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

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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.


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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 Football’s dark side –

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

Pangea VII – coordinated operation strikes at organized crime with seizure of 20 million illicit medicines

A total of 115 countries have taken part in a global operation targeting the criminal networks behind the sale of fake medicines via illicit online pharmacies, resulting in 156 arrests worldwide and the seizure of USD 81 million worth of potentially dangerous medicines.

Operation Pangea VIII was the largest ever Internet-based operation focusing on the illicit sale of medicines and medical devices via the Internet, with the participation of 236 agencies from police, customs and health regulatory authorities. Private partners from the Internet and payment industries also supported the operation, which saw a record number of 20.7 million illicit and counterfeit medicines seized – more than twice the amount confiscated during the 2013 operation.

The action resulted in the launch of 429 investigations, the suspension of 550 online adverts for illicit pharmaceuticals and 2,414 websites taken offline.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Head of Enforcement, Alastair Jeffrey, said: “The MHRA are committed to tackling the illegal trade in medical products and have been working with counterparts across the globe to close down websites and social media sites illegally advertising and selling these products. Criminals involved in the supply of medical products have no interest in your health; it is simply your money they want. Buying medicines from unregulated Internet sites can be risky – you are gambling with your health.”

In addition to interventions on the ground, which included the discovery of an illicit warehouse full of counterfeit and expired medicines in Indonesia, the operation also targeted the main areas exploited by organized crime in the illegal online medicine trade: rogue domain name registrars, electronic payment systems and delivery services.

Operation Pangea VIII was coordinated by INTERPOL, together with the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Permanent Forum of International Pharmaceutical Crime (PFIPC), the Heads of Medicines Agencies Working Group of Enforcement Officers (WGEO), Europol and the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI), and supported by the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) and private sector companies including LegitScript, Google, MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal.

As well as raids at addresses linked to the illicit pharmaceutical websites, some 150,000 packages were inspected by customs and regulatory authorities, of which 50,000 were seized during the international week of action (9 – 16 June).

International collaboration between Canada, France, the UK, the US, INTERPOL and the private sector resulted in the closure of two Internet domain names selling the potentially lethal and illicit diet drug 2.4-dinitrophenol (DNP) after one woman died in the UK and a French man was left seriously ill after taking the substance purchased from these sites.

At the request of French authorities, INTERPOL issued an Orange Notice warning about the dangers of DNP, and through Operation Pangea VIII, INTERPOL and the health authorities of Canada and the US convinced the Internet registrar to suspend the two domains known to be selling DNP.

Among the fake and illicit medicines seized during the operation were blood pressure medication, erectile dysfunction pills, cancer medication and nutritional supplements. In the case from Indonesia, authorities uncovered an operation where criminals were altering the expiry date or the amount of the active ingredient on packages of counterfeit, expired and unregistered medicines at the warehouse and returning them to a pharmacy for sale.

“Our efforts to protect the health of patients by preventing the online sale of potentially dangerous illegal medical products will not cease,” said George M. Karavetsos, director of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigations.

“Operation Pangea VIII provides yet another avenue for the FDA to engage with our international law enforcement partners on these critical issues. We are not only pleased to be a part of this strong international enforcement effort, but resolved to do everything we can to ensure that the global problem of illegal internet drug and device sales is deterred as a result,” he added.

A new focus of the operation this year was on counterfeit medical products. For example, investigations in the US have raised awareness of the growing health risk posed by the use of illicit or mislabeled silicone injections in cosmetic procedures. If used incorrectly, or containing substances other than medical-grade silicone, the injections can cause serious medical complications.

INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Police Services Tim Morris said: “More and more people are using the Internet to purchase everyday items, and criminals are taking advantage of this trend to deceive customers into buying fake and even dangerous medicines and medical products online, with no concern to the health risks this poses.”

“Through strong collaboration between law enforcement, health agencies and Internet and payment companies, INTERPOL’s Operation Pangea VIII has made significant progress in protecting innocent consumers by shutting down illegitimate online pharmacies and seizing illegal and counterfeit pharmaceutical products,” added Mr Morris.

He highlighted a case in the UK where authorities discovered an illegal online pharmacy selling unlicensed medicines obtained from another country. Police and the MHRA raided a premises connected to the website – which was arranged to look like a legal pharmacy – and seized 60,000 units of potentially dangerous medicines worth an estimated USD 2.4 million.

The participation of Google, one of the world’s largest Internet companies, underscored the importance of collaboration between law enforcement and the private sector in combating online pharmaceutical crime

“Google has long recognized the importance of working with law enforcement and others to collectively frustrate the business operations of rogue online pharmacies. Our involvement in Operation Pangea is yet another way to make it even harder for rogue actors to harm Internet users,” said Adam Barea, Legal Director at Google.

A dedicated operations centre at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon served as the central hub for information exchange among the participating countries and agencies. From this base, the WCO coordinated activities between participating customs administrations and the Pangea team via its secure messaging system, and a mobile Europol office in Vienna, Austria also conducted cross-checks.



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Lance Armstrong Says Government Should Have Known He Was Doping

Lance Armstrong suggests that the government was more than willing to overlook doping on the U.S. Postal Service professional cycling team out of its own self-interest. It apparently didn’t matter so much that Armstrong and his teammates used anabolic steroids such as testosterone and blood-boosting drugs such as erythropoietin (EPO). USPS was receiving enormous favorable publicity. And that’s all that mattered according to a recent motion filed by the attorneys for the disgraced cyclist.

