Japan is considering introducing an anti-doping law as the country gears up for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Hiroshi Hase, Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, said a law against doping was “necessary legislation” as Japan seeks to curb drug abuse by athletes at the Tokyo Games.

“Japan needs to introduce measures dedicated to anti-doping such as educating the public and athletes,” Hase told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.

“And we need to be able to deal with the issue based on law,” he said.

His comments come after the IAAF, track and field’s world governing body, voted to suspend Russia’s athletics federation in November, following the publication of a World Anti-Doping Agency report that alleged “state-sponsored” drug use.

“We need to increase the integrity of sport by cooperating with the International Olympic Committee. Doping is absolutely wrong,” Hase said.

According to Jiji Press, the ministry will soon set up a panel to discuss details of the legislation, such as penalties.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics

It is scientifically harder to lose weight in winter study shows

Have you ever wondered why is harder to lose weight in winter than in spring, well it is not the idea of looking fit for the beach…

People have evolved to have subconscious urges to over-eat, and limited ability to avoid becoming obese, especially in winter, a University of Exeter study has found.

Fatness and fitness: exposing the logic of evolutionary explanations for obesity by Andrew D. Higginson, John M. McNamara, Alasdair I. Houston

There is not yet an evolutionary mechanism to help us overcome the lure of sweet, fatty and unhealthy food and avoid becoming overweight for understandable and sensible reasons, according to researchers.

This is because in our past being overweight has not posed a significant threat to survival compared to the dangers of being underweight. The urge to maintain body fat is even stronger in winter when food in the natural world is scarce. This explains why we enjoy eating so much at Christmas, and our New Year’s resolutions to lose weight usually fail.

Researchers used computer modelling to predict how much fat animals should store, by assuming that natural selection gives animals, including humans, a perfect strategy to maintain the healthiest weight. Their model predicts how the amount of fat an animal stores should respond to food availability and the risk of being killed by a predator when foraging.

The model shows that the animal should have a target body weight above which it loses weight and below which it tries to gain weight. Simulations showed that there is usually only a small negative effect of energy stores exceeding the optimal level, so subconscious controls against becoming overweight would be weak and so easily overcome by the immediate rewards of tasty food.

Lead author Dr Andrew Higginson, from the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Exeter, said: “You would expect evolution to have given us the ability to realise when we have eaten enough, but instead we show little control when faced with artificial food. Because modern food today has so much sugar and flavour the urge humans have to eat it is greater than any weak evolutionary mechanism which would tell us not to.

Cops Fighting Mandatory Drug Tests – Describing the policy as “an illegal search and seizure.”

In an unprecedented protest against the routine offenses against due process and bodily integrity carried out in the name of the “war on drugs,” the union representing Pittsburgh police officers has condemned workplace drug and alcohol testing as a violation of the Constitution. Their zeal for the right to privacy only applies to themselves, however, not to the public they supposedly serve.

NBC affiliate WPXI reports that the Pittsburgh Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police “has filed a civil rights grievance against the city, claiming officers have been order to undergo drug and alcohol testing that is in violation of their contract.” Union attorney Bryan Campbell describes the policy as “an illegal search and seizure.”

Under the contract between the City of Pittsburgh and its paramilitary affiliate, police officers can be subjected to drug or alcohol tests only in three circumstances: When an officer displays signs of impairment on the job, fires a weapon, or is involved in a vehicle crash. The union’s complaint arises from a recent pursuit that ended in a car crash. Two officers who participated in the chase but were not directly involved in the crash were required to undergo testing.

Another blatantly obvious reason for police opposing public scrutiny of their urine is that it could reveal the usage of such things as anabolic steroids. Police officers are no stranger to ‘Vitamin S’ as many of them have not only been caught using the rage-inducing hormones, but selling them as well.

All I can say is: Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi

Pitsburgh Police

Arsene Wenger believes doping is common in football

We were writing about UEFA lying about doping in football, Arsene Wenger, current manager of Arsenal, agrees with us.

