Doping is in the news a lot lately with the Olympics scheduled this summer. With the U.S. Olympic Trials ready to start, The United States Anti-Doping Agency has filed a court action in Houston seeking a deposition for Dr. Jeffrey S. Brown, an endocrinologist, as part of an investigation looking into whether he provided athletes with banned substances, according to The New York Times.
A 2013 Wall Street Journal article noted that Brown was know for diagnosing several track and field athletes with onset hypothyroidism. Other doctors have noted that if an athlete that does not have hypothyroidism takes medication to treat it, it could be seen as a stimulant. The World Anti-Doping Agency does not have thyroid medication on its banned substance list for 2016. I can see thyroid medication being used as a stimulant. When you have too much thyroid hormone in your system, it can seem like you are going a hundred miles an hour. However, the side effects of brain fog, difficulty concentrating and anxiety would make it hard to focus on performing well.
The deposition is part of USADA’s investigation of Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar, who was the focus of a joint ProPublica and BBC report alleging he pushed the boundaries on doping rules to gain a competitive advantage by encouraging the use of prescription medication and therapeutic use exemptions. The report also implicates Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp in the doping scandal. Salazar and Rupp have denied the allegations.
The court filing by USADA was made on June 23. The U.S. Olympic Trials, which Rupp is slated to run in, will begin on Friday. According to the filing, USADA received information athletes potentially traveled to be treated by Dr. Brown in an attempt to enhance athletic performance. This “raises questions about whether some of these treatments may have violated sport anti-doping rules.” A hearing may be held on July 11, according to the Times.