by Dee Finney


updated 8-18-04


9-15-00 -

VISION - I saw a white rose with the number 9800 on it. Next to it was the word INDIAN.

I then went into a dream where I was going into an apartment building. The inner door of the lobby was closed, but a man knocked on it and a red headed woman opened it. He told her he wanted to go to 1800. She didn't want to let him in. I wanted to go to 9800 and walked right in. Everything inside this apartment building was white. There were numerous doors and it appeared that other people were either moving in or out . I saw a lowboy type organ in the hallway and thought, "Boy! Would I ever like that!"

I then walked into my apartment. It looked very familiar. It was number 9800.


9-16-00 - I guess I was thinking about the number 9800 when I went to bed. -

DREAM - I was told that the number 9800 was the timing of a shotput of an Indian in the Olympics. I then went to the computer to look it up because I hadn't done that yet. I put in 9800 and Indian into the search engine. I didn't really expect that it would show anything about an Indian in the Olympics and it didn't.

However, the dream then changed to what happened to me after the search and I went outside with a young woman. I was driving a car and decided I was going the wrong way, so I made a right turn onto a narrow gravel road. It was raining and wet and the road was muddy and I drove through some puddles and saw that there was a drop off with water along the edge I wouldn't want to end up in but I couldn't find a spot to turn around. The road was too narrow. I felt like the brakes on the car wouldn't work if I tried them either. Finally, I was almost to the end of the road and came to a slightly wider spot with a fence on the left side and decided that was wide enough to turn around. I had no problem turning except that I did it rather fast and the back end slewed a little. Then I drove back along the narrow road and went home and went back to the computer.

On the computer I looked again at the 9800 - Indian reference page and it had run out of things to say and the words were meaningless.

I woke up having found nothing like what I heard at the beginning. There was no shotputter in the Olympics.

NOTE: Of course, now I have to actually look and see for myself :-)

... There was nothing to look at. 9800 only came up in phone numbers, addresses or price list numbers in catalogs.   I have yet to find the number 9800 in relation to the Olympics

Searching the Olympic site for shotputting brought up nothing and searching the news for shotputting brought up nothing.  However, that was soon to change.....  see below

NOTE: On 9-23-00 - on A&E was a program on this very topic, about the use of Anabolic Steroids being used over time by the Germans and Americans to build muscles. Also delineated on this program was the topic of court trials being held where the German female athletes were treated with steroids from the time they were about 8 years old.

These girls not only became great athletes, but never developed into the women they were intended to become at puberty and even started to develop into male traited humans. Some even started to feel male and had themselves changed into males.

The steroids are always tested for especially in Olympic athletes however, drug experts are changing the drugs over time so they can't be tested for as they once were. Instead of being fat soluble, they are now water soluble and have a shorter half-life than they used to. Some even leave the body within 24 hours which makes testing much more difficult than it once was when the drugs stayed in the body fat for up to 6 months.

August 19, 2004

Five weightlifters fail drugs tests at the Olympics

The issue of doping has again gone to the top of the agenda at the Athens Olympics after five weightlifters were banned from the Games for testing positive for drugs.

All the positive results came from tests administered before the Games began, as the sport of weightlifting attempted to clean up its tarnished image.

None of them had competed before they were identified as cheats, according to Giselle Davies, the spokeswoman for the International Olympic Committee.

The expelled weightlifters come from five different countries. Wafa Ammouri, of Morocco; Victor Chislean of Modova; Zoltan Kecskes of Hungary; Pratima Kumari of India; and Shabaz Sule of Turkey, will play no further part in this Olympics, the International Weightlifting Federation said.

Their expulsions are not the first from the sport in Athens. On Monday, Nan Aye Khine of Myanmar was stripped of the fourth place in the 48kg category she won on Saturday, and expelled after testing positive for a banned steroid.

Wafa Ammouri was sent home yesterday after her failed test, and did not compete in the women's 63kg final, according to the AP news agency.

The pre-competition tests were carried out by the weightlifting federation, outside the IOC's own testing programme.

Jacques Rogge, the IOC president, welcomed the news. "The IOC praises the work and determination of the weightlifting federation in its fight against doping by testing its athletes on a systematic basis according to its rules," he said in a statement.

Four weightlifters failed drugs tests at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, including three Bulgarians.
Athletics: Kenyan is first to fail Olympics drugs test


ATHENS - A Kenyan boxer was thrown out of the Olympics today after becoming the first competitor to test positive in Athens for a banned drug.

"David Munyasia has been excluded from the Athens Olympic Games after testing positive for cathine, a prohibited stimulant," IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies told reporters.

The substance derives from the leaf of the qat plant, commonly chewed as a recreational drug in east Africa.

But IOC medical director Patrick Schamasch said it was unclear how the 24-year-old bantamweight -- Kenya's only representative in the boxing -- came to absorb it. "There was no explanation in defence," Schamasch said.

It was the first positive case among more than 200 dope tests conducted in Athens since late July among athletes arriving for the Games, which begin on Friday.

Six others have been banned recently for failing pre-Olympic tests elsewhere.

Tested last Friday, Munyasia's Olympic accreditation had been withdrawn and the IOC had contacted the international boxing authorities to consider further measures, Davies said.

Athletes who fail a drugs test can expect to be banned for at least two years. The Athens Games is the first Olympics following the introduction of a global anti-doping code.

"It is never pleasant to announce a positive drugs test, but that we have found an athlete, not playing by the rules, is a confirmation of the IOC's determination to stamp out doping in sport," Davies said.


Fri 13 Aug 2004
12:09am (UK)
Chaos as Greek Athletes Miss Olympics Drugs Test

By Pat Hurst, PA News, in Athens

The Olympic Games was in turmoil today after the Greeks’ top athlete missed a drugs test and faced an investigation by watchdogs.

Kostas Kenteris, the golden boy of the host’s team and 200m Olympic champion, was not available for a drugs test when called upon at the athlete’s village in Athens at 6.15pm (4.15pm BST) yesterday.

He went missing along with another star team member when they should have been present for a drugs test, the Greek Olympic team announced in a statement.

Kenteris, seen as the Greek’s best chance of winning a gold medal, could not be found despite a search and the whereabouts of both athletes were still unknown, and was now under investigation, officials said.

He was expected to light the Olympic flame to begin the Games at the opening ceremony tonight, but he could now face a ban for missing the test.

It will cast a huge shadow over the home team and of the whole Games, already beset by drug cheat issues.

Under anti-doping rules Kenteris faces an automatic two-year ban if he does not have a reasonable excuse for missing the test.

