Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Nandrolone Mystery Still Making Fools of Stars; TENNIS SCANDAL

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Nandrolone Mystery Still Making Fools of Stars; TENNIS SCANDAL

Article excerpt

Byline: ADRIAN WARNER

GREG RUSEDSKI was thrust into one of the most controversial and mysterious fields of drugs in sport today.

But he won little sympathy from world anti-doping supremo Dick Pound.

Rusedski has joined an array of competitors who have tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone in recent years, including top Dutch footballers Edgar Davids and Jaap Stam, and Britain's former Olympic 100 metres champion Linford Christie (left).

Many have blamed positive tests for the substance on contaminated food supplements.

The International Olympic Committee have been warning competitors for the last three years that they are playing Russian roulette with their careers by taking them.

Rusedski said last night that he had never taken performance-enhancing drugs and was "innocent" of doping charges. But World Anti-Doping Agency chief Pound said there was no excuse for not knowing about the nandrolone danger.

He told Standard Sport today: "You would think that anybody who has been paying the slightest attention would see that these things are always coming up.

"There is no excuse. If you don't know what is in a supplement, then don't take it."

The array of positive tests for nandrolone in the last five years have come as a surprise since it is such an oldfashioned steroid. Cheats are unlikely to take it directly because there are more sophisticated products on the market such as human growth hormones which are undetectable in the current testing system.

It was widely believed that the drug was being taken by mistake in many cases.

Britain's former 400m runner Mark Richardson was reinstated by athletics in 2001 following a two-year ban after it was shown he had taken contaminated products.

In 2002, the IOC then produced clear scientific evidence to show how off-the-counter supplements can lead to positive tests. …

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