Thursday, 21 February 2013

Oscar Pistorius, herbal remedies and doping tests


I won’t be commenting on the murder case, other than to note my sympathy for the victim and her family. But I do have a comment about the alleged “performance enhancing drugs” found in the house. In a statement from the International Paralympic Committee, Oscar Pistorius was revealed to have been drug tested twice in London last year by the IPC, on Aug. 25 and Sept. 8. Both test results were negative of course or we would have heard about it.

Why only two tests? Pistorius won three medals at the Paralympics. Silver on Sept. 2nd in the 200m T44, gold on Sept. 5th the 4 x 100m T42/T46 relay and gold again on Sept 8th the 400m T44. He also came fourth in the T44 100m race on Sept. 6th.

All top five finishers in an Olympic final are tested immediately afterwards, the assumption being that no more than two will be caught so all the medals can still be awarded [1]. This is not the case in the Paralympics. As can be seen from the above Pistorius was only tested on arrival at the Games and after his 400m win. This is not to cast any aspersions at all, but merely to note that it is easier to avoid testing in the Paralympics than the Olympics. Admittedly there are more medallists at the Paralympics  (at London the discrepancy was 1,522 for the Paralympics against 962 for the Olympics). But the main issue is cost: there is less money in Paralympic sport so less money for testing. I don’t have the details, but I suspect this disparity will be mirrored in a far less effective out-of-competition testing program.

As to what was found in the Pistorius house. The current view seems to be a legal herbal supplement called “Testocompasutium co-enzyme”. I have no idea what this is; perhaps someone can enlighten me? 

8 comments:

  1. No such product exists as far as I could tell with a google search. The closest match was "testis compositum"

    http://thinksteroids.com/news/oscar-pistorius-steroids-not-found-by-police/

    I don't think the news media knows the correct spelling as I've seen various alternate spellings including "testocompositum" and "testocompasutium"

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  2. Its Testis Compositum and Coenzyme Compositum. Supposedly legal substances used to fight fatigue.

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  3. Actually testis compositum is mostly promoted as a homeopathic remedy for "the temporary relief of symptoms associated with male sexual weakness" i.e. a rather different kind of fatigue. see the image here:
    http://www.theminusshop.com/browse.cfm/testis-compositum-by-heel-100-tablets/4,1549.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same substance: the case of March French, the cyclist (cleared; homeopatic remedy testicomp = just a placebo): check
      http://www.asada.gov.au/publications/rules_and_violations/CAS/CAS_French.pdf

      Delete
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