Last night Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), set up a disciplinary commission to investigate the alleged anti-doping rule breach by Kenteris and the other athlete, Olympic 100m silver medal holder Katerina Thanou.

The Hellenic Olympic Committee said in a statement that an IOC doping control representative came to the office of the Greek’s team chief, John Papadogiannakis, to say he was looking for Kenteris and Thanou to get sample collections.

But he did not find the athletes in the Olympic village.

The Greek team boss also searched for the athletes but they were not in their rooms.

The statement said a second official “explained that the aforementioned athletes left the Olympic Village in order to collect some of their personal belongings from their home.

“He stressed that the athletes were coming back and asked for a few hours’ extension in order for them to return to the Olympic Village and submit themselves over to doping control.”

Questions now hang over why the athletes were not present and if they had a reasonable excuse, although Kenteris has not failed a drugs test.

But as in the case of England footballer, Rio Ferdinand, not being present at the specified time is a violation of the rules in itself even if no drugs violation is found.

Senior Olympic officials have already conceded they fear the Athens games will uncover more cheats than ever before.

The Games will have the largest and most advanced anti-doping programme with 3,500 test samples collected during the 16-day event.

The world anti-doping agency has 613 staff, including 49 doctors, and state-of-the-art software to sample and collect blood and urine samples. A mass of press, TV and radio crews descended on the Athens Hilton where the IOC members are staying, after the story broke last night.

The IOC issued a short statement saying the commission would investigate the, “nature and circumstances of an alleged anti-doping violation“.

They will hear the athletes’ explanations before making a decison but no timetable of events were issued.

A press conference is expected to be convened in the morning. Speculation suggested the athletes simply may not have been told to be present for the test.

Denis Oswald, senior IOC commissioner for the Games said last night: “Usually the obligation to show up is made on the athlete. It is important we know if the athlete was properly informed.”

Istvan Gyulai, secretary-general of athletics world governing body the IAAF, told BBC Sport: “To our mind this doesn’t constitute a refusal.

“According to our information the Greek team leader was informed but not the athletes.”

Speaking earlier this week, Rogge said: “As it did in Salt Lake City, the IOC has substantially reinforced its anti-doping measures in Athens.

“We have doubled the number of testers and the more we can target the cheats, the more effective we become.

“For that reason I expect more positive cases in Athens than the 12 we had in Sydney.”
Greek pair face Olympics drugs case

Aug 16 2004

The fate of a Greek sprinter at the centre of an Olympics dope test probe is due to be decided.

Olympic 200 metres champion Kostas Kenteris missed a drug test A butA it later emerged that the missing runner had been involved in a motorbike accident and was taken to hospital.

The incident plunged the Olympics into a new drug cheatA controversy just hours before theA Games began last week.

The International Olympic Committee's disciplinary commission will sit to discuss the case of Kenteris and fellow Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou, who also missed the drug test on the eve of the opening day.

Greek "God" Kenteris had even been tipped to A light the Olympic torch on the opening night as A his nationA proudly welcomed home the A Games with a stunning A opening ceremony watched by a TV audience of four billion.

InsteadA the host nation's favourite athlete A wasA facing a possible automatic two-year ban for missing the test.

Both Greek team-mates were subsequently suspended by their own Olympic Committee for missing the drugs tests.

Olympic supremo Dr Jacques Rogge said last week: "The IOC has launched a disciplinary inquiry into these cases and I, of course, have not got the results yet."

The IOC president added: "We're waiting for the results and the executive committee will make a decision about that."

Dr Rogge said the fact that the two athletes were representing the host nation had no bearing on the disciplinary committee of the IOC.

The Shotput and How it Works

Olympic Contestants from India  
Shotput: Shakti Singh and Bahadur Singh

Olympic Contestants from India  
The whole contingent listed

German Sports Drugs Trials

Justice served

Two former East German sports officials sentenced

May 21, 2000

Associated Press

BERLIN — Two former top former East German sports officials received suspended 10-month jail sentences for their role in doping athletes to turn them into medal winners.

Former East German sports minister Guenter Erbach and the Communist party's top sports official, Rudolf Hellmann, were convicted several months ago by a Berlin court and did not challenge their sentences, Berlin justice spokesman Martin Steltner said Sunday.

Prosecutors had charged the men, both in their 70s, with 137 counts of complicity to cause bodily harm in cases where former East German female swimmers were administered steroids as girls without their knowledge.

Erbach was East Germany's state secretary for sports from 1974 until the collapse of communism in 1989. Hellmann was the party's key sports official from 1960 on.

In a series of trials of former East German sports chiefs, the former head doctor of the swim team, Lothar Kipke, has received the harshest sentence — 15 months suspended. He was convicted in January on 58 counts of causing bodily harm.


Truth be told

Former East German athletes testify about drug use

Jun 16, 2000

BERLIN — A former top East German swimmer, testifying at the doping trial of two senior GDR sports officials, said Friday the banned drugs she was forced to take led her daughter to have health problems.

In the trial of former East German sports official Manfred Ewald, 74, Jutta Gottschalk told how her six-year-old daughter had eye problems which stemmed from Gottschalk's unwitting use of anabolic steroids for two years to build muscle.

A number of former GDR sports officials have admitted the regime used systematic doping from the 1970s onwards as a way of getting sport to promote the communist state.

Ewald, who headed the powerful East German Gymnastics and Sports Federation from 1961 to 1988 and who is alleged to have organized widespread doping under the GDR regime, is the most senior official to go on trial.

Along with former sports doctor Manfred Hoeppner, 66, Ewald is charged with contributing to the bodily harm of 142 sportswomen, most of them swimmers and athletes, by forcing them to take banned performance-enhanced drugs.

Among athletes who have testified at the Ewald trial was former shot-putter Andreas Krieger, who as Heidi Krieger won the 1986 European championship title but who had a sex-change after years of injections with male hormones.

Other witnesses include swimmers Rica Reinisch, who won two backstroke gold medals at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and former 100 meters breaststroke world record holder Carola Beraktschjan (formerly Nitschke).

The trial was briefly suspended after Ewald's lawyers said their client's poor health made it difficult for him to follow the proceedings. It resumed after medical tests performed last week indicated he could attend the trial.

In a separate trial in Berlin, three former East German athletics trainers were given suspended jail sentences Friday after they were convicted of doping charges.

Peter Boerner, Helga Boerner and Alfred Papendick were convicted of contributing to the bodily harm of 16 sportsmen and nine sportswomen, including a 13-year-old girl, while trainers at an East German sports club between 1974 and 1989.

