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Thread: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

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    Very Active Member islandsox's Avatar
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    Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    When a swimmer is injured and a doctor provides a round or so of steroids (cortisone, etc.), injections to provide pain relief and reduce inflammation, is this considered doping within the USMS? This question came up in an email a day or so ago from a top competitor who has been told it is considered doping. I'll fess up first, I am on a round of three injections prior to considering a shoulder surgery, with surgery being my last and desperate resort. Or is a small round of steriods for medical purposes only so slight that steroids would not show up in routine blood tests.

    Is this legal within USMS guidelines?

    Donna
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    Farewell Lily smontanaro's Avatar
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    Donna,

    Cortisone is a catabolic steroid (breaks down muscle), not an anabolic steroid like testosterone.

    Skip Montanaro

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    USMS Membership Director Jayhawk's Avatar
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    USMS doesn't do drug testing, so you have nothing to worry about.

    Plus, I'd bet that the majority of Masters swimmers are taking some sort of drugs - blood pressure, cholesterol, arthritis, etc.

    Anna Lea

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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    Like Skip said, Cortisone is in a whole different category of steroids than the muscle building type. Look at Cortisone as a high powered dose of Ibuprofen given locally in injectable form. We use this drug in many forms to help athletes, asthmatics, arthritics etc. Don't think anyone would consider this type of steroid cheating in the context you are using it. There are reports of some athletes using these drugs to speed recovery. Frequent mega doses for systemic responses. Very unhealthy in the long term. I think this could be considered cheating.
    Regards
    Spudfin

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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    I use a corticosteroid inhaler for asthma, and on the instruction sheet there is a warning that it can give a false positive for the presence of anabolic steroids in urine tests. So, if they did test masters athletes, a note from the doctor explaining the shots and when they were done would be necessary.
    These tests are expensive, so I don't think they'd ever bother.

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    Very Active Member islandsox's Avatar
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    Thanks for all the great responses. I knew that as a normal routine USMS does not test for doping, but with the increase in doping in other sports and at the elite level, I'd be surprised that they didn't entertain the idea. Maybe those of us who are average swimmers, me included, have nothing to worry about. But I brought this up because the steroid I am on is above the cortisone level whatever that means. I'll have to get the exact name of it next Friday at 2nd injection time and do some research. But a friend of mine who is a top USMS competitor had heard from their coach that it is being looked at seriously.

    And prior to my long swim next August and having to register with FINA, I want as much info on this as possible; especially the possibility of false-postives like was mentioned.

    If anyone has any other information about this, or your experience with it, please write about it! I guess many of us laymen don't know the exact science as to what computes to doping and how these drugs are broken down within us even though I know there are differences.

    Donna
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    As Anna Lea said, a fairly large proportion of masters athletes, if not the majority (not just swimmers, either), use prescription medication. Some of the medication might cause positive test results. It seems like it would defeat USMS's mission to discourage these athletes either from participating or from following their MD's instructions.

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    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    I assume FINA has talked about testing for Masters athletes; I know the topic has come up within USMS. And as previously stated, USMS does not currently test athletes. And as far as I know there are no plans to start any time soon.

    Masters Swimming is about a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise (hopefully swimming is a big part of this), nutrition and paying attention to medical/health concerns. In my opinion, no Masters Swimmer should ever ignore proper medical treatment for fear of sanction form USMS. I agree with Ken “it would defeat USMS's mission to discourage these athletes…from following their MD's instructions.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Ripple View Post
    So, if they did test masters athletes, a note from the doctor explaining the shots and when they were done would be necessary.
    It would take more than a note from your doctor; you would need to get a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) from the USADA.

    For more information on anit-doping check out:
    www.wada-ama.org
    www.fina.org/antidoping/index.php

    For the current prohibited list (interesting reading):
    http://www.wada-ama.org/rtecontent/d...07_List_En.pdf

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    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    Hmmm .... Never thought of alcohol as performance enhancing.

