October 17, 2003
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WADA Expresses Satisfaction and Concern About THG Steroid Cases

Montreal, October 16, 2003 - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) today commended the laboratory breakthrough that led to the detection of designer steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) in some athletes’ urine samples.


The Chief Executive Officer of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Terry Madden, said earlier today that it had received notification of positive “A” samples for THG. These samples were collected in-competition at the 2003 U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships and out-of-competition. A test developed by the International Olympic Committee and WADA accredited anti-doping laboratory headed by Professor Don Catlin at the University of California, Los Angeles, detected the substance in the “A” samples.

“We have to wait until the “B” samples are analyzed and proper process completed”, said Richard W. Pound, WADA’s president. “But this is a serious warning for cheaters. It shows that supposedly undetectable substances can be detected as new tests are developed”.

WADA also expressed extreme concern about what Terry Madden described as “a conspiracy involving chemists, coaches and certain athletes using what they developed to be “undetectable” designer steroids to defraud their fellow competitors and the American and world public who pay to attend sports events”.

“This case shows the degree of ingenuity that some cheaters may have developed with the assistance of support personnel in order to intentionally get an unfair advantage”, said David Howman, WADA’s director general. “This is exactly why independent agencies such as USADA and WADA have been created, and why cooperation is crucial to stay ahead of cheaters. WADA will monitor this case very closely and will be happy to assist in any way. We look forward to learning of the outcomes as quickly as possible”.

Point of Contact for the media:

Frederic DONZE
Manager, Media Relations
Tel: + 1 514 904 8820
Cell: + 1 514 979 8820
E-mail: frederic.donze@wada-ama.org