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The Extreme Measures People Will Go To To Win

July 21, 2008

A BBC investigation has found that there are serious question marks over a key drug test just two weeks before the start of the Beijing Olympics.

The BBC has seen indications that labs are classing positive tests for the blood-boosting drug EPO as negatives.

Some samples have been described as suspicious – giving rise to fears that no action will be taken against cheats.

One sport drug expert told the BBC that many of the finalists in Olympic endurance events would be using EPO.

“Copycat” versions of the drug are available on the internet for as little as $50 – and according to experts are often undetectable.

Although a test was introduced to detect recombinant EPO (erythropoietin) at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, a growing number of athletes were soon challenging the results in the courts.

Several, like US sprinter Marion Jones, had their first sample test positive but were cleared on the second or B test.

So what has happened to the moral side of the Olympics? Is this sad state of affairs a result of the Olympics having changed from amateur to professional status? Can it be as simple as that?

Can one truly feel that one has legitamately won a race when one has knowingly and wittingly imbibed a performance enhancing drug?

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