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    Very Active Member fanstone's Avatar
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    "It provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance." I believe Bill wrote this in reference to sex...billy fanstone

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    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress View Post
    Hmmm .... Never thought of alcohol as performance enhancing.
    I think alcohol is banned in a few sports (Archery, Automobile, Modern Pentathlon, Motorcycling and Powerboating) for other than performance enhancing reasons. We already have enough drunken power boaters on our local lakes, and drunken archers, now that’s a sport.

    Another interesting note: “beta-blockers are prohibited in-competition only, in the following sports…. Bridge.” Maybe it’s just me but sport, in competition and bridge don’t seem to go together. Follow-up note alcohol is not a banned substance in bridge, so grandma can still have her glass of whiskey while playing (I mean competing in) bridge.

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    Very Active Member Slowswim's Avatar
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Copeland View Post
    I think alcohol is banned in a few sports (Archery, Automobile, Modern Pentathlon, Motorcycling and Powerboating) for other than performance enhancing reasons. We already have enough drunken power boaters on our local lakes, and drunken archers, now that’s a sport.

    Another interesting note: “beta-blockers are prohibited in-competition only, in the following sports…. Bridge.” Maybe it’s just me but sport, in competition and bridge don’t seem to go together. Follow-up note alcohol is not a banned substance in bridge, so grandma can still have her glass of whiskey while playing (I mean competing in) bridge.
    What about bowling? Are these elite athletes still allowed/expected to smoke, drink beer, and eat hot dags and pizza while competing?

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    Back is faster than Fly poolraat's Avatar
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slowswim View Post
    What about bowling? Are these elite athletes still allowed/expected to smoke, drink beer, and eat hot dags and pizza while competing?

    </IMG>
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    I am the Steroid King. In college I used to get steroid shots to my right knee. I felt constant pain. Then a doctor at Howard Univ. stopped the shots & my knee rarely hurts. Before then it hurt constantly. the guy said that the problem was that the knee never healed. i was hit by a car running on a county highway while i was in college. I had to limp about a mile to a farmhouse. then while diving on the exotic cliffs of the strip mines around Victoria, Il I drove right into a strip lake wall and my knee cap moved to the side.

    I take prednisone daily for my asthma. Along with a steroid inhaler. Have been for over 20 years. The absolute best high in the world is going to the ER for an asthma attack. Getting IV Solumedrol (sp) or Deca(something) & Benadryl. I've had nurses tell me that I look like what heroin addicts look like as the two drugs enter my body. Generally, the nurse puts the bed-rail up, covers me with a blanket and tucks it in very tightly, and gives me the shots. Within 3 minutes the attack is done. Otherwise it goes on for days.

    I have never noticed on any of the info included with any of my steroids the warning that it might give a false positive for anabolic steroids. that's very interesting. They are very different chemically.

  15. #15
    Spazz Hands
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    I snort chalk dust. It's good for traction.

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    Very Active Member FindingMyInnerFish's Avatar
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    I've been having acupuncture for my knee problems. Doubt if that'll show up in tests, although all that "chi" could make me suspect.

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    Very Active Member Ian Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    From the NYT of today on muscle fatigue......

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/12/he...th&oref=slogin

    If this drug became available, would it be illegal?

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    Administrator matysekj's Avatar
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    Re: Steroids/Cortisone injections: legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Smith View Post
    From the NYT of today on muscle fatigue......

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/12/he...th&oref=slogin

    If this drug became available, would it be illegal?
    I doubt it would be legal, but here's a passage from that article that sticks in my mind:

    So he and his colleagues looked at making mice exercise to exhaustion, swimming and then running on a treadmill. The calcium channels in their skeletal muscles became leaky, the investigators found. And when they gave the mice their experimental drug, the animals could run 10 to 20 percent longer.
    I can see the lab setup for this experiment now: "Our next event is the distance event. Yes folks, it's the 5 yard freestyle. Squeaky is in lane one. He has an outside chance of placing in this event as an up and coming distance swimmer. Mortimer is in lane 2, and world champion Mickey Phelps is in lane 3. We may see a new world record if Mickey is on his game today and can give that extra 10-20 percent...".
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