Athletes generally know about steroids, but some are unaware of the complexity of the steroids as a chemical class; there are many types of steroid.
Drug cheating in international athletics is common. Agents such as human growth hormone and erythropoietin are nearly undetectable and laboratories need to act fast in order to catch the culprits.
There is a world of difference between beclomethasone (an inhaled anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid) and stanozolol (an anabolic androgen derivative).
So when a guilty athlete (later found to have used stanozolol) was asked to make a declaration of all medicines, vitamins and other products used, and he mentioned beclomethasone (at max accepted dosage), his logic was that one steroid might be transformable into another.
He could not have been more wrong.
In doping cases I only become involved as an investigator when the laboratory results generate new questions, or if there are relevant circumstances to be explored before the case goes to tribunal.
The technicalities involved in mounting a successful defence of an innocent party require the services of a specialist Expert Witness.
For doping tribunals, I have successfully raised issues which have mitigated the adverse laboratory findings (ALFs) – critical for an athlete’s career.
Dr Bliss is a member of the
Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Dr Bliss is a full member of the
Institute of Professional Investigators
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