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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
Tue January 29, 2013
The Weird Science of Doping
It's just weeks into 2013 and, already, one of the major themes of the year in sports appears to be emerging: drugs. We’ve had a punitive vote by the baseball writers, who decided the Hall of Fame class of 2013 would include nobody. Lance Armstrong has admitted he doped—for years. And now, two separate stories breaking on Monday that involve names like Alex Rodriguez and Ray Lewis and a substance called IFG-1 that's found—among other places—in deer antlers.
And while we tend to refer to performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) as a single entity, not all drugs are not the same. We don’t think about Advil the way we think of heroin.
And so it is with PEDs. Some of them, like steroids, are easy to classify as a drug and easy to make a case for banning. But others, like erythropoietin (EPO), a naturally-occurring hormone that builds red blood cells are a little more tricky to classify—and ban. Today on BPR, author and journalist David Ewing Duncan explained why PEDs are getting more sophisticated, how they are advancing and why, he says that whether we realize it or not, we’re in the midst of an arms race.
- David Ewing Duncan, author and journalist. Recently wrote the piece, “So Long, Lance. Next, 21st-Century Doping” for the NY Times