Peter Boerner, Helga Boerner and Alfred Papendick were convicted of contributing to the bodily harm of 16 sportsmen and nine sportswomen, including a 13-year-old girl, while trainers at an East German sports club between 1974 and 1989.

Kipke, 72, admitted to distributing the drugs during the heyday of the East German sports machine, but contended that he was unaware of their danger. Two former East German swimmers now charge that the drugs caused birth defects in their children, and countless others face such ongoing troubles as excessive body hair and deep voices.

Another former East German athlete cites steroid use in her eventual decision to have a sex-change operation and live as a man.

Judge Peter Faust rejected Kipke's claims of ignorance. The sentence he handed down was the 10th in a series of verdicts against former Communist sports officials that have paved the way for the eventual trial of Manfred Ewald, the former head of the East German Sports Federation.

The abuses of the system are well known, but many welcome the current trials as a useful reminder of the price of the win-at-all-costs attitude the former German Democratic Republic took to new extremes.

"A life in sports is only maybe five or 10 years, but life after sports is more important," said former Soviet ice-hockey star Igor Larionov, one of the first athletes behind the Iron Curtain to speak out against doping in a 1988 open letter to Russia's mass circulation weekly Ogonyok.

Larionov, now a star with the Detroit Red Wings, refused to take pills he believed to be steroids when he was with the Soviet team through most of the 1980s.

Ewald was charged in September with being an accessory to causing bodily harm to 142 young female swimmers, and his trial will be the one likely to draw an international audience.


Sex change athlete gives evidence in GDR trial

Andy Edwards


On August 26, 1986, Heidi Krieger won the women's shot putt title on the opening day of the European championships in Stuttgart. This Tuesday, Andreas Krieger spoke in a Berlin court of his former life as a female GDR athlete, sustained by a drugs programme which led to a sex change.

Krieger gave evidence in the trial of Manfred Ewald and Manfred Hoeppner, the former head of GDR sport and its deputy medical officer, who are accused of supervising a drugs system which began when talented sports performers were barely into their teens.

"I don't know where I would be today without "Supporting Means", said Krieger, referring to "UM - Unterstuetzende Mittel" or the euphemism for performance-enhancing drugs adopted by the GDR state.

From the age of 16 or 17 Heidi Krieger received up to five blue tablets daily. The colour of these pills has become a familiar leitmotif in tracing the use of the steroid Oral-Turinabol in the GDR and elsewhere.

As the training increased and the young woman lifted up to 180 tons in the weights room each week, so did the side-effects.

"You will have to live with these pains", Krieger was told by a doctor, as her voice deepened to such a degree that on the telephone or in shops she would be mistaken for a man.

Not that the athlete who became Andreas Krieger attributes the change of sex entirely to drugs. He believes however they certainly contributed to a situation where surgery was necessary in 1997 and that his particular problems were ignored by coaches and administrators alike.

A European champion a month after her 21st birthday, Heidi Krieger was all too aware that something was wrong.

"I was no longer myself, I was no longer Heidi Krieger."

With the drugs came the realisation that, even though much was left unsaid in the locker-room, an organised programme was in operation. The doping procedure was changed before championships such as Stuttgart in '86, with the blue pills replaced by an injection "to tide her/him over."

From his life now as 34-year-old Andreas Krieger, the onetime member of the GDR's sporting elite can bring a unique perspective to his former event.

"Top performances in (women's) shot putt are no longer possible without doping. Marks beyond 20 metres by women are not biologically possible. They just don't happen."

Heidi Krieger, as Andreas then was, won the European gold with 21.10 metres.



Girlz II Men


Issue date: 07.03.00

Andreas Krieger could have testified without words. He could have stood there in the small, boxy Berlin courtroom in cowboy boots, jeans, and a black T-shirt and let everyone stare. In the trial of 74-year-old Manfred Ewald, the former head of East Germany's Olympic program, and Dr. Manfred Hoppner, the program's former medical director, Krieger's maleness was testimony enough.

As a 21-year-old woman named Heidi Krieger, Andreas Krieger told the court, he competed in the shot put for the East German Olympic team. Able to lift 260 kilograms (573 pounds), he recalled, Heidi once punched out a boxer who had gotten on her nerves. "Arnold Schwarzenegger was a Waisenknabe"--an innocent orphan--"compared to me," Krieger said. But, over time, Heidi's strength became a weakness. "I was no longer Heidi Krieger," the former shot-putter testified one morning in late May. "I didn't know anymore who I was.... The pills accelerated any transsexual tendencies I may already have had. I wasn't able to identify with my body anymore, and that led me to undergo a sex change in 1997."

For two months now, on Tuesdays and Fridays, the damaged female products of East Germany's sports machine--142 named plaintiffs in all--have come to this Berlin courtroom to offer the German public a gripping, at times horrifying look at what that machine wrought. Many of the women have told of growing excessive body hair; 40 developed deeper voices; 15 experienced gynecological problems, including infertility or miscarriage; and the breasts of six disappeared. Some gave birth to children with various defects, like clubfeet. All said they wished they had known more about the "vitamins" they were given in the form of injections or little blue pills. Those "vitamins," they now know, were steroids.

As Wolf Biermann, the Bob Dylan of Germany, once put it, the East German Olympic program was "a large-scale animal experiment on living people." "There is not a single day without pain," testified former discus-thrower Brigitte Michel. "We looked like men and talked like men," former shot-put champion Simone Machalett told the court. Said former world-record-holding swimmer Carola Beraktschjan: "It's terrifying, what they did to us.... I took up to thirty pills a day. They always told us they were vitamins. There was no question you would not take them. You had to play by the rules.... We were vehicles chosen to prove that socialism was better than capitalism. What happened to our bodies was entirely secondary to that political mission led by Ewald."

Manfred Ewald learned political fanaticism early, first as a member of the Hitler Youth and later as a National Socialist. He became a member of the East German Communist Party's central committee in 1963, took over the country's Olympic program the following year, and conceived and oversaw the national doping program that flourished in the 1970s and '80s. A close associate of German Democratic Republic leader Erich Honecker, Ewald saw his sports machine as a vehicle for convincing the world of East Germany's greatness.

During the 27 years he headed its sports program, the GDR, a country of just 17 million people, won an incredible 160 gold medals. It wracked up an astounding 40 at the 1976 Montreal Games alone, double its total four years earlier, which prompted American swimmer Shirley Babashoff to comment to the East German coach on his swimmers' deep, husky voices. The coach famously replied, "We have come to swim, not to sing."

