Steroid Nonsense From the World Anti-Doping Agency

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David Howman, the director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), seems to think that clenbuterol is an anabolic steroid. He also thinks that the illegal status of heroin makes it less profitable than anabolic steroids that are often legally available for therapeutic purposes. Howman is shocked that steroids are used to enhance growth in livestock apparently oblivious to the widespread use of hormones for this purpose over the past few decades (“WADA Seeks Steroid Info from China,” February 22).

“There seems to be some evidence that some beef in China may have been stimulated in their growth by the use of steroids,” WADA director general David Howman said Tuesday. “We have written to the Chinese minister to ask for a full explanation of what happens in the industry in China. We’re waiting for a response.”

Howman is most likely referring to clenbuterol, a beta-2 adrenergic agonist, when he talks about steroids in Chinese beef. Many laypersons mistakenly assume that all performance-enhancing drugs are anabolic steroids; they are often ignorant to the wide variety of drugs that comprise the banned substance list.

The director general of the most influential anti-doping organization in the world is expected to have a better understanding of performance-enhancing drugs; certainly, he should know the difference between beta-2 adrenergic agonist like clenbuterol and anabolic steroids.

Howman also claims that steroid trafficking is more profitable than heroin trafficking because steroids are legal and heroin is not.

Howman also said there were bigger profits in the trafficking of sports drugs like steroids, EPO and growth hormones than in heroin trafficking.

“There is more money to be made because in many countries it is legal,” said Howman, adding that WADA was asking countries to pass laws that would help stop their sale. “These substances are bad for our youth, for our elite athletes and for anyone who happens to buy them.”

Apparently, the heroin and cocaine drug cartels aren’t aware of the bigger profits awaiting in the androgen black market!

David Howman, WADA director general

Photo credit: European Parliament / Flickr

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