NEW ROCHELLE, NY (August 10, 2004) – As the August 13 opening day of the world’s largest sporting event, the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, approaches, several world-class athletes are under investigation for takingperformance-enhancing drugs.
To better understand the recent reports of alleged doping by track and field stars Marion Jones, Torri Edwards and Calvin Harrison, The Medical Letter, a non-profit newsletter, recently published an article on “Performance-Enhancing Drugs.”
The Medical Letter reviewed many of the drugs banned in the Olympic Games according to the list published by the US Anti-Doping Agency. The Medical Letter concluded that use of performance-enhancing drugs, especially anabolicsteroids, central-nervous-system stimulants, insulin and possibly erythropoietin, can be dangerous.
The article also observed that athletes who take nutritional supplements should be aware that they may contain banned substances not listed on the label.
The Medical Letter’s review stated that use of anabolic steroids, which are synthetic derivatives of testosterone, can increase muscle mass and strength. The adverse effects of this type of drug are numerous, including abnormal liver function and hepatic tumors. Additional adverse effects include changes in blood lipids, increased incidence of cardiovascular disease and increased risk of infections such as hepatitis and HIV, caused by shared or contaminated needles.
“With the 2004 Olympics beginning this week, performance-enhancing drugs are once again receiving a great deal of attention,” said deputy editor Gianna Zuccotti, M.D., M.P.H. “The Medical Letter reviewed these drugs so the mediaand the public can receive accurate, unbiased information on performance-enhancing drugs.”
The Medical Letter Inc., a nonprofit organization founded in 1958, offers health care professionals objective, independent analysis of both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The Medical Letter, Inc., is supportedentirely by subscriber fees and is based in New Rochelle, NY.