Stasi files opened after the fall of the Berlin Wall confirmed Babashoff's and others' worst suspicions. In the case against Ewald and Hoppner--which, given a soon-to-expire statute of limitations, will likely be one of the last cases to arise from the human rights abuses chronicled in those files--the two men are accused of giving steroids to girls as young as eleven. Prosecutors say Ewald reprimanded for "cowardice" scientists who worried about the drugs' potential side effects.

Ewald allegedly told the hundreds of people working for him that "everything is allowed" in order to boost performance.

That mindset, as much as Ewald himself--who, if guilty, could face up to eight years in prison--is what's on trial here. While all decent people condemn what he did, his influence remains powerful, and not only in the former GDR. Ewald's disciples, whether they know it or not, include a large portion of the world's top athletes.

Just this month, Dr. Wade Exum, the United States Olympic Committee's top drug-testing official, resigned in protest, charging that the USOC, in the run-up to this summer's Olympic Games in Sydney, was "deliberately encouraging the doping of athletes without considering the consequences to the health." Even much-admired St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire is something of an Ewald disciple: Androstenedione, the testosterone booster he took the year he broke Roger Maris's home-run record(he has since stopped taking it), was first isolated by European scientists in the 1930s. But it took Ewald's sports machine to put "Andro" on the map, developing it in the late '80s as a so-called bridging drug to tide over East German athletes when they had to stop taking steroids prior to being tested at competitions.

"It's not important that you can say Ewald or Hoppner must go to jail for a month or whatever," said Michel. "What's important is that there is a process that will make this public. For me that's very personal. It is important to teach people how to think about steroids and their dangers. In all the disciplines of sports, you need power and energy. But steroids are a time bomb. They are always dangerous. I would tell athletes around the world, `Keep yourself off steroids.' I hope they pay attention."

STEVE KETTMANN is coauthor of the forthcoming Thinking Forward: The Igor Larionov Story, an autobiography of the Russian ice-hockey star.



BERLIN (AP) - A former East German swimmer plans to return her Olympic bronze medal because of the massive doping that took place in the former communist country, her lawyer said Friday.

Christiane Knacke-Sommer's return of the medal she captured in the 100-meter butterfly at the 1980 Moscow Olympics will be followed by several other athletes, according to Michael Lehner.

Knacke-Sommer is a co-plaintiff in an ongoing trial of former East German coaches and doctors.

The six defendants are accused of giving 19 young female athletes anabolic steroids that damaged their hormonal growth and health as part of communist East Germany's push to create world champions.

Carola Nitschke-Beraktschjan, a former world record holder in the 100 meter breaststroke, asked for her name to be scratched from the record book two days ago and offered to return her medals.

Lehner also said Heidi Krieger - now named Andreas Krieger after a sex change operation - plans to return a medal. The former athlete won gold in the shot put at the 1986 World Championships.

Several American athletes have called for the former East German athletes to be stripped of their medals, believing they lost in unfair competition at the Olympics.




(AP) - American shot put world champion C.J. Hunter , husband of Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones, tested positive for the banned substance nandrolone, international track officials said Monday. Istvan Gyulai, general secretary of the International Amateur Athletics Federation, track's governing body, confirmed Hunter flunked a drug test. He would not say when or where the test was conducted.

However, earlier Monday IOC drug chief Prince Alexandre de Merode said an athlete tested positive for nandrolone at the Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway, on July 28. De Merode did not specifically name Hunter.

He said the IOC medical commission was notified of the positive sample by an IOC-accredited laboratory in Oslo in early September. Both the ``A'' and ``B'' samples were positive, he said.

Hunter is not competing in Sydney, but has been credentialed as an athlete while he coaches his wife, who won the 100 meters on Saturday and is trying to win an unprecedented five gold medals. Jones' next race is the 200 on Wednesday.

Hunter finished second at the U.S. trials in June and at the Bislett Games. But he withdrew from the U.S. team Sept. 11, eight days after arthroscopic knee surgery in North Carolina.

``I know what's going on and I am aware of the allegations and am going to defend myself vigorously,'' Hunter said in a statement given to NBC.

Gyulai said if Hunter is found guilty of abusing steroids, he would face a two-year suspension.

Craig Masback, head of USA Track & Field, confirmed that the IAAF has referred an ``eligibility matter involving an American athlete'' to the federation. He refused to confirm or deny that the athlete was Hunter, citing the organization's confidentiality rules.

Masback insisted he had ``no idea about any facts'' regarding Hunter's case. ``I don't know anything,'' Masback said.

The USOC said Hunter had been credentialed as an athlete while he was still on the team and had retained that credential ``in an oversight.'' Spokesman Mike Moran said that credential would be taken away on Tuesday and replaced with a support staff credential and tickets that would still allow Hunter to coach Jones in training and at the stadium.

``We don't want to do anything that will upset Marion's emotional support,'' he said.

Nandrolone helps athletes gain strength and muscle bulk by repairing the damage of high-level training and competition. It has been involved in hundreds of recent doping cases. Some scientists have speculated that nandrolone may be contained in improperly labeled nutritional supplements that many athletes use.

Five athletes - including a Latvian rower who tested positive for nandrolone - have been expelled from the games for flunking drug tests. Several Bulgarian weightlifters were thrown out for testing positive for furosemide, a banned diuretic used by lifters to flush fluids from their system to make the weight.

A number of others, including weightlifters from Romania, Norway and Taiwan, were caught cheating in tests conducted before the Games, officials said.

The 330-pound Hunter had been among the favorites for a shot put gold medal in Sydney before his injury. Ranked No. 1 in the world last year after winning the world championship with a throw of 71-6, Hunter also was the bronze medalist at the 1997 world championships. He is a three-time U.S. champion and the 1995 world indoor silver medalist. He finished seventh at the 1996 Olympics.

There have been no reports linking Jones to use of banned performance enhancers.

``This is an individual matter,'' said Francois Carrard, IOC director general, adding that Jones is not under suspicion.

``If she does not test positive, we should not infer (guilt) from one individual to another,'' he said.

De Merode accused U.S. track and field officials of covering up five positive drug tests before the 1988 Seoul Olympics. He said he didn't recall the names of the athletes, but that some may have won medals during the games.

In response, the U.S. Olympic Committee said there were actually eight cases in 1988, and all the athletes involved were cleared because they used the drug, ephedrine, inadvertently in an herb supplement called Mahuang.

``We never released the names and the IOC was not notified because the athletes were all exonerated,'' USOC spokesman Mike Moran said. ``Any assertion by Prince de Merode that there was some sort of coverup is absolutely outrageous.''

