The legendary pro wrestling commentator does not care if all professional wrestling entertainers are using steroids as long as it is under doctor’s supervision.
WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has had a long and distinguished broadcast career as a professional wrestling commentator that has spanned five decades. He has not spoken a lot about anabolic steroids and what appears to be their rampant use in pro wrestling. But he recently admitted that he is not at all troubled by the association of steroids with pro wrestling.
Ross expounded about the use of anabolic steroids on his “Grilling JR” podcast with Conrad Thompson on July 11, 2019.
Ross was reluctant to throw anyone under the bus as a steroid user especially when asked about WWE superstar Brock Lesnar. Ross denied knowing the truth. He deflected the question by pointing to the role that genetics could have played in Lesnar’s physique.
“Good ol’ JR” refuses to conclusively say whether it’s genetics or steroids.
Ross recalled Lesnar’s father being a “big, rugged, powerful man” who was “thick, muscular, barrel-chested” with “hands look like catcher’s mitts (sic)”.
Even if Brock Lesnar was openly using steroids, Ross would not mind. It would not be a problem if every single pro wrestling was using steroids either.
Ross qualified his support of steroid use in pro wrestling. He would expect steroid use to be performed under medical supervision. Ross seemed to think that most wrestlers, but particularly Lesnar, would responsibly look after their own health. After all, wrestlers should be incentivized to lmaximize their investment in themselves.
Steroids in pro wrestling have never been a major concern for most people. After all, pro wrestling is not a real sport in which the outcome could conceivably be affected by performance-enhancing drugs. The outcomes are predetermined before the wrestlers step into the ring.
Ross believes the steroid issue is more of a health concern than a cheating concern in pro wrestling. However, he assumes that the entertainers will successfully look after their own health. Unfortunately, there has been little evidence to suggest this would be the case.
The new anti-doping test could detect EPO micro-dosing after 48 hours according to French scientists.
Athletes have never stopped injecting recombinant erythropoietin (rEPO) to enhance their performance in spite of efforts by anti-doping agencies to deter its use. The use of EPO remains widespread in large part because athletes can get away with it.
The athletes have stayed a step ahead of the anti-dopers in the never-ending cat-and-mouse game. The EPO doping strategy of “micro-dosing” has mostly allowed athletes to avoid detection. But the anti-dopers believe they are close to putting an end to this pracctice.
The breakthrough in EPO detection will force athletes to stop using EPO — or adapt.
Michael Audran, the director of the Laboratory of the Agence Française de lutte contre le Dopage (AFDL) in Châtenay-Malabry, announced the breakthrough at a recent AFDL meeting this summer.
The new EPO test has reportedly increased the detection window from a maximum of 24 hours to over 48 hours. For example, a 60-kilogram rider who injected 600 IU would fail a drug tested performed on blood sample collected 48 hours following the micro-dodsing injection.
Athletes have eluded previous attempts, such as the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP), to detect doping by using a combination of blood transfusions and micro-dosing of rEPO. Cyclists, for example, has undergone blood transfusions for a short period of two weeks and have maintained the benefits with micro-doses of EPO every 48 hours.
“It is important [for cheating athletes] to spend 24 to 48 hours [avoiding] detection, because in these protocols, it is estimated that cheaters make microdoses every two days,” Audran explained. “We can detect microdoses EPO a minimum of 48 hours after taking, while it is now difficult to arrive at 24 hours.”
The longer detection-window effectively thwarts the strategy of micro-dosing EPO every 48 hours.
The new EPO test has yet to be fully validated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). But the Châtenay-Malabry laboratory is confident that it will meet WADA’s approval. The researchers expect the new EPO test to be implement as early as 2020.
The professional cyclists were among over 20 athletes in 5 sports linked to a German doping doctor.
Stefan Denifl and Georg Preidler, two professional cyclists from Austria, have each been suspended for four years after being linked to an international blood doping ring operated by German doctor Mark Schmidt. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced the suspensions on June 27, 2019.
Denifl, who previously competed with the Aqua Blue Sports Team, took advantage of blood doping services from as early as June 2014 until the end of 2018. Preidler, who most recently competed with the Groupama-FDJ WorldTour team, only recently used the services between February and December 2018.
The Operation Aderlass doping scandal involved athletes from several sports and multiple countries.
Denifl and Preidler admitted to doping following their arrests in connection with Operation Aderlass. The two men are among 21 athletes and 6 cyclists linked to the blood doping scandal. Retired Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi is another cyclist allegedly implicated.
Operation Aderlass was the codename for a criminal investigation that targeted doping at the 2019 International Ski Federation Nordic World Ski Championships on February 27, 2019. The Austrian Federal Police (Bundespolizei) raided a hotel room at an Austrian resort in Seefield and found 5 athletes undergoing blood tranfusions
The Operation Aderlass doping scandal gained widespread press coverage after the unauthorized leak of video from the raid surfaced on the Internet. The video showed Austrian cross-country skier Max Hauke with a needle in his arm during the middle of a blood transfusion. The “deer-in-the-headlights” express on Hauke’s face became fodder for numerous jokes.
Additional athletes from several other countries could face sanctions and other repercussions from the scandal. Dr. Schmidt reportedly provided blood doping services to clients from eight different countries including Austria, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United States.
Preidler and Denifli will both be eligible to return to competition on March 4, 2023.
Two South American cyclists tested positive for a banned blood boosting drug.
Amateur cyclists Gabriel Raff (Argentina) and Felipe Mendez (Colombia) were given lifetime suspensions by the Gran Fondo New York organization. Both cyclists tested positive for recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) during out-of-competition drug tests administered prior to the GFNY World Championship in New York City on May 19, 2019.
