TORONTO, Reuter: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been slow to ban athletes from using unethical medical procedures 10 cheat in competition, a leading Canadian sport scientist told an inquiry into doping in amateur sport on ‘Wednesday.
Dr. Norman Gledhill, former Chairman of the National Advisory Committee on drug abuse in amateur sport, said such practices as blood doping, soda loading and urine transplants are unethical and often present risks to an athlete’s health.
The IOC Medical Committee has been very slow to act on something’s which should be banned,” Gledhill said
Gledhill presented evidence which he said proved blood doping and soda loading increased Athletic performance during testimony at the sixth day of the inquiry.
The inquiry was ordered by the Canadian government after Sprinter Ben Johnson was stripped of his Olympic 100metre Gold Medal in Seoul after testing positive for the banned anabolic steroid, Stanozolol.
Ina study of 11 Canadian male track and field athletes in 1978, Gledhill said he found performance capacity jumped “over night by five percent” after blood doping Blood doping, banned by an athlete either receiving a winter Olympics, can be done by an athlete either receiving a transfusion of his own blood or that of a donor with the same blood type before competing, The extra red blood cells in the transfusion carry more oxygen to fuel an athlete’s muscles.
Gledhill said the 11 athletes in his study here were rejected with their own blood, which had been frozen for 10 weeks. Their Athletic capacity improved dramatically.
“Without blood doping it would take a high performance athlete one year of training to achieve such a five percent increase,” he said Gledhill said in 1982 an IOC official told him there was no point in banning blood doping because there was no way to detect it Two years later, seven members of the 1984.U.S. Olympic cycling team, including three medalists, admitted they used blood doping. Steve Hegg, who won a gold and silver medal and Rebecca Twige, who won silver in the women’s road race, were among them.
Because blood doping was not yet banned, no sanctions were taken against the cyclists.
Gledhill said that at least three of the cyclists became ill as a result of the procedure,
He said the risks of blood doping include kidney damage, transfusion reactions, fever and the transmission of infectious diseases such as hepatitis and aids Gledhill said his study prompted much interest from members of the sport community, “I had people contact me and ask me how to do blood doping,” but he said he refused.
Gledhill, who said he regards as unethical any artificial procedure to enhance athletic performance, also testified about a study he conducted in 1984 on the practice of soda loading the ingestion of additional sodium bicarbonate
Soda loading acts as a buffer to the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles, thus reducing fatigue, He said it has been proven to be beneficial in athletic events which last between one and four minutes.
Article extracted from this publication >> January 27, 1989