© Copyright – 2021 – Athletics Illustrated
Remember when the 2012 London Olympics were deemed the or one of the cleanest Games? The following eight years proved the exact opposite. They were one of the dirtiest Games, (save for the possibility of the East German era). With doping control now able to store samples for long periods of time and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) permitting testing to continue from stored samples for eight years, the long arm of the law is catching up to the cheaters.
New methods and new drugs are being used by athletes to try to fool testers. Microdosing (typically with EPO) is a method where athletes dope at lower levels and flush the system in time for competition and out-of-competition tests. One trick is to not be available for testers, then become available for the next test, having cleared or flushed the system during the intervening time. Also, new designer drugs or experimental drugs are used, as athletes believe that they fool the lab, which may not be looking for the new drug. One athlete recently went as far as to blood dope. Blood doping was a practice that for the most part stopped during the late 1980s. Hey, what’s old is new again.
British sprinter, Chijindu “CJ” Ujah, who helped Team Great Britain earn a silver medal in the 4 x 100m has tested positive for two banned substances and has been handed a provisional suspension by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
According to the AIU, Ujah, who is also a British champion over 100m, tested positive for ostarine and S-23, both of which are listed as prohibited substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency. And they are new.
What are Ostarine and S-23?
Ostarine is an investigational drug that has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is in a class of drugs called selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs). Some supplement companies have included ostarine in some products. The FDA considers supplements that contain ostarine to be illegal.
S-23 is also an investigational SARM. It was developed by GTX, Inc as a male hormonal contraceptive. It binds to the androgen receptor better than older drugs such as andarine and in animal studies, it showed both a strong ratio of anabolic to androgenic effects and dose-dependent suppression of spermatogenesis with spontaneous recovery after cessation of treatment.
Both are used to improve athletic performance and ostarine also for weight loss. There is little scientific research on these products.
The silver medal won by Team GB in Tokyo has now also come under threat, with the prize likely to be rescinded if he is fully banned from doping. Ujah faces a potential ban of up to four years. The International Olympic Committee has been giving the disqualified team’s or athlete’s medals to the next athlete. This takes time as reassigned medals sometimes also go to dopers.
Ujah has run as fast as 9.96 for the 100m sprint and 20.39 for 200m. He also picked up a gold medal at the 2017 London World Athletics Championships. Perhaps his London samples should be re-tested if available.
Depending on if there is an appeal launched and however, the IOC may want to move forward (or not), at some point in the future, Canada’s bronze medal could be reassigned to China and Canada could take Britain’s silver medal.
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DNF = Did not finish
DQ = Disqualified