DRUGS IN SPORT: Scientists counter new designer steroid threat

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The Independent Online
SCIENTISTS HAVE discovered a second steroid especially designed to evade drug testers, anti-doping officials revealed yesterday.

"Following the THG story, this is the second designer steroid we have found," said Olivier Rabin, the scientific director of the World Anti- Doping Agency. "We believe this was created purely for doping in sport."

Rabin said that the drug had similarities to THG, or tetrahydrogestrinone, the drug at the heart of the Balco steroid investigation in the United States.

Several leading track athletes, including the double world sprint champion Kelli White and Britain's European 100 metres champion Dwain Chambers, have been banned for using THG.

Rabin said that the new drug, a desoxy-methyl-testosterone, or DMT, had been discovered after an anonymous tip-off and a test had quickly been developed to detect its presence in the bloodstream. "Without referring to an epidemic situation, this proves that THG was not a one-off," he said.

Rabin and Christiane Ayotte, the director of Montreal's anti-doping laboratory, said that there was no evidence DMT had been used by athletes. Ayotte described DMT as "the most sophisticated substance yet discovered."

Rabin added: "Probably in this case we are ahead of the dopers. This shows the dopers how serious we are."

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