Wednesday, 8 August 2012
How easy is it to beat UKA's whereabouts system?
Eleven days ago Kazakhstan's Alexander Vinokourov won the men's cycling road race in emphatic fashion. Just over a week later GB's Christine Ohuruogu won a silver medal in the women's 400m. Both athletes have served suspensions, one for blood transfusions, the other for missing three out of competition drug tests. Vino was announced on the 6 o'clock news as the former drug cheat who ruined British hero Mark Cavendish's dream of Olympic gold, Ohuruogu's suspension is rarely mentioned and I'd be surprised if the majority of the British public even knew she had served a ban. Ohuruogu is portrayed as a victim of the system, a role model and an ambassador for British Athletics, Vino on the other hand is portrayed as a cheat and the villain. Ohuruogu a victim of the system? The system is victim of Ohuruogu.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Ohuruogu was using performance enhancing drugs at the time when she missed those three out of competition tests. Missing out of competition tests on purpose is a strategy used by numerous athletes in track and field. This strategy allows them to reap the benefits of PEDs outside of competition thus eliminating the need to use 'heavy' products during competition when the likelihood of being tested is much much greater. I'd like to outline how easy it is to beat UKA's whereabouts system and how athletes manipulate it to continue doping. I'm going to use the method Victor Conte devised as an example, Ohuruogu was likely using a similar system. Athletes can only miss three out of competition tests in an 18 month period, unfortunately for Ohuruogu she ran out of tests to miss.
For this program the athlete will be taking seven banned products: THG, Testosterone Cream, EPO, HGH, Insulin, Modafinil and Cytomel.
Firstly the THG would be taken two days a week on a three week on, one week off cycle preferably on the heaviest weight training days during the off season. The athlete would place 30 IUs under the tongue, this would accelerate healing and tissue repair.
Secondly, the testosterone cream would be mainly used during the off season. The athlete would rub the cream onto his/her forearm two days a week using a dosage containing 50mg of testosterone and 2.5mg of epitestosterone. This dosage would offset the suppression of endogenous testosterone and accelerate recovery. This product would be used in cycles of three weeks on, one week off.
The EPO would be used three days a week during the first 2 weeks of a doping cycle and once a week afterwards as maintenance using 4000 IU per injection. EPO boosts the red blood cell count and enhances oxygen uptake, this enables athlete to cope with a much deeper training load during the off season.
HGH would be used three nights a week with each injection containing 4.5units of growth hormone. Similar to the testosterone the HGH would help with recovery from heavy weight sessions.
The Insulin should be used after heavy weight sessions during the off season. Three units of fast-acting insulin would be injected immediately after the workout sessions together with a sports drink that contained 30 grams of dextrose, 30 grams of whey protein and 3 grams of creatine. This cocktail would replenish glycogen, re-synthesize ATP and promote protein synthesis and muscle growth.
The Modafinil would be used one hour before competition in the form of a 200mg tablet. It will decease fatigue, enhance mental alertness and improve reaction time.
Cytomel should also be used before competition to improve the athlete's metabolic rate. It should be taken in the form of two 25mg tablets one hour before competition.
Now that I've outlined products the athlete would be taking, how do they avoid getting caught? Most will use the 'duck and dive' technique, it works something like this.
Firstly the athlete fills his/her own voicemail and message inbox so they can claim not to have received messages from testers. Secondly they will put incorrect information on their whereabouts from, meaning they can still train without being interrupted by an unannounced tester. Once the athlete has completed these steps they can start using the testosterone, HGH and other drugs on a short three week cycle. Once the three week cycle has finished the athlete can wait a few days until they know they will test negative and resume training at their normal facility, or the facility listed on the whereabouts form. UKA randomly tests each athlete approximately two times a year out of competition, if the athlete misses three he/she will receive a sanction. This means an athlete can continue to dope using the 'duck and dive' approach until they have missed two tests. It's a pretty good trade, two supposedly innocent mistakes in the eyes of UKA enable the athlete to 'prepare' in the off season for their big objectives i.e. Olympic games or World Championships. It is my opinion that Ohuruogu was using this system and as a result missed three out of competition tests.
On a final note, if you think it wouldn't be possible to take the cocktail of drugs I've mentioned and avoid testing positive think again. This is the exact system Dwain Chambers admitted to using for two years until he was caught. Scarily he only tested positive for the THG, all the other substances went undetected. During these two years Chambers won two European titles, ran 9.87 for the 100m and 20.27 for the 200m, all heavily drug assisted.