Chinese connections with illicit steroids and HGH present problems with the upcoming Summer Olympic games in Beijing. The story turned weird yesterday when a UK newspaper reported Chinese prisoners serve as guinea pigs for the drugs. To the Epoc Times:
The targets for the drugs are British, U.S. and foreign athletes who could be tempted to take them to win a coveted medal. But discovery would see them banned from the Beijing Games.
Andy Parkinson, a member of the UK Sports drug-free unit, has warned all British athletes hoping for a place in the country's Olympic Squad of the risks of disbarment.
Further, this seems to be an alleged plot to sabotage other athletes, so Chinese athletics would be declared victors. If believable, bizarre:
MI6 learned of the tests on Chinese prisoners held in gulags in the north of the country from a human rights organisation, the identity of which is being kept secret for fear its undercover members will face reprisals by the Beijing government.
A member of the organisation has told MI6 if top Western athletes were caught taking the drugs, their automatic disbarment could pave the way "for Chinese athletes to walk away the medals. It is no secret that the Beijing regime sees the Games in much the same light as the Nazis did at the Berlin Games—an opportunity to showcase its global power on the track as well as elsewhere", said the activist.
Concerns about the Chinese supply of PEDs to the world in relationship to about the Chinese Olympics started popping up last year. This editorial from the Washington Post in February is typical(also at ESPN):
The international anti-doping regime for Olympic athletes is overseen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), but depends on the support and enforcement activities of national Olympic committees. In spite of the strengthening World Anti-Doping Code, the most recent version of which was accepted at the World Conference on Doping in Sport last week in Madrid, the IOC and WADA simply do not have the capacity to engage in the high levels of testing that would be required to ensure that athletes in large countries like the United States and China are complying. Instead, they must rely to an extraordinary degree on national anti-doping authorities and national volunteers.
To make matters even more complicated, it is extremely difficult using current testing techniques to catch perpetrators. Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is among the most popular drugs of choice used by elite athletes. Federal raids on 56 growth hormone labs in the United States in September demonstrated both the prevalence of these drugs and the fact that they are made almost entirely of raw materials imported from China. HGH clears the body in less than 24 hours, making it extremely difficult for even effective testing to detect -- particularly if logistical realities make testing athletes regularly all but impossible in large countries, if there is any collusion at all between testers and coaches, or if athletes are kept out of international competition prior to the Olympics and therefore remain outside of the existing testing structures until the last possible minute.
The Free Republic reported that Chinese drug distributors continue to distribute illegal PEDs, and rather facilely:
In November, China's own food and drug watchdog, the SFDA, promised to stop export of the drugs, which are legal in China.
However, last week The Sunday Telegraph contacted MaMaCF Imp & Exp Co Ltd, which until recently operated from an office in a housing development called Olympic Gardens, near the site of the Olympic village in Beijing. The clampdown forced it to relocate late last year to Qingdao, a port in eastern China's Shandong province - the venue for the Olympic sailing regatta.
A company representative named Mr Sun said it was still in the business of supplying HGH to buyers around the world, despite the SFDA's ban. "It's no problem to send samples, or even big quantities to the UK by courier," he said. "We've done it many times. We have lots of clients in the UK and USA."
The hormone is a controlled drug in Britain and its import is restricted. But Mr Sun said: "You don't need to worry. UK customs aren't strict at all. We describe these items on the customs form as healthcare products. If they get seized, we'll refund you."
Mr Sun offered to sell his company's HGH at 140 yuan (£9.90) per vial, each vial containing enough for five doses.
"I'll give you a cheaper price when you place a big order," he said.
This all seems a bit bizarre...prisoner guinea pigs, sabotage of athletes...let's see where it leads.