Victor Conte, the founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), recently claimed that the 2012 Summer Olympics in London will be far from free of anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). In an interview with Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, Conte discussed the serious flaws in the current Olympic anti-doping testing system and the performance-enhancing drug of choice for athletes in London.
Conte doesn’t necessarily believe that doping has diminished. He dismissed suggestions that recent decreased performances across a variety of sports amount to proof that steroid and PED use have largely been eliminated from sports.
Instead of reducing the prevalence of doping by elite athletes, anti-doping agencies have simply forced athletes to adapt. Athletes are still using steroids and PEDs. They are simply not using the same dosages and the same drugs as they did before anti-doping became more stringent in elite athletics.
Victor Conte doesn’t believe athletes are using designer steroids like the one that made BALCO infamous. (Conte and Patrick Arnold, the organic chemist who first synthesized tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), faced federal charges arising from their involvement with THG and doping. They each spent a few months in prison as a result.)
Instead of using designer steroids like THG, athletes have gone ‘old school’ and started using the grandfather of all steroids - testosterone.
“I don’t believe they’re using designer steroids these days. I believe they’re using fast-acting testosterone,” said Conte. “You can micro-dose, you can use fast-acting creams and gels and patches. I believe this is what’s going on in Major League Baseball, for instance.”
Conte told Ostler that ‘inside sources’ have confirmed the practice of micro-dosing of testosterone in professional baseball.
Conte has been a vocal critic of the current anti-doping system. He has criticized the anti-doping agencies for creating loopholes big enough to “drive a Mack truck through”.
Ostler, S. (July 14, 2012). Victor Conte says Olympic doping goes on. Retrieved from http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Victor-Conte-says-Olympic-doping-goes-on-3707871.php