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Thomas C. Werner
The alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs has tainted athletic accomplishment since the beginning of sporting competition. Contemporary examples of this sports “doping” problem appear almost daily in the news: pro cycling is brought to its knees by doping allegations, resulting in the loss of sponsorship, the BALCO case and the Mitchell Report pummel Major League Baseball with evidence of steroid use and drug testing concerns become a higher profile issue at the Olympics.
The talk will focus on the methods that chemists use to detect sports doping with substances such as amphetamine, steroids, human growth hormone and EPO. Limitations of these methods will be discussed, along with a listing of some of the enormous challenges facing chemists as newer doping substances and methods become available. The talk is based on a course entitled Chemistry and Athletic Performance, which was developed by the speaker with the aid of Dr. Don Catlin and staff at the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory and Anti-Doping Research, Inc.