Is it ever okay to take a performance-enhancing drug?

Question: Is it ever okay to take a performance-enhancing drug?

Gary Wadler: First of all, I think it’s very important to understand we don’t want to take somebody who has some sort of medical condition or disability that requires drugs and say he cannot participate at an elite level. So there is a process in place which enables an athlete who will be starting below the level playing field to come up to the level playing field but not exceeding it. And so if you have a disorder which requires a medicine that is otherwise banned, what do you do? Well, the process is called a therapeutic use exemption process. Basically the athlete would present evidence from experts who take care of him or her saying that a certain disorder exists. That would go to an independent panel of experts with the name redacted out and they would look at the data, the medical data in support of the diagnosis for which the athlete was seeking a permission to use the drug. So step one is for the panel to agree there was a disorder. Step two is to ask the question is there an alternative drug that can be used to treat that condition which is not prohibited? If the answer is yes and does not compromise the athlete’s health, then the answer is you can’t use the prohibitive substance; you have to use the alternative. If it turns out you can only use a prohibited substance, then they will get an approval or get an exemption for therapeutic use, they can use it for therapeutic purpose, therapeutic use exemption. And the exemption will stipulate the drug, the dose, the duration and then the monitoring so that one doesn’t use- for example, they had a problem and then abused the right that they got through the exemption. So if a certain the dose was okay, they’d say, “Well, I’ll take three times’ that amount,” or, “I got an approval so I can now”- so we monitor that. And that’s a tedious process, but it’s trying to assure that we are not in any way making it impossible for somebody who’s sick to participate; quite the opposite. For the most part, we should take our hats off to these people because they’ve overcome disabilities. But for it to work, it has to be very carefully administered, it should be a before the fact decision. Independence is a very important part of it, anonymity is a very important part of it and it’s been very effective.

Recorded on: 04/25/2008

It’s all about leveling the playing field – and keeping it level.

The 10 most influential women in tech right now

These thought leaders, founders, and entrepreneurs are propelling the kind of future we want to be a part of.

Credit: Flickr, The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch
Technology & Innovation
  • The tech industry may be dominated by men in terms of numbers, but there are lots of brilliant women in leadership positions that are changing the landscape.
  • The women on this list are founders of companies dedicated to teaching girls to code, innovators in the fields of AI, VR, and machine learning, leading tech writers and podcasters, and CEOs of companies like YouTube and Project Include.
  • This list is by no means all-encompassing. There are many more influential women in tech that you should seek out and follow.

Keep reading Show less

Teen popularity linked to increased depression in adolescence, decreased depression in adulthood

The results of this study showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence, declining in early adulthood and then climbing back up again into one's early 30s.

Credit: Dragana Gordic on Shutterstock
Mind & Brain
  • A 2020 Michigan State University study examined the link between teen social networks and the levels of depression later in life.
  • This study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, specifically targeting social network data. The results showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence and declining in early adulthood, then climbing back up again into one's early 30s.
  • There are several ways you can attempt to stay active and socially connected while battling depression, according to experts.
Keep reading Show less

90,000-year-old human hybrid found in ancient cave

Researchers have just discovered the remains of a hybrid human.

Researchers in a chamber of the Denisova cave in Siberia, where the fossil of a Denisova 11 was discovered. CreditIAET SB RAS, Sergei Zelensky
Surprising Science

90,000 years ago, a young girl lived in a cave in the Altai mountains in southern Siberia. Her life was short; she died in her early teens, but she stands at a unique point in human evolution. She is the first known hybrid of two different kinds of ancient humans: the Neanderthals and the Denisovans.

Keep reading Show less

In quantum entanglement first, scientists link distant large objects

Physicists create quantum entanglement, making two distant objects behave as one.

Credit: Niels Bohr Institute
Surprising Science
  • Researchers accomplished quantum entanglement between a mechanical oscillator and a cloud of atoms.
  • The feat promises application in quantum communication and quantum sensors.
  • Quantum entanglement involves linking two objects, making them behave as one at a distance.
  • Keep reading Show less
    Quantcast