


Upcoming U.S. Events

Jul. 30 - Aug. 1 NACAC Under 23 Championships, Sherbrooke, Canada
Aug. 18-29 Olympic Games
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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