How is the World Anti-Doping Agency preparing for the Olympics?
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: Do you test athletes that use performance enhancers?
Gary Wadler: Well, there will be some challenges with the Olympics I suspect because of the environmental conditions of the atmosphere. One of the major illnesses we’ve seen over the years has been asthma and some of the drugs that have been abused by athletes have been asthma drugs. So we have a fairly vigorous and rigorous approach to individuals who have asthma and require medicines to do it legally and not in violation of the international standards. So that’s gonna be one of the challenges that we have to deal with. And of course, there’s always the unknown, I mean things that nobody can anticipate like we saw in the Atlanta Games, a drug called Bromantan. We think the likelihood of genetic doping happening in the Beijing Games is pretty remote. What we’re doing in the World Anti-Doping Agency, and we’ve done previously, we have some experts who will be on twenty-four hour, seven days a week call-- I’m one of them-- in case something shows up at the Games that is totally atypical, unanticipated and needs technical clarification. We do have that mechanism in place to respond on the spot, if you will. And as far as the list of prohibited substances that you cannot take in Beijing, that list is operative as we speak because it goes into effect January of each year. Since these are the 2008 Games, the 2008 list has been in effect since January 1 of 2008 so all the athletes participating in Beijing have been made fully aware by their various international sports federations of what drugs and methods they cannot use or employ during the Games.
Recorded on: 04/25/2008
The complicating case of asthma.
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