Arne Ljungqvist, the IAAF's anti-doping chief, said last week that USA Track & Field had failed to disclose 12-to-15 positive drug cases in the past two years.

``The athletes feel that the IAAF and USA Track & Field are covering up and have special rules for American athletes,'' said Johann Olav Koss, the Norwegian speedskating gold medalist who is now an IOC member.

``I regret Johann would say that,'' Masback said. ``It is a matter of fact and a matter of record that USA Track & Field tested out of competition before any other sport and any other country. We've tested more people for more substances over a longer period of time. And, unfortunately, we've busted more people than any other sport.

``Are we doing it perfectly? No, we're not. But we have set the standard for the rest of the sports world. ... I am far from being defensive about what we are doing. I am extremely proud of what we've done. We've been the leader in the world on this matter. We've paid a price for being the leader.''

Masback, who has been in charge of American track for three years, defended its record and its procedures.

``We have continued to do in-competition and out-of-competition testing in a very vigorous and expensive fashion,'' he said. ``We've exonerated some athletes, and we've convicted some athletes.

``USA Track and Field and the IAAF have nothing to hide or be ashamed of.''

Gyulai said he was sad that the reports on Hunter were coming now.

``I regret that this news is breaking when Marion Jones is running,'' he said. ``It's terrible whether it's true or not. It has nothing to do with the Olympics. ... If it's not true, it would seem there are efforts to smear the wonderful days here.''


Athlete Loses Medal After Drug Test

(AP) - In the first drug busts of the Sydney Games, a former Olympic weightlifting champion from Bulgaria was stripped of his silver medal and a hammer thrower from Belarus was kicked out. There have been a series of doping suspensions and withdrawals prior to the Olympics but Wednesday's expulsions were the first drug positives recorded during the games themselves.

There have been a series of doping suspensions and withdrawals prior to the Olympics but Wednesday's expulsions were the first drug positives recorded during the games themselves.

The International Olympic Committee (news - web sites) said Ivan Ivanov tested positive for furosemide, a weight-reducing diuretic, after winning the silver medal in the 56-kilogram (123-pound) weightlifting class.

Ivanov, a gold medalist at the 1992 Barcelona Games and a former four-time world champion, kissed his barbell after clinching second place Saturday in the first full day of competition.

He was ordered to give back the medal and expelled from the games.

With Ivanov's disqualification, the placings were revised. The original third-place finisher, Wu Wenxiong of China, moved up to take the silver, while China's Zhang Xiangxiang was elevated from fourth place to the bronze.

The IOC said it was considering arranging a new medal ceremony.

The other banned athlete was Vadim Devyatovsky, a hammer thrower from Belarus, who tested positive for components of the banned steroid nandrolone in an out-of-competition control Sept. 12 in the athletes' village. His sample was 20 times above the permitted threshold, the IOC said.

Diuretics are used to flush fluid from an athlete's body to reduce weight, but also can be used to mask the presence of other performance-enhancing drugs. Nandrolone builds muscle and helps athletes recover faster in training.

Ivanov and Devyatovsky were the first athletes banned by the IOC as a result of tests conducted during the games. Eleven others had been banned by their federations as a result of pre-games tests.

The two positives so far match the entire total from the 1996 Atlanta Games. The highest number of positives at any one Olympics was 12 at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

Wednesday's expulsions were ordered on the basis of positive results of the ``A'' samples. In the past, no sanctions were taken until after the backup ``B'' sample was tested.

Devyatovksi had his ``B'' sample tested and it also turned up positive, the IOC said. Ivanov's ``B'' sample also was being analyzed.

IOC director general Francois Carrard said Ivanov had already left the Olympic village. Devyatosvsky had been scheduled to start competing Saturday.

Ivanov, 29, was the Olympic champion at 1141/2 pounds in 1992 in Barcelona. He won gold at the world championships in 1989, '90, '91 and '93.

IOC medical director Patrick Schamasch said Ivanov is suspected of using the diuretic for making the weight, rather than masking drugs.

The vice president of the International Weightlifting Federation, Sam Coffa, called Ivanov ``an idiot'' for using the banned substance and said he had disgraced his sport.

``He must have been smelling salts or got too much chalk in his brain,'' Coffa said.

It's not the first time Bulgarian weightlifters have had Olympic medals taken away for drug use. Mitko Grubler and Angel Guenchev were stripped of gold medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics - the same games where Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson (news - web sites) lost his gold in the 100 meters.

Weightlifting has been plagued by drug scandals before and during the Sydney Olympics (news - web sites), with lifters from Taiwan, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Norway suspended over pre-games, out-of-competition tests.

The international federation kicked out the seven-member Romanian team Sunday because three lifters - including two on the Olympic team - had failed drug tests this year.

But the federation lifted the ban on the five ``clean'' lifters the next day after the Romanian Olympic Committee agreed to pay a $50,000 fine.

Devyatovsky, 23, finished second in the hammer at the junior world championships in 1996. This season, he has improved his performance from 251 feet-101/2 inches to 266-11.

The IOC said Devyatovsky tested positive for Norandrosterone and Norethiocholanolone - precursors of nandrolone.

The IOC said, as of Wednesday, it has conducted 506 in-competition tests, more than 300 out-of-competition urine tests and 199 combined urine-blood controls for the endurance-booster EPO.



Hunter Is Pleading Innocent

Drugs: Shotputter, with Jones beside him, says he never knowingly took a banned substance and that he is retiring.

By ALAN ABRAHAMSON, Times Staff Writer

SYDNEY, Australia--The International Olympic Committee's drug chief announced today that C.J. Hunter, last year's world shotput champion, had in recent months tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone not once but four times. But Hunter tearfully said he had never knowingly ingested it.

Pausing frequently to dry his eyes, Hunter admitted knowingly taking only dietary supplements. After getting a kiss from his wife, Marion Jones--the U.S. track icon who is aiming for five gold medals at the Sydney Games--Hunter declared, "There's nothing I could gain by taking that kind of risk. Nothing."

A nutritionist who works with Hunter speculated that the manufacturer of the supplements--he did not name either the brand or the company--must also produce nandrolone and, because of "quality-control problems," the nandrolone found its way into the packages of iron and calcium supplements that then made their way to Hunter's table.

"If it was in the supplement, how would I know it was in the supplement?" Hunter asked at a news conference.

Jones, who won the gold medal Saturday in the women's 100 meters in the first leg of her quest for five golds, offered "complete support for my husband," who had qualified for the Sydney Games but pulled out on Sept. 11, eight days after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.

Then she kissed him and left.

