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USA Today on TRT doubling the risk of heart attacks

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

Original Article at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/29/testosterone-heart-risks/4967795/   Taking testosterone therapy doubled the risk of heart attack among men over age 65 and nearly tripled the risk in younger men with a history of heart disease, a new study shows. The report, which involved 56,000 men, is the latest in a series of studies raising concerns about the heart attack risk from testosterone therapy, whose popularity has ballooned in recent years. The study was published Wednesday in PLOS One. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota not involved in the new study, describes the heart risks posed by testosterone therapy as substantial. “That’s equivalent to smoking one or two packs of cigarettes a day, or having sky-high cholesterol,” Lopez-Jimenez says. Authors of the study, led by researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles and others, say doctors should discuss these risks with patients. Testosterone is often called the “male hormone” because it causes development of male sex organs, facial hair and other masculine features. Doctors recommend testosterone therapy to treat hypogonadism, which causes abnormally low testosterone levels. Studies show that testosterone can improve sexual function, bone density, lean muscle mass and strength while lowering cholesterol and insulin resistance, a condition that increases the risk of diabetes. Drug companies also have marketed testosterone directly to consumers, however, urging men to consider hormones to treat the symptoms of “low T,” which are said to include energy loss, mood changes and reduced sex drive. Those ads appear to have been hugely successful. Doctors wrote more than 5.3 million prescriptions for testosterone therapy in 2011, five times as many as in 2000, according to a November report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The number of men taking testosterone tripled from 2001 to 2011, with the drugs now used by nearly 4% of men in their 60s, according to a separate study last year in JAMA Internal Medicine. Yet only about half of men taking testosterone therapy had been diagnosed with hypogonadism, and 25% hadn’t even had their testosterone levels tested, according to the JAMA Internal Medicine study. The rest of patients had been diagnosed with other problems such as fatigue or sexual dysfunction. A spokesman for AbbVie, which makes AndroGel, one of the most popular testosterone therapies, notes that studies also have found health benefits from the medications. A 2012 study linked testosterone with a lower risk of death. A 2013 study in the Journal of Clinical Practice found that men taking the therapy long-term had healthier cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and blood pressure. “We encourage discussion between physicians and patients that leads to proper diagnosis based on symptoms, lab tests and a patient’s other health needs,” says David Freundel, a spokesman for AbbVie. Abraham Morgentaler, an associate clinical professor of urology at Harvard Medical School, says it’s possible that the men’s heart attacks in this study were caused by their underlying medical problems, not by testosterone. He notes that most heart attacks occurred in the first 90 days after a prescription was written. It’s unlikely that heart attacks could develop in such a short period of time, he says. Cardiologist Steven Nissen says the Food and Drug Administration should require companies that sell testosterone therapy to conduct rigorous clinical trials examining the medication’s heart risks. Nissen, chair of cardiovascular...

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VADA Pres Discusses TRT, PED testing with Fight Network’s John Pollock

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

John Pollock runs through the major news items of the past week – Nevada’s vote to ban TRT exemptions and the questions coming out of that ruling, heavyweight bout added to UFC 173, Bellator announces pay-per-view plans, Mac Danzig retires and more**Dr. Margaret Goodman, president of the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association returns to the show to chat the fallout of Nevada’s ruling, the reaction from other commissions, what steps still need to be taken, CIR testing, specific cases involving fighters that were granted TUEs and lots more **Bleacher Report lead writer Jonathan Snowden shares his thoughts on the TRT vote and remembers the late Billy Robinson, who passed away earlier in the weekSubscribe to The MMA Report with John Pollock on iTunes Catch The MMA Report with John Pollock every Friday night at 11pm EST on TSN 1050 Toronto and Fridays at 10pm PST on The TEAM 1410 in...

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Possible New Breakthrough in hGH Detection

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

A research breakthrough using the insulin-like growth factor IGF-1 as a biomarker could produce a better test for human growth hormone, anti-doping experts said Wednesday. Research appearing in the latest issue of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry showed measuring IGF-1 could increase the detection of HGH doping by greatly enhancing the precision of laboratories. The measurement uses a chemistry technique known as liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and builds upon existing tests for HGH. Researchers from five laboratories in three nations led by US Anti-Doping Agency physician Larry Bowers and funded by the Partnership for Clean Competition (PCC) began working in 2011 on more precise test methods for HGH. “Not only are these research results groundbreaking but the selfless work and cooperation of the members of this working group, with the PCC’s support, demonstrates the power of collaborative research,” Bowers said. “Bringing together top scientists and innovators in focused research to identify and resolve analytical problems is critical to advancing anti-doping science.” The PCC hopes the research will be used as the basis for tougher global sporting tests for growth hormone, used by dope cheats to build muscle in part by increasing concentrations of IGF-1 in the blood from liver response to growth hormone. While an isoforms test has been successfully used to identify HGH dope cheats, it is limited by a short detection window. The biomarkers test measures concentrations of IGF-1 and another protein produced by reaction to growth hormones and has a detection window of several weeks. “In addition to being an important anti-doping testing advancement, new testing methodology arising from these findings could also aid in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders caused by the natural over- or under-production of growth hormone,” said Andy Hoofnagle, senior author on the research paper....

