Zero Tolerance Anti-Doping Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 6 - September 2004
In This Issue
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.
USA Track & Field (USATF) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) on September 21 announced a new joint program, "Be A Champion," a health initiative for young people which promotes fitness, fair play and the benefits of physical activity, particularly running, walking and other activities that require only a pair of athletic shoes. The program also will address the dangers of drug and supplement use in order to encourage kids to be healthy, active and drug-free in sports and in life.
"Be A Champion" is aimed at educating youth, parents, educators and coaches about the positive results that come from leading a physically active, drug-free and healthy lifestyle. The program will be introduced first through community outreach activities in schools and regional youth organizations, and later through clinics for coaches, trainers and healthcare personnel involved with youth sports.
Beginning this October, U.S. track and field star athletes will appear in school convocations to deliver health promotion messages and encourage kids to take the "Be A Champion" pledge. Students in grades K-12 will be introduced to the "Be A Champion" program and recite the pledge, a promise to incorporate more activity into each day and pursue drug- and supplement-free participation in sports and recreation. The program will be launched October 7 at the USA Track & Field Elite Athlete Summit in Miami, Florida, and will be incorporated into the 2004 USATF Annual Meeting in Portland; all 2005 USATF Golden Spike Tour stops; elite athlete camps and events, USATF national championship events; and other official gatherings around the country.
The World Anti-Doping Agency announced on September 17 that athletes were tested for human growth hormone (hGH) for the first time in Athens.
It is estimated that about 300 samples - 10 percent of the total number of tests in Athens - were screened for growth hormone. The test can detect use of hGH going back three months.
According to WADA officials, no hGH positives have been reported, but samples will be retested to look for the muscle-building hormone and other previously undetectable drugs. Under WADA guidelines, samples can be tested and athletes punished for up to eight years after the games. All drug-test samples from Athens have been preserved for follow-up analysis.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) performed a total of 2,956 drug tests during the second quarter of 2004, the largest number in any quarter in USADA history.
The 2,956 tests were conducted between April 1 and June 30, 2004, in preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games. Overall, USADA conducted 4,946 tests in the first six months of 2004.
Track & field makes up a large percentage of USADA quarterly testing statistics - with 1,043 of the 4,946 tests coming in the sport of track & field. In the second quarter of 2004 - 610 of the 2,956 tests were conducted on track & field athletes.
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.
USADA has recently been informed that some athletes may have used or may currently be using certain types of transdermal delivery systems (e.g., patches or certain creams) to deliver substances into the body through the skin. USADA is taking this opportunity to once again caution all athletes that it is the personal responsibility of each athlete to ensure that s/he does not allow any prohibited substance to enter his/her system, or use any prohibited method.
There are a number of patches and creams available in the marketplace that may contain prohibited substances and could result in an athlete having an adverse drug test result. Athletes should always carefully review the list of ingredients for a pill, patch or a cream to determine if it expressly lists any prohibited substances. However, athletes should also be aware that products sold as dietary supplements are not "safe" simply because the label does not list any prohibited substances. Unfortunately, there is a very real possibility that, because of either incomplete labeling or contamination, the nutritional supplement product could contain substances not listed in the ingredients.
The same warnings that USADA has previously issued regarding the risks of using vitamins, minerals, amino acids or other dietary supplements are equally true for products that may deliver substances into the body through the skin. Athletes should exercise extreme caution when considering taking any dietary supplement, including any product that may work through a transdermal delivery system. Athletes are ultimately responsible for what they consume. If you choose to take dietary supplements or use products that deliver substances into the body through the skin, you do so at your own risk. If you are unsure of what you are taking or using, and the product is a supplement do not use the product. If you are unsure about the status of a prescribed medication, please contact your prescribing physician. If you have questions, call USADA's Drug Reference Line at 1-800-233-0393 (in U.S.) or 1-719-785-2020 (outside of U.S.).
USADA, which recently launched a new, user-friendly, redesigned webpage, have plans to add a Drug Reference Online (DRO) by the end of 2004. DRO will be a searchable database, designed to assist athletes, coaches and medical staff search for the status of substances and products 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.
Stay tuned to www.usantidoping.org for the launch of the USADA Drug Reference Online.
|Oct. 11||USA Women's 10 km Championship, Boston, MA|
|Nov. 6||USA Men's 10 km Championship, Mobile, AL|
|Dec. 1-5||USATF Annual Meeting, Portland, OR|
|Dec. 5||USATF National Club XC Championships, Portland, OR|