The frenetic and tearful scene at the news conference underscored the drama that over the past two days has enveloped Hunter and Jones, as well as officials from the U.S. Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee and track and field's worldwide governing body, the International Amateur Athletic Federation.

The capper was the appearance at the news conference of noted Los Angeles lawyer Johnnie Cochran Jr. Asked if he was on hand as counsel to either Jones or Hunter or to plan legal strategy for Hunter's challenge of the nandrolone positives, he replied, "I'm here as a friend of the family." Cochran's association with Jones dates to 1992, when she was suspended by USA Track & Field for failing to show for a random drug test.

He handled her case on appeal, arguing that neither she nor her coach had received notification of the test, and won.

Though Hunter, 31, said he intends to clear his name, he also said today he is retiring from the sport. "I don't know what has happened but I can promise everybody I'm going to find out," he said today.

An IAAF ban, if enforced, would last for two years.

USOC officials, meantime, said that Hunter--who is in Sydney to help coach his wife but had inadvertently been given an athlete's credential for the Games--had turned in that pass.

The USOC said today it intended to immediately give him a "P" credential, which enables a coach to keep an athlete company at practice sessions, as well as tickets to her events.

She begins qualifying Wednesday in the 200 meters and the long jump and is also due to compete in two relays.

Asked about Jones' emotional outlook, Hunter told reporters, "What will affect Marion is battering by you guys." Paparrazi in increasing number reportedly have been camping out at the suburban Sydney hotel where Jones and Hunter are staying.

The revelations involving Hunter and nandrolone mark merely the most high-profile of several doping controversies that are raging here--episodes that could hold far-reaching implications for the future of anti-doping campaigns and the Olympic movement.

Romania's 16-year-old Andreea Raducan was stripped of her all-around gymnastics gold medal after testing positive for the banned stimulant pseudoephedrine. The team doctor who gave her the drug--in cold medicine pills--was expelled from the Games and suspended through the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City and the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.

Raducan is the first gymnast to be stripped of a medal because of a drug violation. She is the second athlete at these games to lose a gold. Hers is also the sixth positive drug case at the Sydney Games.

Meantime, dozens of nandrolone positives involving athletes have been reported over the past several months. Some results have been overturned as athletes increasingly have claimed that they ingested the substance via supplements.

While officials crack down on nandrolone, meantime, Cuban high jumper Javier Sotomayor--who tested positive for cocaine--had his two-year ban cut so that he could compete at the Sydney Olympics. He won silver.

On Monday, the IAAF said Hunter had flunked one test "for a banned substance within [its] doping control system."

Without naming a particular athlete, Belgium's Prince Alexandre de Merode had told reporters earlier Monday that an athlete had tested positive for nandrolone at the Bislett Games in Oslo, a major international track meet in July.

The test, de Merode said, showed the presence of nandrolone, which helps athletes build strength and bulk, at 1,000 times the allowable limit.

Hunter said today he learned about that he was that athlete only on Monday, after reading reports in Sydney newspapers that he had tested positive. He recalled today what it was like to break the news to his wife: "I told her I don't know what happened, and I'm sorry."

Speaking to reporters, he said that he would never "do anything to jeopardize" his standing with his wife and family.

Today, De Merode, speaking informally to reporters at the IOC hotel, revised the total upward--saying Hunter had failed four separate tests this summer for steroid use. He said international and American track officials knew about these results and did not report them.

Full details of the other three tests--when they were taken, where they were analyzed, the levels of nandrolone they showed--were not immediately available.

Hunter said he had learned of these three tests while listening to the car radio en route to the news conference near downtown Sydney. At the same time, he offered specifics about two of the tests, saying one showed nandrolone limits 500 times over the permitted limit, the other 75 times.

De Merode said the tests were analyzed by IOC-accredited labs in Rome, Barcelona and Oslo, which filed coded results with the IOC and the IAAF.

The IAAF decoded the test results and informed USA Track & Field that Hunter had failed the tests, according to De Merode. Officials of the IAAF and USATF could not be reached for comment. They consistently have defended themselves against prior allegations of cover-ups.

De Merode said the test results were found in files at the committee's Swiss headquarters, adding that the IOC had become curious about similar findings it received during the summer as part of the lab accreditation process. It had no reason at the time, he said, to check the identity of the athlete.

The statements by De Merode were the latest by senior Olympic officials accusing the United States of a long history of covering up positive tests.

Craig Masback, CEO of USA Track & Field, defended the U.S. procedures Monday. He said the federation had conducted out-of-competition tests before any another sport and any other country.

"We've tested more people for more substances over a longer period of time," he said. "And, unfortunately, we've busted more people than any other sport.

"Are we doing it perfectly? No, we're not. But we have set the standard for the rest of the sports world. . . . I am far from being defensive about what we are doing. I am extremely proud of what we've done. We've been the leader in the world on this matter. We've paid a price for being the leader."

He also noted that the focus on drugs--yet again--detracts from a track and field competition that has filled 110,000-seat Olympic Stadium for every night session.

"We should be here talking about the success of the athletes," he said, sighing. "Not this issue."


September 26, 2000

Positive drug tests are piling up like medals

By Thom Loverro


SYDNEY, Australia. — I hate to say I told you so, but . . .

"The torch may have been burning brightly, but darkness is descending rapidly on the culture of the Olympics, so much so that it is even difficult to embrace such moments of glory like Jones and Greene brought us without wondering if you really saw someone just run faster, jump higher or be stronger simply as a result of their hard work, talent and heart —which is why we become emotionally involved in such moments — or because of the product of a pharmaceutical company."

— Thom Loverro

The Washington Times, Sunday, Sept. 24.

I told you so.

The dirty secrets of the Games are being revealed by the hour, the latest yesterday that shot putter C.J. Hunter — the husband and advisor of Marion Jones — had tested positive for steroids at a meet in Sweden at the end of July.

The story he and USA Track & Field had put forth was that Hunter, the 1999 world champion who would have likely competed for a medal here in Sydney, had withdrawn from the Games because of a knee injury.

They got that story out of the Bulgarian Weightlifting Guide to Drug Cover-ups, third edition.

It turns out that Hunter, according to International Athletic Amateur Association officials, had tested positive for nandrolone at levels 1,000 times higher than normal after the Bislett Games in Oslo. Hunter denied the reports and said he was going to "defend myself vigorously." But the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) confirmed yesterday that Hunter had tested positive at the Swedish track meet, and Prince Alexandre de Merode, chairman of the International Olympic Committee's medical commission, said Hunter failed three out-of-competition tests.

