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Saturday, July 29, 2006


Well, this was not something I expected.
"Reigning Olympic and world 100-meter champion Justin Gatlin said Saturday he has been informed that he tested positive for testosterone or its precursors, the same positive test that has thrown Floyd Landis' victory at the Tour de France into question."
Gatlin himself recently said his most important job is to convince the public he's not taking drugs. Now, there are two possibilities: a) he's guilty as sin, or 2) the drug test is flawed. The first is not a pleasant thought, not because the face of the sport in the USA would get an immediate boot, but because he's been so vocal in support for anti-doping measures. I mean, if he's guilty, there isn't a clean guy on the planet.

Of course, the second isn't a pleasant thought either. We trust WADA to know their tests are bankable in court, otherwise the whole exercise is a sham. In a recent story about Floyd Landis and the hot water he's in, cycling journo Austin Murphy has some interesting things to say:
I just talked to Dr. Gary Wadler in Long Island [N.Y.]. He's a specialist associated with New York University who helped come up with part of the World Anti-Doping Agency's code, and he's saying that this doesn't all add up. There aren't these dramatic variations in your test levels of testosterone; they're fairly consistent in your life. There should be some record of Landis having high levels, which he kept claiming was the case.

...[Landis' last chance is] a test called IRNS, or mass spectrometry. Wadler says this test doesn't care about whether or not your body produces extra amounts of testosterone. It's a chemical test that tells us whether or not this testosterone was either introduced from an outside source or if it is naturally occurring.
Now, if you've been following the anti-doping thing for any length of time, Wadler is one name that pops up a lot. He is no apologist for dopers. When he raises doubts, there's something going on. But more to the point, if a test exists which differentiates exogenous and endogenous testosterone, why do we bother with the other test anyway?

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