October 22, 2009

WADA Prohibited Substances

World Anti-Doping AgencyBy Katrina Belcher (KatrinaBelcher@mmaratings.net)

Sadly, we occasionally hear that another MMA fighter has tested positive for an illegal substance - like steriods or marijuana.

Some fighters, like Nick Diaz, admit to drug use. Diaz says smoking marijuana is part of his plan as it helps him to be “more consistent about everything.” Not much we can do about Nick; if he smokes the stuff, he won’t get to fight, period.

But then there are the fighters like Josh Barnet who claim the results of his test, showing he tested positive for steroids, are inaccurate.

Many fans were excited about the anticipated fight between Josh Barnett, and Fedor Emelianenko, who were scheduled to go toe-to-toe on Affliction's fight card in Anaheim, California this past summer (August 1, 2009.)

After he tested positive for an anabolic steroid, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) announced Barnett would not receive a license to fight. Many people even claim this was the final straw that broke Affliction’s back.

Sadly, Barnett has previously failed mandatory drug tests, and in fact he was stripped of the UFC heavyweight title in 2002 after a positive test for boldenone, nandrolone and fluoxymesterone after his victory against Randy Couture. In this case the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) suspended Barnett for six months.

Keith Kizer, the Nevada commission's executive director, asked Barnett about the 2002 test when he returned to Nevada to fight for Pride in 2006, a bout for which he passed all tests.

Per Kizer: "I asked him, 'Did you ever find out why you tested positive in 2002?' He said, 'I did some research, and it turned out it was some supplements I took.' I saw some interviews he gave recently, and he said, 'I still don't know why I tested positive in 2002.' "

So which was it – he doesn’t know, or it was from some supplements? In a case like this, one can pretty much scratch their head and wonder “what is Barnett thinking???” Was it steriods or was it supplements or do you still not know? And if you get busted for doing steroids – that’s your wake up call! Listen to it and don’t do it any more.

And before we get all longing for better times, remember that even Royce Gracie tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone Metabolite back in 2007, when he fought and defeated Kazushi Sakuraba by unanimous decision at the K-1 Dynamite show, on June 2nd in Los Angeles, California.

I have to admit, once a person gets caught with ‘roids in their system, that's usually it for me. Just have a hard time believing it was supplements or that someone switched the blood work. Until now.

After reading the latest list of prohibited substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), I’m wondering if sometimes the test results may come back positive for steroids, when a fighter has not been beefing up.

WADA’s Executive Committee just approved their newest list on September 19th and announced the changes. It will go into effect on January 1, 2010. WADA says the “2010 List reflects the latest scientific advances and offers a number of noteworthy changes compared to the 2009 List.”

The WADA committee, which consists of a panel of scientists chosen for their international expertise, includes a subgroup of the WADA Health, Medical and Research Committee experts. This subgroup makes recommendations on the contents and revisions to the Prohibited List.

What is the Prohibited List you ask? Well, per WADA:

  • The Prohibited List (List) was first published in 1963 under the leadership of the International Olympic Committee. Since 2004, as mandated by the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), WADA is responsible for the preparation and publication of the List.
  • The List is a cornerstone of the Code and a key component of harmonization.
  • It is an International Standard identifying Substances and Methods prohibited in-competition, out-of-competition, and in particular sports.
  • Substances and methods are classified by categories (e.g., steroids, stimulants, gene doping).
  • The use of any Prohibited Substance by an athlete for medical reasons is possible by virtue of a Therapeutic Use Exemption.

It is particularly worthy to note the banning of Pseudoephedrine, which is commonly used as a nasal decongestant for those suffering from colds or allergies. According to Wikipedia, “Sudafed is a trademark for a common brand which contains pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, though Sudafed PE does not.” Until about a year ago, cold medicines containing Pseudoephedrine, such as Sudafed, could be purchased over the counter, but anti-drug laws are now being passed that no longer allow this practice.

On the new "prohibited substance" list, WADA says this about Pseudoephedrine:
  • Pseudoephedrine will be reintroduced to the List.
  • Until 2003, pseudoephedrine was prohibited in sport. It has been included in WADA’s Monitoring Program annually from 2004 on. (The Monitoring Program includes substances that are not prohibited in sport but are monitored by anti-doping laboratories in order to detect patterns of misuse.)
  • Results of the Monitoring Program over the past five years have shown a sustained increase in samples containing pseudoephedrine. The Program indicated clear abuse of this substance with high concentrations in a number of sports and regions. In addition, available literature shows scientific evidence of the performance-enhancing effects of pseudoephedrine beyond certain doses.
  • Based on the results of the Monitoring Program, as well as scientific literature and results of controlled excretion studies conducted by WADA, pseudoephedrine will be prohibited above 150 micrograms per millilitre.
So now I’m wondering, could it be these fighters really WEREN’T using steroids, but were taking Sudafed for a common cold? Or were they taking Sudafed because they knew what the benefits to them would be, and were abusing this substance as suspected by WADA?

I guess only the fighters will ever really know.

For more info:
2010 Prohibited List (This List will come into effect on January 1, 2010.)



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