December 2016


By Ask Vest Christiansen and John Gleaves

As the holiday season is drawing near and we all are sprinting towards finalising a number of tasks before the break, we are pleased to provide you with the last of four 2016 INDR Newsletters. In addition to an invitation to submit abstracts for the 2017 INDR conference, it contains three interesting commentaries.

Read the rest of the editorial here.

The Steroid Epidemic Myth


By Anders Schmidt Vinther, Aalborg Antidoping, Department of Health and Culture, Aalborg Municipality, Denmark

When the reality star Spencer Matthews appeared in the TV show Good Morning Britain (GMB) on July 13 2016 and talked openly about his previous and mistaken use of anabolic steroids, the underlying theme was as clear as it was predictable: Steroid use is a threat to public health, and, more importantly, the number of users is increasing. Matthews, along with the general practitioner Dr. Hilary Jones, were invited to comment on the alleged explosion of young men using steroids for performance- and image-enhancing purposes.

Read the rest of the commentary here.

Biological preparation and hormonal rebalancing in France (1950-2016)

This commentary is part of Christophe Brissonneau and Jeffrey Montez de Oca’s forthcoming book, Doping, Deviance, and Sports: The voices of Athletes and their Physicians in France’s elite Sport System, 1950-2010, due out in May 2017.

Through  our  work  studying  sport  medicine  and  former  dopers  in  different  sports  in  France between 1950 and 2010, it appears that sport medicine  is ambivalent about the doping  issue. The community opposes doping  but the results of their supported efforts to eradicate doping has been simply more doping in elite sport. We will see it with the medical biological concept of “hormonal  rebalancing”. For  that,  we  must  go  back  until  the  second  half  of  the  1950s, during which  doping  appeared  in the  media as a  sport problem.

Read the rest of the commentary here.  

Balance in anti-doping policies

By Olivier de Hon, Manager Scientific Affairs at the Anti-Doping Authority of the Netherlands

Strangely enough, with the many doping related discussions that are being held, the issue of effectiveness of anti-doping policies is often overlooked in the academic field. At the core of this topic is the question how often doping use actually occurs. Obviously, the most accurate answer is ‘we just don’t know’ as it is virtually impossible to assess the exact prevalence of a prohibited act. But estimates exist, and current scientific knowledge points to a prevalence ranging from 4 to 39% of intentional use amongst elite competitive athletes (De Hon et al. 2015, Duiven & De Hon 2015). It is clear that the prevalence of doping is considerably different between types of sport, levels and nationalities. This issue needs to be studied far more often, as it is the prime parameter to evaluate anti-doping efforts and policies.

Read the rest of the commentary here.