Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 7th 2015 Contents The eerie light of the full moon
shines through my window blinds as
I lay my exhausted body down to
sleep. I wonder if they will come to
roust me awake again before the sun
rises, come for my blood and demand
me to do their irrefutable bidding.
The banging on my door that heralds
the arrival of these strangers of whom
I can t refuse entry, has left me con-
ditioned to sleep lightly and to assume
that any early morning noise is them.
I am not alone is suffering from this
visiting affliction. It s the price that we
must pay to compete at the top level
of international Olympic sports. We
submit ourselves to the random, out-
of-competition drug testing of our
blood and urine in the naive hope that
we will be able to compete in a sport
that is fair, and doping free.
The privilege of representing your
country comes with great responsibility.
In addition to the constant vigilance
over the legal status of medications
and supplements that are consumed,
(with many common ones being
banned) an online database must be
carefully kept up to date with our
whereabouts, specifying where we can
be found for one hour in each 24 as
the spontaneity of life happens and our
plans change from day to day.
For most of us, the hours of the early
morning are our safest bet at predicting
where we will be at that set time; at
home in bed. However constant amends
must be made for late nights out and
expeditions that start in the early in
the morning as the stakes are high. If
the drug testers come looking for you
and you are not at the stated location
for the specified hour, and this happens
three times in 18 months, it is consid-
ered a positive doping test result, requir-
ing a minimum of a two-year ban.
I have been subjected to constant
random out of competition drug testing
since 2001 as a result of being ranked
among the World s top ten consistently
for 14 years.
Being randomly drug tested is both
impersonal and uncomfortably intimate
at the same time.
Once, I awoke horrified, into adren-
aline fueled survival mode instantly at
the sight of a shadowy figure standing
over over my girlfriend and I as we lay
asleep early one morning. On that occa-
sion my roommate had answered the
door, and one creepy tester crept rudely
into my room refusing to let me leave
his sight, even to dress, horrifying my
then girlfriend as he inquisitively stared
around the room as I turned on the
lamp. I felt violated!
Drug testers are not supposed to get
to know you, nor accept food or drink
and must keep eyes on you at all times
in order to make sure you don t con-
sume any sort of masking agent before
providing the necessary samples. Jux-
taposed with how impersonal the ran-
dom drug testers are is the fact that
the tester collecting the sample must
actually see the urine sample leave your
naked body. That is easier to get used
to than the needles in the veins that
go with providing a blood sample.
We willingly submit to and endure
the random, out-of-competition drug
testing program s many inconveniences
because we sincerely want to compete
in a sport that s free from the cheaters
who would steal our hard earned fruits
of labour. However it s hard not to be
cynical, especially for those fourth and
ninth place finishers who have been
robbed; and wonder if it s really even
worth it when updating our where-
abouts or providing our next sample.
Cynicism due to the common knowl-
edge that Lance Amstrong, the reputed
"most tested athlete ever" and Marion
Jones, the winner of 12 Olympic and
World Championship medals were dop-
ing for years, yet never caught. And
when doping athletes are actually
caught but receive significantly reduced
bans for co-operating or are deemed
not responsible for the circumstances
surrounding their doping and are hand-
ed down warnings instead, thus con-
tinuing to rob us.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Drug testing in sport is intended
to catch cheaters by enforcing the
World Anti Doping Agency's
(Wada) Prohibited List of the use
of the following types of
substances and methods:
Anabolic agents, otherwise
known as "steroids".
Peptide hormones and growth
factors. This includes things like
EPO and human growth hormone.
Beta-2 Antagonists and
stimulants. This part of the list
prohibits things that aid the
Hormone and Metabolic
Modulators, this part of the list
basically prohibits artificial
substances that are aromatase
inhibitors, meaning things that
prevent testosterone from being
converted to estrogen by the body,
thus artificially raising free
Diuretics and masking agents.
These are used to rid the body of
other banned substances or hide
Cannabinoids, the substances
found in Cannabis.
Prohibited methods: This
prohibits things like blood
transfusions, tampering with
samples and the mysterious
methods of gene doping.
produced hormones that inhibit
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