Raff and Mendez are prohibited from competing at any GFNY in the future. GFNY events are held around the world with competitions in the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Chile, Colombi, Portugal, Italy, Israel and several other locations.
The lifetime ban only applies to GFNY events. Sports federations and organizations that have adopted World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules will also recognize the anti-doping violation. But Raff and Mendez will likely only face a limited period of ineligibility of four years or less in those competitions.
GFNY drug testing targets athletes most likely to win.
Raff and Mendez were supposedly randomly selected for anti-doping controls. But they were actually targeted in a pool of 60 participants who were considered most likely to win their age group and/or place in the top ten.
The GFNY Global Cycling Marathon Series is one of the few amateur events that routinely tests competitors for prohibited performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). The anti-doping controls also include out-of-competition testing.
Uli Fluhme, the chief executive officer of GFNY, believes that doping is just as serious a violation as course cutting. While this is debatable, GFNY has treated doping as a very serious problem.
“We don’t allow course cutting at our races so why would we look the other way when it comes to doping?” asked Fluhme.
GFNY has administered anti-doping controls since 2012. GFNY estimated that it spends well over $15,000 per year on drug testing.
Seven athletes have received lifetime suspensions from GFNY events including Raff and Mendez. Age-group winners David Anthony and Gabriele Guarini tested positive for EPO in 2012. Overall winer Oscar Tovar and third-place women’s finisherYamile Lugo both tested positive for the anabolic steroid testosterone in 2015. And Manuel Serrano Plowells tested positive for EPO in 2017.
GFNY takes an extremely hard stance against anti-doping. In addition to issuing lifetime bans to anti-doping rule violators, GFNY requires that dopers pay additional financial penalties.
Banned athletes are required to reimburse GFNY for the costs of the anti-doping tests. And they are also required to financially compensate GFNY for any reputational damage that results from the negative publicity.
It seems unlikely that any athletes with a lifetime suspension would bother to fulfill those financial penalties.
The Oakland A’s pitcher blames a contaminated supplement but he is still suspended for 80 games.
Frankie Montas, the starting pitcher for the Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics, was having a break-out season this year. But Montas’ incredible year has effectively come to a premature ending due to an 80-game suspension.
The reason for his suspension is a failed drug test for the selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) known as Ostarine. Ostarine is prohibited under the MLB Joint Drug Agreement.
SARMs act like anabolic steroids for all intents and purposes. They exhibit some of the same beneficial performance-enhancing effects and they also display some of the same adverse side effects. However, the chemical structure differs from traditional androgens.
Frankie Montas atttributed the Ostarine positive to a contaminated dietary supplement purchased from a U.S.-based nutrition store.
Montas has denied knowingly using any prohibited performance-enhancing drug (PED). He alleged that Ostarine entered his body through the consumption of a contaminated dietary supplement. Montas suggested that he knows exactly which supplement was the culprit in a statement released through the MLB Players Association (MLBPA).
“While I never intended to take any prohibited substance,” Montas said, “I unfortunately and unknowingly ingested a contaminated supplement that I had purchased over-the-counter at a nutrition store here in the United States.”
Dietary supplement contamination has been a major problem for drug-tested athletes in a variety of sports. Several prohibited substances have been openly sold in sports nutrition stores. This has resulted in cross-contamination with other sports nutrition supplements that are not supposed to contain any prohibited substances.
It is unclear if Montas has submitted the supplement in question to an analytical laboratory for chemical identification. It would seem that MLB or MLBPA would independently obtain and test samples of the product.
Montas will be forced to sit out 80 games without pay regardless of the veracity of his contaminated supplement claim. Montas will forfeit almost half of his $560,000 annual salary as a result of the suspension.
It is an unfortunate outcome for Montas who was experiencing the best year of his MLB career.
Former Alberta bodybuilding judge Kirk Goodkey was busted for operating USP Labs and Ikonic Pharma.
Krik Goodkey, the former Head Judge for the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA), was sentenced to two years imprisonment and order to pay a $75,000 fine by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Sterling Sanderman on June 21, 2019. Goodkey was busted as one of the largest steroid dealers in the history of Canadian law enforcement in 2014.
Goodkey pleaded guilty to production of anabolic steroids and proceeds of crime (money laundering) in October 2018.
Goodkey operated a “highly sophisticated underground steroid manufacturing and distribution operation” in the garage and den of his north Edmonton home. The home served as the headquarters for the underground labs (UGLs) known as USP Labs and Ikonic Pharma.
Bodybuilding judge Kirk Goodkey was a cocaine dealer before becoming a steroid dealer.
Goodkey was already on law enforcement’s radar due to his prior arrests for cocaine trafficking offenses. The raid on his home was the culmination of a 5-month surveillance operation conducted by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) beginning in May 2014.
ALERT seized large quantities of anabolic steroids in various forms including powders, injectables and orals. The seizure include 365,268 tablets, 10,583 injectable vials, 124 kilograms steroid powder and 30 liters of “liquid drug precursors”.
Law enforcement officials valued the seizure at $9.3 million. The seizure was substantial but the police estimates were highly inflated.
Goodkey had strong ties to the local bodybuilding community in Alberta. He started off as a bodybuilding competitor. He won the 2001 ABBA Southern Alberta Bodybuilding competition as a light-heavyweight competitor and the 2001 ABBA Alberta Provincial Bodybuilding competition as a middleweight competitor.
Goodkey became an ABBA judge following his retirement from competition in 2006. He quickly moved up the ranks to a position of Head Judge.
Goodkey used his position as a Head Judge to promote the sale of USP Labs and Ikonic Pharma steroid products to bodybuilding competitors.
Goodkey will begin his prison sentence on June 21, 2019. He must pay his $75,000 fine within 5 years.