Sunday, February 14, 2010

Any dopes in Vancouver?

If you're like me, I mention the concept of blood doping when covering the life cycle of red blood cells (RBCs) and the homeostatic mechanisms that regulate the population numbers of RBCs.

In 2008 and 2009,  beginning around the time of the Beijing Olympics, I wrote a series of articles on doping in this blog and an extended version at The A&P Professor website.

I recently updated that extended doping article with a link to a recent news story from the Canadian Press service regarding the possibility of doping with the experimental anemia drug Hematide.

The doping issue is a great way to tie an unfortunately unending series of "real life" high-profile cases to the concepts of blood physiology.

Check out my Doping article, which includes several resources from major anti-doping agencies plus hints for incorporating doping issues in your A&P course.

You may also be interested in the PBS video Doping for Gold, which chronicles doping in a generation of European athletes. In the 1970s, female East German athletes came from nowhere to dominate international sport. Behind their success lay a secret, state-sponsored doping program that distributed untested steroids to athletes as young as 12. Many of these girls had no knowledge that they were being doped, and now, their damaged bodies and psyches deal with the cruelty of a government that pursued international glory at the expense of its most acclaimed citizens.

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