Sunday 02 August 1992
Clenbuterol, the substance taken by two British weightlifters, is licensed for treatment of asthma in Germany. It is banned by the IOC for two side-effects: it acts as a stimulant, masking fatigue and risking over-exertion and collapse; and it acts as an anabolic agent, enabling the body to work harder and recover more quickly, but also able to damage the liver.
Professor Stephen Smith, a clinical pharmacologist at St Thomas's Hospital in London, said however: 'I am sorry to say that the IOC is not terribly informed on medical pharmacological matters. For many of the drugs on its banned list there is not a shred of evidence that they have any performance-enhancing effect. Clenbuterol would only have a stimulant effect if it was taken in enormous amounts.'
The likelihood that it had any true anabolic effects was negligible, Professor Smith insisted.
Richard Nicholson, editor of the Bulletin of Medical Ethics, said the IOC's list of banned drugs, which has been adopted by the British Sports Council, was riddled with inconsistencies. 'These people lack expertise in pharmacology. They have been clearly told that the list is inconsistent and yet they have done nothing to improve it.'
Dr Nicholson said that the list included drugs which were improperly classified and others, administered only intravenously to very sick patients, which 'could not possibly be taken by athletes'.
David Cowan, director of the IOC-accredited drug-testing laboratory at King's College, London, insisted that the IOC included medical practitioners.
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
Earthworms rain down from skies over Norway, puzzling scientists
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...