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Anabolic Steroids Experiences

Anabolic steroids & bodybuilding experiences

Genetic Doping

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The trial of a German track coach accused of supplying performance-enhancing drugs has uncovered evidence indicating that gene doping may already be a reality in sports.

E-mails seized in the investigation of Thomas Springstein contained references to Repoxygen, a substance normally used in gene therapy. Gene doping, which is banned in sports, involves transferring genes directly into human cells to blend into an athlete's own DNA in order to enhance muscle growth and increase strength or endurance.

Springstein, a 47-year-old who has worked with some of Germany's top runners, is on trial in the eastern city of Magdeburg on charges including the alleged doping of young athletes in 2003. The trial took an unexpected twist this week when the court was read e-mails found when police raided Springstein's home in search of evidence.

In one e-mail, Springstein complained that the "new Repoxygen is hard to get. Please give me new instructions soon so that I can order the product before Christmas." Repoxygen is designed for gene
therapy on patients with anemia. It can boost an athlete's performance by inducing the release of erythropoietin, or EPO, a substance that stimulates the production of red blood cells to carry more oxygen to the muscles.

The International Olympic Committee and World Anti-Doping Agency already test for synthetic EPO. But there is no known test for Repoxygen, which gives the body the gene to stimulate EPO production on its own. Until now, most experts have said they didn't believe gene doping was yet in practice, suggesting it could be a threat by the time of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Source: theglobeandmail.com (2nd February 2006)

PS: The use of drugs in many sports is widespread, and gene doping is the latest "trick" that athletes will use to give themselves an edge over their competition. When they fail a drugs test, many cheating athletes have falsely blamed contaminated supplements. In future they won't have to blame anything as gene doping is very hard to test for, if not impossible, and they're very unlikely to get caught! Have the drug testers lost the fight against the cheats?
posted by Frank Mori, Saturday, February 18, 2006