Articles on Drugs in sport

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Dr Frankenstein created a beast of horrifying power; Essendon just created a shambles. Image from shutterstock.com

Frankenfooty: Essendon’s mixed bag of supplements

The list of charges by the AFL against the Essendon Football Club for its alleged supplements program makes for compelling reading. Early on in the Essendon charge sheet is this paragraph, which sets the…
Essendon coach James Hird, along with his club and three other senior officials, have been charged by the AFL over the supplements saga. AAP Image/Julian Smith

The Essendon supplements saga: what you don’t know can hurt you

The idiom “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” usually means the less you know about the possible risks and harms that can befall you, the less likely you are to worry yourself sick about them. The recently…
Anti-doping is about protecting the integrity of sport, but what about the people? ĐāżŦ {mostly absent}

AFL, NRL – it’s time to move on from anti-doping

With the AFL and NRL “doping scandals” grinding on it seems there’s no end in sight to this saga. But there should be – and soon. Anti-doping will never work and should be replaced with a different approach…
Essendon coach James Hird outside his home on August 14, 2013 after the AFL charged him and four other club officials for bringing the game into disrepute over the alleged banned supplements scandal. Julian Smith/AAP

Human experimentation and ethics at Essendon Football Club

The news that the AFL has charged James Hird, and other members of the Essendon Football Club’s management staff (including the club doctor, Bruce Reid) with bringing the sport into disrepute should surprise…
Catching all dopers would be an expensive exercise, running into tens of millions of dollars. EPA/Dominic Favre

Exposing dopers in sport: is it really worth the cost?

On the back of an interim report by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) into the Essendon Football Club’s controversial supplements program in 2011-12, the AFL last night charged the club…
WorkSafe Victoria has chosen not to investigate events at the Essendon Football Club. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Time for OHS regulators to get off the bench and into the game

Imagine a construction company asks its employees to take some health supplements to increase their stamina, thereby enabling them to work more productively. Imagine that the efficacy and legality of the…
World champion sprinters Tyson Gay (centre) and Asafa Powell (right) have tested positive to the banned substance oxilofrine. EPA/Peter Klaunzer

We know Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell … but what’s oxilofrine?

American sprinter Tyson Gay and former 100m world record-holder Jamaican Asafa Powell are reported to be among six athletes to test positive for a banned substance: oxilofrine. But what is this drug that…
Essendon champion Jobe Watson said this week he believes he was injected with a banned substance - but who is to blame for the saga surrounding him and his club? AAP/David Crosling

Doping in sport: who is to bless and who is to blame?

Essendon captain and reigning Brownlow medallist Jobe Watson has admitted that he believes he was injected with the banned substance AOD-9604. The anti-obesity drug is at the centre of the ASADA investigation…
Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Mark Cavendish, Philippe Gilbert, Tejay van Garderen, Chris Froome and Alberto Contador in front of the map for the ‘cleanest tour ever’. But have attitudes towards doping in cycling changed in the past year? EPA

It’s the first Tour de France since the Armstrong saga – but has anything changed?

The historic 100th edition of the Tour de France, kicking off tomorrow in Porto-Vecchio, Corsica, is being heralded by many as the cleanest Tour ever. This year’s Tour favourite, Britain’s Chris Froome…
Essendon captain Jobe Watson was at the centre of the latest drugs-in-sport scandal this week after admitting he took a banned substance. AAP

New anti-doping powers won’t fix culture of drugs in sport

It’s been more than four months since Australia’s “blackest day” in elite sport, with allegations of widespread misuse of drugs and other substances. After several years of high-profile cases of drugs-in-sport…
Is sport the last remaining institution of faith in Australian society? Sascha Wenninger

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi: why do we love sport so much?

Australians have a remarkable affection for their sport, an affection which has endured for well over 150 years. They love the sports they play but, even more so, they love the sports they watch – both…
‘Deeply sorry’: Essendon chairman David Evans announced the findings of the Switkowski report into governance issues at the AFL club. AAP/David Crosling

Essendon drugs crisis: more questions than answers in Switkowski’s half-baked report

From the outset, Ziggy Switkowski defined his report on Essendon’s supplements program as “constrained” because two parallel investigations could not be compromised. What Swiztowski calls constrained could…
As the drugs scandal continues to plague Essendon, its ‘hardcore’ fans have stood by the club and embattled coach James Hird. AAP/David Crosling

Drugs in sport saga: do the fans really care?

When the drugs in Australian sport investigation was announced in early February, much was made of the importance of protecting fans from the actions of wrongdoers. But here we are, three months into this…
Are these medications being used to treat genuine illnesses? It’s difficult to tell. Image from shutterstock.com

Athletes need performance-enhancing drugs to treat illness

Ever wondered how many athletes are legally allowed to take “performance-enhancing drugs”? You read correctly - many elite athletes are given official permission to use drugs that are otherwise banned…
There are so many “performance enhancing” drugs floating around - but what do they actually do? heather aitken

Glossary: ‘sports science’ drugs

Ever since a year-long investigation by the Australian Crime Commission alleged “widespread use” of drugs in sport we’ve been hearing about a dizzying array of substances allegedly used by elite athletes…
A dejected James Hird walks from the field after Essendon were beaten by Geelong in Rd17 2012. Hird faces media allegations that he has taken performance enhancing drugs. AAP/Castro

Explainer: coaches, ASADA and drugs in sport

With a media firestorm engulfing James Hird, coach of AFL club Essendon, over allegations that he may have taken substances banned by sports doping agencies, where do coaching staff stand in relation to…
James Hird suffers an injury as a player. Could yet worse hurt be to come? AAP Image

ASADA can throw the AFL into chaos - and here’s how

AFL club Essendon has so far avoided the imposition of any sanctions by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA). Yet the investigation into the activities of the club, especially the supplements…
In the debate on the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport, what should we consider an unfair advantage? www.shutterstock.com

Drugs in sport: what constitutes ‘unfair advantage’?

At the heart of growing concern about performance enhancing drugs in Australian sport is the very basic matter of sport as an even contest. As Roy and H.G. used to put it, no one is particularly interested…
Myths surround the use of polygraph machines. Lie detector photo from Shutterstock.

Lie detectors and anti-doping – who’s kidding who?

Please, sit down. Try not to sweat. Just relax. Now, answer honestly: could lie detectors succeed where current anti-doping measures in sport are failing? If you answered “yes” you are not alone. There…

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