MLB lockdown created doping opportunities

In a sport where a fraction of an inch can mean the difference between safety and the outside, or the ball and the shot, and where big mo...


In a sport where a fraction of an inch can mean the difference between safety and the outside, or the ball and the shot, and where big money is paid out to those who thrive, an opportunity to gain an advantage undetected might be too hard to give up.

“The sport learned the hard way”, Ross Tucker, a sports scientist in South Africa with a doctorate in exercise physiology, said in a recent phone interview. “Doping without out-of-competition testing makes next to no sense.”

He later added, “The analogy has always been that anti-doping was trying to shine a light in a dark tunnel, and just trying to catch that athlete as he walked through or through that dark tunnel. Now you basically have a blackout.

Tucker explained that some of the steroid hormones athletes have used before, especially when injected in high doses, take a long time to clear from the body and can be detected for weeks afterwards. But if athletes use low-dose oils or creams, he said, their chances of evading detection could improve.

“If they do, and they get a notice that says, ‘Okay guys, you’re back in practice in a week,’ they’d be clean within a week of that notice,” Tucker said. “And if they’ve been training properly during the time they’ve been doping, they’ll have dramatically improved in strength, power and muscle mass. And as long as you keep training after that, you’re just defending it.

Tucker said if athletes trained properly while using steroid hormones, gains could last at least six months, possibly a year, or even longer. During MLB’s grueling 162-game regular season — not counting weeks of spring training and a month of playoffs — players can lose weight and muscle mass. But a player starting from a higher base level through doping, Tucker said, would have an advantage over one who didn’t.

“You could go back to seeing like 50 home run seasons again,” said Victor Conte Jr., the central figure in the BALCO steroid scandal that linked the use of PEDs to some of baseball’s, football’s top professional athletes. and athletics in the country. In 2005, he pleaded guilty distribution of steroids and money laundering.

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Newsrust - US Top News: MLB lockdown created doping opportunities
MLB lockdown created doping opportunities
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