Monthly Archives: April 2013

Is the history repeating itself?

As many of us expected, it was only a matter of time until the anti-doping crusaders started to show their interest in xenoandrogens.

Last month, the (a website aimed mostly at medical professionals) and its foreign language versions published an opinion article by certain Dr. Vernon R. Smith with a surprising title “Xenoandrogens – the new problem number 1”.

You could think that this is a reaction to some athlete’s serious medical condition or even death caused by xenoandrogens. Not so. What is the biggest problem in the eyes of Dr. Smith is that the stuff actually works and still is legal.

So basically, the message is that you can sell any sh*t and claim that it will make you huge but it may not really produce any results. This is OK. But a substance that lives up to its promises must be banned from professional sports as well as from shelves of nutrition shops.

Fortunately, this is not (yet) the official position of WADA-AMA, the international doping watchdog.

In my humble opinion, one of the reasons for this approach is that most xenoandrogens are optically so similar to anabolic steroids. It becomes harder to distinguish between the two and various anti-doping agencies reported cases when “steroids” have been seized only to be later identified as xenoandrogens.

So can we expect the ban on xenoandrogens in the near future? As I know from personal encounters with several coaches, there is a discussion going on about this topic in the federations most affected by this new form of doping – namely swimming, various martial arts and weightlifting.

It is possible that xenoandrogens will be some day banned from those sports but hopefully there will be no general ban on the substances. Let’s see…

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