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IOC Labs Back Tests for Nandrolone

October 6, 1999

MONTE CARLO, Monaco (AP) _ The world’s leading drug control laboratories have affirmed the validity of tests for nandrolone, the banned steroid which has produced a recent spate of positive results.

The heads of the 27 labs accredited by the International Olympic Committee, meeting in Monaco, said they were satisfied with the effectiveness of testing for nandrolone and its precursors.

In a written statement, the labs noted that nandrolone and its related compounds, norandrostenedione and norandrostenediol, are included on the IOC’s list of banned substances.

The IOC reiterated that athletes should refrain from taking medications or supplements without proper medical supervision.

Lab officials urged government authorities to ban the sale, manufacture and importation of unlicensed nutritional supplements containing banned substances. Some of the supplements are not labeled.

Officials have been puzzled by the sudden surge in positive tests for nandrolone, which has been available for decades and is easily detectable in standard urine controls.

Many officials believe the increase is the result of athletes’ taking supplements which, they may or may not know, contain nandrolone.

``It’s not an excuse for the athletes,″ IOC medical director Patrick Schamasch said.

Schamasch said the IOC has twice written to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration complaining about ineffective labeling standards for dietary supplements. Some of the products, available over the counter and advertised over the Internet, contain banned substances.

There have been positive nandrolone findings in numerous sports this year, including high-profile cases in track and field involving sprinters Linford Christie of Britain and Merlene Ottey of Jamaica.

Christie, the 1992 Olympic 100-meter champion, has been cleared by the British national federation, while Ottey’s case still is to be reviewed by Jamaican officials.

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