Arsène Wenger has again voiced his concern that it is a serious issue in football, saying in an interview with L’Equipe that he has “played against many teams” that use performance-enhancing drugs.

In September his Arsenal side lost 2-1 at Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League, with the Dinamo midfielder Arijan Ademi, who played the full 90 minutes, failing a drug test after the game. “When I saw that the players of Zagreb were doped – well, when you don’t play at your best and your opponent is doped, it is difficult,” he said last month.

Arsene Wenger

“I try to be faithful to the values that I believe to be important in life and to pass them on to others,” Wenger told L’Equipe. “In 30 years as a manager I’ve never had my players injected to make them better. I never gave them any product that would help enhance their performance. I’m proud of that. I’ve played against many teams that weren’t in that frame of mind.

“For me, the beauty of sport is that everyone wants to win, but there will only be one winner. We have reached an era in which we glorify the winner, without looking at the means or the method. And 10 years later we realize the guy was a cheat. And during that time, the one that came second suffered. He didn’t get recognition. And, with all that’s been said about them, they can be very unhappy.”

Two years ago Wenger said that sport was “full of legends who are in fact cheats” as he called on Uefa to improve its drug testing programme. “Honestly, I don’t think we do enough [on doping tests],” he said. “It is very difficult for me to believe that you have 740 players at the World Cup and you come out with zero problems. Mathematically, that happens every time. But statistically, even for social drugs, it looks like we would do better to go deeper.

“I hope England is immune from doping but I don’t know. When you have a doping control at Uefa [matches], they do not take blood, they take only urine. I have asked many times in Geneva [for that to be changed]. I hope we do not have a big problem with doping but we have to try to find out.”

Wenger was embroiled in a doping controversy of his own in 2011, when the former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson told the French magazine So Foot that “on the night before big games we would go to a Holiday Inn in Islington where a yellowy product was injected into our arm. I never asked any questions. From the moment you trust a manager you take everything he asks you to.”

At the time an Arsenal spokesman said the substance was a “simple multivitamin injection”, while Wenger angrily denied the story, saying: “If you find one player who I asked to take an injection to play one game, no matter how big the game was, I would resign tomorrow morning.”

Performance enhancers and smart drugs in e-sports

I just found an interesting article about: Performance enhancers and smart drugs in e-sports by guest poster Toni Gibea on Philosophy Faculty, University of Oxford website.

A short excerpt about the article:

What happened this year when ESL made a decision based merely on press reactions and fans’ opinions showed us that a serious and professional discussion on the use of Adderall and other smart drugs in e-sport competitions is needed now more than ever. And if we add to this the fact that: all of the arguments raised against the use of Adderall in e-sports are questionable; for some statements (like the risk professional e-sport players take if they use Adderall) we don’t have sufficient empirical evidence; and that in some e-sport competitions, because of the nature of the game, Adderall could have no decisive influence to the outcome of the competition; we might say that ESL decision was made without carefully thinking through the relevant ethics.

ESL leads anti-PED initiative for esports with the support of NADA

ESL Logo

Is UEFA lying about the doping in football?

A study revealed 7.7 per cent of 879 players tested returned high testosterone levels – but European football’s governing body – UEFA says there’s no widespread problem.

Uefa has denied the use of performance-enhancing drugs is widespread in professional football, on the back of a commissioned study that suggests otherwise.

Europe’s governing body responded to results from a study that reportedly revealed 7.7 per cent of 879 players tested returned high testosterone levels.

The use of anabolic steroids has been suggested by media outlets throughout Europe but Uefa released a statement insisting performance-enhancing drugs are not prevalent in the game.

“Further to media reports this evening, Uefa would like to clarify a number of points regarding the report that it commissioned and contributed to, which was published earlier this month,” Saturday’s statement read.

“This study does not present any scientific evidence of potential doping in football especially due to the presence of confounding factors, the lack of standardisation procedures among the 12 laboratories, and the quantification of steroid profiles when the samples were collected.

