Epic Carnival | Where Sports and Pop Culture Collide: THE 'ROID REPORT FOR THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 7


by Gary Gaffney, MD, Steroid Nation

The hot steroid stories of the past week take us to Beijing, Japan, Brazil, Bulgaria, and several locales in Southern USA.

In Japan sumo wrestling is followed with religious zeal. Thus recent marijuana scandals in sumo rocked the nation. Briefly, several sumo wrestlers in the Japan Sumo Association tested positive for marijuana use, including 2 Russian brothers -- Roho and Hakurozan. Although this may be a mild peccadillo in the United States, in Japan the code of sumo honor brought down the wrestlers and the commissioner of the league -- a venerated former sumo champion. Kitanoumi, the JSA commissioner, resigned in disgrace following the reefer madness. Contrast this honorable action with the behavior of the commission of USA's major league baseball: MLB boss Bud Selig presided shamelessly over the complete domination of performance enhancing drugs on play.

In Beijing the 2008 Paralympic Games continue on, as South African blade runner Oscar Pistorius swept medals in the 100M, 200m, and 4000M. We previously documented doping in a paralympic weight lifter, and a questionable doping call in a German wheelchair basketball player who apparently used a anti-baldness drug. This week, two more paralympic powerlifters tested positive for anabolic steroids. Fancourou Sissoko of Mali and Liudmyla Osmanova of the Ukraine tested positive for doping; Sissoko tested positive for boldenone (Equipoise) and Osmanova tested positive for 19-norandrosterone (metabolite of nandrolone and weak pro-hormone).

Also keeping the juice flowing on the international scene, roided-up Bulgarian Olympic weight lifters will not be throwing around iron in competitions, and Brazil doper Dodo will be extinct from soccer games for a few years too. Carl Lewis dissed Jamaican Usian Bolt's world records as questionable because of the lax Jamaican anti-doping policies.

And those southern nights down in the USA. Interesting stuff going on down there too. At about the same time Jose Canseco's name was about to be removed from a Miami street, dope peddlers in Plano Texas were either dead (David Jacobs) or released (Matt Lehr from the New Orleans Saints). Weird happenings in Texas, were hurricanes were not the only big news. Jacobs killed his body building girlfriend Amanda Savell before shooting himself Ianthe abdomen and head early in the summer. How does a suicide victim pop himself in 2 places? Ask the Plano and Dallas area police who now seem to be clear of possible steroid-using charges as dead men can't testify.

The other southern sport, NASCAR, went in circles over the revelation that a driver in the NASCAR Craftsman truck series -- Ron Hornaday Jr. -- used testosterone a few years ago. After relating a number of stories to ESPN, Hornaday settled on a scenario where he ordered testosterone fro himself and HGH for his wife, (or was that for Debbie Clemens) when he suffered from chronic fatigue and weight loss. Hornaday should consider himself lucky his symptoms weren't from prostate cancer where testosterone can increase the tumor growth. It's crazy to think someone can pick up the phone to order serious anabolic hormones from the Internet to treat an unknown medical condition. Later, Hornaday was found to suffer from Graves Disease, a thyroid disorder.

Perhaps it's crazier to see NASCAR ignore the offense, despite misgivings of racing drivers. Would anyone like to race at 200 mph against drivers jacked up on an anabolic steroid or mellowed out on a opioid?

Lastly, joining Lance Armstrong on the cycling comeback trail will be 2006 non Tour de France winner/loser Floyd Landis, also plans a comeback from a 2 year doping suspension. Lance and Floyd, just like old times. We wax nostalgic already.

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