Armstrong won seven consecutive Tour de France and became one of the most celebrated professional athletes in the United States. But that was before the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) pressured his teammates to rat out Armstrong and provide sworn testimony against Armstrong.

In a ‘reasoned decision” approaching 200 pages, and accompanied by over 1,000 in supporting documentation and affidavits, USADA produced overwhelming evidence that PEDs such as EPO and steroids were rampant on the USPS pro cycling team. In exchange for testifying against Armstrong, his teammates were given reduced bans of six months. Meanwhile, Armstrong was given a lifetime ban from competing in professional cycling (and any other sport that has adopted the anti-doping code published by the World Anti-Doping Agency).

But that was only the beginning of Armstrong’s problems. Floyd Landis, a former teammate of Armstrong who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for using steroids, filed a whistleblower lawsuit on behalf of the federal government alleging that Armstrong defrauded the government when he used PEDs in violation of his USPS contract.

The federal government enjoined Landis’ lawsuit putting the full resources of the government behind the effort to sue Armstrong. Armstrong has an estimated net worth of approximately $150 million dollars earned during the course of his professional career. However, the Landis-government lawsuit is seeking as much as $120 million dollars. Landis could receive 25 percent of any amout recovered.

In court documents filed in relation to the lawsuit, Armstrong argued that the government should have known that he was doping. There had been extensive media coverage throughout his career about allegations of doping. But in spite of the media reports of doping at USPS pro cycling team, the USPS renewed its contract rather than ask question about doping and/or otherwise investigate the allegations.

“Instead, the Postal Service renewed the Sponsorship Agreement and basked in the favorable publicity of its sponsorship. It is now far too late for the government to revisit its choice to reap the benefits of sponsorship rather than investigate allegations of doping.”

Furthermore, Armstrong’s attorneys argue that Landis should not be entitled to receive any damages as part of the lawsuits. After all, Landis was involved in the very same doping behavior that Armstrong participated in.

“The government wanted a winner and all the publicity, exposure, and acclaim that goes along with being a sponsor. It got exactly what it bargained for.”

Armstrong was asked once against about the doping in cycling during his time as a competitors. He repeated the refrain that he didn’t do anything that wasn’t already commonplace in the sport. Contrary to claims by USADA that the USPS was the “most sophisticated” doping program in the history of sport, Armstrong says he was just doing what everyone else was doing.

“It wasn’t a pretty time (in professional cycling). I didn’t invent it and I didn’t end it,” Armstrong said. “My bad for playing along.”


McCann, J. (July 25, 2013). US Postal should have KNOWN I was doping says Lance Armstrong as he fights back against multi-million dollar lawsuit. Retrieved from

Denmark a hotbed of steroid use

Bodybuilding Gyms Targeted as Steroid Havens in Denmark

Bodybuilding gyms are being called “havens” for anabolic steroid use in Denmark. Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark have identified up to fifty gyms where steroids are allegedly openly bought, sold and used within the confines of the gym.

The fitness centers have been labeled as “iron caves” where organized criminal groups specializing in the distribution of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone (hGH) and other doping substances allegedly operate with impugnity.

According to the Copenhagen Post, these “iron caves” have big bodybuilders roaming around these gyms carrying syringes full of steroids presumably ready to inject the drugs in between sets. The toilets are full of used syringes and the gyms have very big dumbbells weighing over 200 pounds.

Kasper Lund Kirkegaard, a researcher with Idrættens Analyseinstitut (DIF), confirmed the Copenhagen Post’s account.

“Several sources from the fitness culture have told me that it is not unusual to find syringes in the toilets,” according to Kirkegaard. “…There is typically a distribution, resale and organised recruitment network bringing together new potential clients inside these centres.”

The final nail in the coffin in the demonization of hardcore bodybuilding gyms in Denmark is the gyms’ refusal to allow anti-doping respresentatives on the premises to stake out potential steroid users! These commercial gyms have denied access to Anti-Doping Denmark (ADD). ADD is the national agency in charge of enforcing the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code. Apparently, WADA rule are not restricted to elite athletes that are under the jurisdiction of the WADA code. The average bodybuilding gymrat, with no aspirations of competing, is expected to follow the WADA anti-doping code in Denmark as well.

“Strict rules are not a characteristic of ‘iron caves’ that allow steroid use and opt out of visits by the anti-doping organisation,” said Kirkegaard. “It is obvious that the police need to target these places.”

At the moment, targeting steroid users is not a priority for the local police according to Copenhagen Police Commissioner Steffen Steffensen.

“Doping is not an organised crime area that we are targeting,” Steffensen said.

Unfortunately, this may soon change. Government officials have been advocating greater police involvement in the crackdown on steroid users and the gyms where they work out.

Justice minister Morten Bødskov confirmed that the Danish government plans to increase the sentencing penalties for steroid use later this year. Instead of facing two years in jail for steroid use, bodybuilders will soon face up to six years in jail for steroids.

Culture minister Marianne Jelved hopes the increased penalties for steroid users will encourage police to start policing gyms more aggressively. She believes this will provide the Copenhagen Police with greater incentives and more powerful tools to address the buying and selling of steroids within commercial gyms.

Government officials in Denmark are happy that their steroid penalties will soon be as draconian as the steroid laws in Norway and Sweden.