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Drug Test by Stuart Stevens–a personal account of PED use

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

“OK” the doctor said when we settled into his examination room. “What do you want to be?” I looked confused, so he explained. “You want to be bigger? Leaner? Faster longer or faster shorter? More overall endurance? You want to see better?” “See better?” “Human growth hormone does that for some people. It improves the muscles in the eyes.” He tried again: “So, what do you want?” This was quite a concept. Freud wrote that anatomy is destiny, and here was a doctor giving me a chance, in my late forties, to alter my body in the most fundamental way. It was strange, but also strangely alluring. It had taken me a while to arrive at this moment. I was sitting in the San Fernando Valley offices of a physician whose identity I’ve agreed to conceal—let’s just call him Dr. Jones. For reasons I’ll explain shortly, my goal was to experience firsthand some of the banned performance-enhancing drugs that are often abused in the endurance sports I participate in, like cycling and cross-country skiing. The menu I had in mind included human growth hormone (HGH), testosterone, and some variety of anabolic steroid, all of which are used to increase strength and shorten an athlete’s recovery time by repairing muscle cells faster. Also high on my list was that powerful stuff called erythropoietin, better known as EPO, a hormone that boosts oxygen levels in the blood by prompting the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. EPO is known to have amazing endurance-boosting effects; not surprisingly, it’s been a scourge for years in professional biking and skiing. In 1998, to cite one famous example, the Tour de France nearly came to a halt when a leading team, Festina, was caught using EPO, HGH, steroids, and testosterone. The entire squad was disqualified, and dozens of riders either staged protests or withdrew in reaction to the drug tests and police raids that followed.   All of these are prescription drugs, and they all have legitimate medical applications. (HGH, for instance, is used to treat Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare disease that stunts the growth of children.) But you and I are not supposed to have them without a doctor’s supervision, and they’re absolutely forbidden in most higher realms of sports. There are exceptions—Major League Baseball doesn’t drug-test at all—but if you were caught using these substances in, say, the Olympics, the Tour, the NFL, or any NCAA event, you would face disqualification and suspensions, though the penalties and the testing processes vary wildly. This is one of the key problems that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), an independent drug-policy group headquartered in Montreal, is attempting to address—with the goal of standardizing everything from a list of banned drugs to the testing-and-appeals process. WADA’s hope is that these rules and procedures will be adopted by sports federations around the globe. When I first began my quest, I’d assumed it would be easy to slide into the underground where performance drugs are bought and sold. But when I asked around, nobody, not even friends who were top amateur and professional athletes, knew where cheaters actually went to score. Their comments were always vague: “Well, they get it, believe me,” they’d say, or “How about the Internet?” So at first I just hit the streets....

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David Israel’s SI.com article on horse racing regulation ills bare a sad resemblance to boxing’s

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

Original article at: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/more/news/20140506/major-league-horse-racing/ This story originally ran in the May 5, 2014 issue of Sports Illustrated. To subscribe to SI and read a digital version of the magazine, go here. For most of America, this year’s thoroughbred horse racing season started at 6:24 EDT on May 3 and ended a little more than two minutes later when winner California Chrome crossed the Kentucky Derby finish line. Once a daily component of American sporting life, horse racing is now an afterthought. You can find it in the shadows, fighting for attention with its old friend boxing. The sport seems to be reduced to a sad litany of tragedy and scandal. Drug cheats. Mismanagement. Small-time corruption. Lousy television deals. Feeble marketing. Grimy grandstands. A thousand self-inflicted- wounds. Today’s news is an undercover PETA investigation alleging callous indifference to the welfare of horses in the barn of champion trainer Steve Asmussen. Yesterday it was the heartbreak of Barbaro’s valiant fight for survival. Tomorrow it might be the Derby trophy returned because of a positive drug test. LAYDEN: Clouds of controversy loom over Churchill Downs during Derby week   From 2008 until January of this year, I had an up close and personal look at the carnage. I was part of it. I was one of the seven commissioners on the California Horse Racing Board. It was our job to assure the safety and welfare of horses and humans; to regulate, police and promote the sport; to maintain its integrity and secure its future. Like similar boards in more than 30 other states, and like the dozens of voluntary organizations of owners, trainers and jockeys, we took our job seriously and tried to do the right thing.   Still, we were more a part of the problem than the solution, because when everyone is in charge, no one is in charge. For horse racing there can be only one solution: A central, national organization with the authority to run the sport in all participating jurisdictions, just as the NFL, NBA, MLB and, most similarly, NASCAR run their sports.   The state-by-state regulatory model has to be scratched like a lame colt. For more than 100 years, only one other sport has been run this way: boxing. How’s that working out?   Since 2008, Congress has had at least three hearings on the business of horse racing. The next time Washington calls, the sport needs to ask Congress to create strict federal laws—with a criminal component for animal abuse and corruption—that supersede all the relevant state regulations and allow the sport’s private interests to create Major League Racing, for lack of a better name. Then the New York Racing Association, The Stronach Group and Churchill Downs, Inc., our largest racetrack operators, need to set aside their petty differences and work together.   They represent 11 of the most important tracks—from Belmont and Saratoga to Santa Anita, Gulfstream and Churchill. Supplement those with five -independents—Del Mar, Keeneland, Oaklawn, Hawthorne and -Woodbine—and you reach critical mass. Include the Breeders’ Cup, and you’ll have every important race in North America.   More important, you’ll have the power to impose national standards for the administration of drugs, veterinary care, safety, working conditions, racing conditions, wagering take out, licensing, discipline and care for retired horses. Everyone in the...

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