The IOC and the IAAF expect the USATF to notify them of the outcome of drugs cases. American track officials apparently had known for several weeks about Hunter's test results, which could result in a two-year ban from competition, but tried to keep it quiet until after the Games.

But the self-righteousness Americans showed to the IOC's efforts to conduct drug tests here angered IOC officials. A U.S. government report issued on the eve of the Games criticized the IOC's drug testing, and White House anti-drug czar Barry McCaffrey issued a statement at the same time saying "unless we continue to rid the Games of doping and drugs, children will also take the same drugs they see their stars dealing with."

At the time of the statement, IOC officials indicated the United States should clean up its own house before ripping into the IOC's efforts to stop the use of illegal performance-enhancing substances. It's clear now the IOC and other international sports officials who heard about Hunter's test results were waiting for the right time to strike back.

An IOC member yesterday even invoked McCaffrey's name in charges that the Americans had covered up the Hunter test results. Johan Koss said American athletes were regularly protected from drug sanctions and that up to 15 other U.S. related-drugs cases were being covered up. Koss said McCaffery should "see what is happening and call for an inquiry. It should not be that there is one rule for the world and one rule for U.S. track and field."

Payback, baby.

What better time to strike back than in the American moment of glory, when its biggest star, Marion Jones, had just won the first of the five gold medals she declared she wants to win.

Of course, the IOC said no one should jump to the conclusion that, just because Jones' husband and advisor was using an illegal performance-enhancing substance to compete, she also is. There have been no reports linking Jones to use of banned performance enhancers. "If [Jones] does not test positive, we should not infer [guilt] from one individual to another," said Francois Carrard, IOC director general.

I'll do the inferring around here, babalooey, and don't you forget it.

It's not a leap to believe that Jones has been pharmaceutically enhanced, because it is not a leap of faith to believe that every single one of the winning performances you see have been as well, despite the so-called drug testing effort (probably the losing ones, too, but they just don't have as high quality drugs as the winners).

It's over. The ship has sailed, and the rats are looking for cover. The 2000 Sydney Olympics are going to be known as the drug-infested games:

• IOC officials confirmed yesterday that they are investigating team doctors from a number of national Olympic organizations because of questions that they may also be involved in cover-ups.

• Andreea Raducan, the all-around gymnastics gold medal winner from Romania, tested positive for pseudoephedrine, a substance banned by the IOC. She was stripped of her medal yesterday.

• The entire Romanian weightlifting team was banned from the Games after it was revealed that three weightlifters tested positive before the Olympics for banned substances. However, they were allowed back to compete after paying a $50,000 fine to the International Weightlifting Federation — an acceptable practice, according to federation rules.

• The entire Bulgarian weightlifting team had also been kicked out of the Games after three tested positive for steroids. Two of them had won medals, and were stripped of them, and IWF officials insisted they would not be allowed back in the Games because they had tested positive in IOC tests after they competed. But one of them was reinstated yesterday by the Court of Arbitration for Sports and won a silver medal in the 105 kilogram category.

• Cuban high jumper Javier Sotomayor, the world champion and 1992 gold medal winner, had been banned for two years for testing positive for cocaine use — a charge he has repeatedly denied — after the Pan American Games last year. But the ban was reduced to one year by the IAAF. Sunday, Sotomayor won a silver in the high jump.

So far, the count is five athletes expelled for taking drugs, and that doesn't include the entire Bulgarian team, save for the one who won his appeal. That number is changing quicker than Jerry Lewis' Labor Day telethon board. At least 12 more were sent home before the Games began.

It appears that those numbers are just the tip. The iceberg is here in Sydney, melting fast.

Maybe they should change the Olympic prize from a medal to a gold, silver and bronze syringe.

De Merode said this isn't the first time the Americans have tried to cover up drug results. He said it happened at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, with at least five athletes.

"The U.S. didn't say anything then, there was complete silence, so nothing would astonish me now," Prince de Merode said.

By the way, Marion Jones is back on the track tomorrow, in heats to qualify for the 200 meters and the long jump. You'll need a pair of rose-colored glasses to watch it.



Drugs steal the show as US ducks for cover


Sep 27, 2000

It was a day of drama over Olympic drug testing yesterday, with officials escorting the imposing hammer throw champion Mihaela Melinte from the stadium as competition began, and the diminutive gymnast Andreea Raducan was forced to wait overnight to find out if she could retain her gold medal.

Also yesterday, US Track and Field (USATF) rejected a White House call to disclose several suspect drug-test results that members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) claim have been suppressed. USA Today dubbing Sydney "the tainted games" after the revelations of the world champion shot-putter C.J. Hunter's positive tests for the steroid nandrolone. The New York Times has suggested the drug debate become a new Olympic sport.

Already, a record 18 athletes and two coaches have been expelled from the Games after being found guilty of drug-related offences, not including 27 Chinese who remained home after suspicious tests for the hormone erythropoietin (EPO). Controversy has also hit kayaking, with Bulgaria ordered to clarify doping allegations against two kayakers due to compete in finals today and Saturday.

Petar Merkov and Marian Dimitrov reportedly tested positive two weeks ago for a banned diuretic, a substance used to lose weight that can also mask steroid use. The Bulgarian federation fired a coach and doctor after the tests, but did not ban the athletes. A third athlete who also failed the test, Moetceo Tchalakov, was withdrawn from the Olympic team for "health reasons".

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has protested against the pair's inclusion. Merkov is scheduled to compete against Australians in the K1 500 and K4 1000 semi-finals today.

Ulrich Feldhoff, the head of the International Canoeing Federation, said he had issued an ultimatum after failing to receive an explanation from the Bulgarians.

An International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) official, Giorgio Renieri, blamed Romanian officials for the humiliating sight of Melinte being forced out of the warm-up area by Olympic officials.

Melinte, the only woman to have thrown the hammer more than 76 metres, was banned from competition for returning a positive test to nandrolone. Renieri said the IAAF had told the Romanian athletic federation of the test two weeks ago, but was forced to ban Melinte 48 hours ago after the federation failed to act. "Unfortunately, we had to speed up the process," he said.

Melinte prepared for the event in the warm-up arena and moved on to the field with the rest of the throwers in her group. Her name was on the scoreboard, but not on the judges' start list.

Two referees came to escort Melinte from the field. Her coach argued with them as Melinte sat with her face in her hands, before eventually been guided away.