“Furthermore, there was an inability to perform a second analysis [B sample] as required now by the WADA international standards for laboratories.

“The study simply shows that the introduction of steroidal biological passport in football would be beneficial by offering further analysis possibilities in case of atypical test results.

“Uefa has had a very thorough anti-doping programme for many years with over 2,000 tests a year and only two occurrence of positive tests, both for recreational drugs, which proves that doping in football is extremely rare.

“Uefa has now implemented a new steroid profiling programme which has come into operation at the start of the 2015/16 season.

“The programme will boost the already strong deterrent effect of Uefa’s testing programme, as it will help better detect the effects of doping over time, thereby complementing existing direct anti-doping testing.”

Soccer-UEFA-commissioned doping study reveals many conspicuous results-ARD

PS: You can also check out our previous post about history of doping in football.

UEFA

A great deal for buying anabolics

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Method actor Ben Foster admits taking steroids while filming Lance Armstrong biopic

Ben Foster did anabolic steroids in his preparations to play the disgraced cyclist in the upcoming film The Program.

The film is based on Walsh’s book “Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong”.

Ben Foster’s take on Armstrong, who declined his request for a meeting, is complicated. “On one hand, he’s a lying doper who tricked the world. On the other, he’s a young man who faced cancer. It changes you. And when you go to war it changes you. That’s what Lance Armstrong did – he went to war with his body. That shifts your consciousness.

“He started training within a culture that was doping: you’d have to go down 18 riders to find a clean one. He survives death, the story catches fire and he recognises that.

“He’s a smart man. He says, ‘I can do some good with this.’ He raised half a billion for cancer research. We just don’t like him because he was Jesus Christ on a bicycle. We’re mad he came back from the dead, saved the sick and then turned out to be full of shit. And we’re punishing him because he didn’t apologise in the way we’d like. Americans love a good apology. He wouldn’t do that.”

A cautious admiration emerges when Foster discusses Armstrong. “Belief and will got him through, not dope,” he insists. “Dope certainly helped. Had he not been doping he wouldn’t have won. But his greatest attribute is his ability to believe he’s a winner.”

He makes the connection to his own profession before I can. “That righteousness, that self-belief, could be considered akin to acting. The best acting. It’s not lying, it’s belief.”

Ben Foster on playing Lance Armstrong in The Guardian.

Lance Armstrong vs Ben Foster

Everyone should care about obesity

Why should employers care about obesity… as long as revenues are “fat” and costs are “lean?” Many myths still exist about the growing global obesity epidemic and, like doughnuts, have major holes. These myths, in turn, may be keeping employers from addressing what is becoming a major problem for businesses. Here are 7 of these myths:

  • Myth 1: Obesity does not exist in your workplace or population
  • Myth 2: Obesity is simply the result of and a sign of an individual employee’s choices
  • Myth 3: Employers can do little to affect obesity
  • Myth 4: Obesity has little impact on employers.
  • Myth 5: Obesity has little to do with overall business strategy, management, operations and finance
  • Myth 6: With high employee turnover, the impact of obesity does not matter
  • Myth 7: There are quick, simple fixes to obesity

You can read more about this debunked myths on Forbes – Obesity Is Everyone’s Business by Bruce Y. Lee

Impact of Obesity on Employers

Doping in football – 50 years of evidence

An interesting article on doping in football by 4dfoot.com Football’s dark side – 4dfoot.com

The one doping case in which high profile players actually tested positive for doping use is the nandrolone affair of 2001 and 2002. Within a short period of time, several players were caught having used the anabolic steroid nandrolone, including world class players such as Jaap Stam, Edgar Davids, Frank de Boer, Christophe Dugarry, Fernando Couto and Josep Guardiola. Of course, they blamed it on ‘contaminated supplements’. In an added twist, Guardiola’s doctor at his then club Brescia, Ramon Segura, worked as head doctor for FC Barcelona during Pep’s reign at the club.

Lionel Messi - HGH