Gary I. Wadler, M.D., FACP, FACSM, FACPM, FCP, is an internist with special expertise in the field of drug use in sports. He is the lead author of the internationally acclaimed textbook, Drugs and the Athlete. Dr. Wadler currently serves as the Chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Prohibited List and Methods Sub-Committee and serves as an ex-officio member of WADA’s Health, Medicine, and Research Committee. Additionally, he has served as a Medical Advisor to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, a Trustee of the Board of the American College of Sports Medicine and of the Women’s Sports Foundation. Among his other sports medicine activities, he has served as Tournament Physician of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships.
For his groundbreaking work in the field of drug abuse in sports, Dr Wadler received the International Olympic Committee's President's Prize in 1993. He is a frequent lecturer on the subject and his opinions are widely sought by the print and electronic media nationally and internationally. In 2007, he was selected by the Institute for International Sport as “One of the 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America” and serves Chairman of the Communications and Information Committee of the American College of Sports Medicine. In addition, he is Chairman of the American Ballet Theatre's Medical Advisory Board where he oversees the development of medical guidelines for the healthy and sound training of dancers in the United States. Dr. Wadler is the Chairman of the College Council of the State University of New York at Old Westbury. Dr. Wadler maintains a private practice in Internal Medicine and Sports Medicine in Manhasset, New York and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.
Question: What is doping?
Gary Wadler: Well, doping has evolved in what it means over the years from Dutch origins and so on, but doping really is the use of a prohibited substance or prohibited method to gain unfair athletic advantage. Now there’s many different interpretations of what doping and definitions of doping is, but fundamentally, it’s using prohibited substances and prohibited methods to gain unfair athletic advantage.
Question: What items are on the prohibited list and how do they get there?
Gary Wadler: Well, we have a very comprehensive process. It’s a process that brings together on an annual basis about a dozen individuals or experts in sports medicine, pharmacology, medicine, pharmacy, all the related disciplines. And we sit down each year and we look at the list of substances that had been previously prohibited and see what adjustments we must make to that list. We just completed that process-- I happen to chair that committee-- and we came up with recommendations for the list for January 2009. We’re always one year anticipating the following year. That will then be circulated to about twelve hundred stakeholders throughout the world and they will come back and look at that list and make recommendations. Traditionally, it may be as many as fifty to a hundred pages of people who are gonna comment- or fifty to a hundred pages of comments from people who felt one substance should be on or another substance should not be on and so on. And that will come back to our committee again and we’ll make the appropriate revisions and then eventually that’ll go on to executive of the World Anti-Doping Agency and come out for the official position. We always have it posted on all the websites of all sporting bodies October 1 of the year prior to it going into effect. So all the athletes will at least have at least three months to see what modifications may have been made so they don’t inadvertently wind up with a doping violation because they weren’t aware of the changes.
Recorded on: 04/25/2008