Renieri said her result did not come through until she was in Sydney. She knew of the result, but may not have know it ruled her out of competition, he said. The other drama of the day involving Romania, the appeal by Raducan to overturn the stripping of her individual gold medal due to a positive test for pseudoephedrine, has stretched into today.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport listened to evidence for almost five hours before the President of the Romanian Olympic Committee, Ion Tiriac, emerged to tell waiting media that there would be no decision until 3pm today.

"It is a very interesting and serious matter, and for that reason I would like you to be so kind and patient," he said.

The director-general of the IOC, Mr FranÇois Carrard, said he would refrain from making any further comment until after the decision had been announced.

Surrounded by police, Raducan was led from the court smiling. The 16-year-old did not say a word, with her two teammates, the silver medallist Simona Amanar and the bronze medallist Maria Olaru, following her.

Earlier, as Tiriac and Raducan fought their way through the throng of waiting media, Tiriac had yelled angrily: "Do not touch her."

It is understood that Raducan claims the positive test was due to two flu tablets dispensed by a team doctor.

The AOC has refuted a report that the pole vault silver medallist Tatiana Grigorieva has failed a doping test. The IAAF also rejected the report, aired in the German media yesterday.

Meanwhile, USATF has rejected a call from President Bill Clinton's drugs chief to come clean about athletes who have tested positive for drugs.

General Barry McCaffrey wrote to the organisation after the IAAF chief and IOC medical commission member, Arne Ljungqvist, claimed that as many as 15 American doping offences had not been reported to the IAAF.

Although he had been given assurances about some of those 15, 10 names of suspect athletes had not been disclosed. Ljungqvist said he had "no idea" if any were competing at the Olympics.

In response to General McCaffrey's letter, USATF's chief, Craig Masback, said its rules and American law required drug allegations remain confidential until proven. Most of the suspect cases involved substances such as asthma treatments and cold medicines, Masback said.



Wednesday September 27, 2000

Romanian Hammer Thrower Led Away Because of Drug Test

By Adrian Warner

SYDNEY (Reuters) - World champion hammer thrower Mihaela Melinte of Romania was escorted away from the Olympics as she prepared to compete on Wednesday because she had failed a test for steroids before the Games.

The Olympics witnessed the rare sight of an athlete being told she could not compete because of a positive drug test just minutes before the start of competition.

World athletics officials, who were keen to clear up all drug cases before the start of the Games, said the Romanian had tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone in the Italian city of Milan on June 7.

``She didn't know about the suspension. Officials came over to explain to her that she could not compete,'' International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) spokesman Giorgio Reineri said.

``The Romanian federation were informed on September 25 that she had been suspended...(But) She believed she had the right to compete.''

The incident took place as another group of hammer qualifiers were preparing to compete.

IAAF officials are annoyed that the Rome laboratory which analyzed Melinte's sample did not inform the world governing body about the result until mid-September.

The IAAF has communicated with the Romanians about the test several times since then and sent its final decision to the country on September 25, ruling the athlete out of the Games.

But a press officer for the Romanian team placed part of the blame for the embarrassing incident on organizers.

``The Romanian Olympic Committee was not aware of the suspension,'' he said.

``If they knew that she was positive, the organising committee should not let her come into the stadium in the first place.''


IAAF general secretary Istvan Gyulai was clearly annoyed by the case.

``The lab did not inform us for a very, very long time,'' he said.

He said the IAAF had refused to accept explanations that Melinte had tested positive because the substance was in food supplements she had taken -- a common defense by athletes who have been found with the drug in their body.

Asked if the incident had been embarrassing to the sport, he added: ``It would have been more embarrassing if she had been allowed to compete.''

Australian thrower Debbie Sosimenko said Melinte had come to the stadium with other throwers and was sitting down when officials told her she was out.

Venue press center manager Jayne Pearce said: ``She was in the arena and the IAAF instructed us to remove her from the competition which we did.''

Nandrolone is the substance found in the urine of American shot putter C.J. Hunter , the husband of Olympic women's 100 meters champion Marion Jones in four tests during the season.

Five athletes have tested positive during the Sydney Olympics including four who were stripped of their medals.

Hunter pulled out of the Games citing an injury.

FindLaw Sports

The Use of Steroids

Steroid Law

No Doping in Sport

Androstenedione and Tales of Testosterone

Thursday, 5 August, 1999

Nandrolone and anabolic steroids

Sprinter Ben Johnson took anabolic steroids

Are tests for nandrolone conclusive?

Even though a drug test may indicate that the subject has apparently taken nandrolone to boost muscle growth and increase strength, this does not necessarily prove wrongdoing.

It is possible that the body may naturally create a form of nandrolone, particularly if the subject has eaten large quantities of meat contaminated with the substance.  

It is also possible that dietary supplements taken perfectly legally by some athletes are broken down by the body to produce the same substances created when nandrolone is broken down.

What are anabolic steroids?

Anabolic steroids are drugs that are usually synthesised from the male reproduction hormone testoterone.

They have been banned by many sports because of their danger to health.

Their exact effect on the body is still a matter of scientific debate.

Why do sportsmen take them?

Anabolic steroids can improve the body's capacity to train and compete at the highest level.

They reduce the fatigue associated with training, and the time required to recover after physical exertion.

They also promote the development of muscle tissue in the body, with an associated increase in strength and power. This is achieved by stimulating the production of  protein in the body.

However, some of the increased muscle bulk may be due to the laying down of water and minerals, so the increase in strength may not be as pronounced as expected.

What are the risks associated with anabolic steroids?

Anabolic steroids promote the growth of many tissues in the body by stimulating the release of the hormone testoterone.

By disturbing the body's equilibrium, anabolic steroids can potentially cause damage to many of the body's major organs, particularly the liver, which has to deal with breaking down the compound.

There is also a significant risk of damage to the heart, which is made of muscle tissue. Anabolic steroids can lead to an expansion of the cardiac muscle, which can cause heart attacks.

The drugs also promote the growth of bones, particularly facial bones such as the jaw, and the teeth.

There is also an increased risk of cancer.

Other side effects include:

The development of inappropriate sexual characteristics such as breasts in men, and facial hair in women;   A deepening of the voice; Baldness; Male impotence.

John Brewer, director of the Human Performance Centre at the Lilleshall National Sports Centre, said: "The health risks associated with anabolic steroids are as serious as you can get.

"They greatly increase a person's risk of dying early or of suffering long-term physical problems.

"While the rewards of success in sport are getting greater and greater, the temptation to take anabolic steroids should be offset by the risk of an early grave."

Are all anabolic steroids detected by drugs tests?

Some sports people who take anabolic steroids escape detection because they stop taking the drugs prior to competition, giving the body time to break down the compounds.