Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hollis Thomas: Claims clenbuterol is reason for positive test

Hollis Thomas claims that a compound in his inhaler is responsible for his positive test. Clenbuterol is used for obstructions of the airway and chronic breathing disorders, like asthma.

It is listed as a banned substance by the league. Most probably because it has been used by athletes for a long time as a performance enhancer due to its ability to enhance air flow, its anit-catabolic effect (ability to decrease the rate of protein reduction at a cellular level) and its fat burning effect.

Clenbuterol's performance enhancement effects are most applicable to bodybuilding (and it's ability to enhance breathing is beneficial to mid-distance runners and cyclists), not so much to football. So, if clenbuterol is truly what Thomas popped for, chances are that his story is true, and Thomas really could be a victim of the rule. Of course, the other way of looking at it is: He should have checked what was in the inhaler and whether it was banned and asked his doctor to prescribe him something else. Other medications can, and are, frequently prescribed in place of clenbuterol because a lot of folks have bad reactions to it. Ephedrine is another bronchodialator that is on many banned lists that is common in medications.

We have seen some misinformation about what clenbuterol actually is. It is NOT a steroid compound (anabolic or cortical). Clenbuterol Hydrochloride is a beta-2-symphatomimetic. It is not a hormone. The reasoning behind its banning has nothing to do with whether or not it is a hormone. It has to do with the fact that in cycling, clenbuterol in liquid form is combined with a painkiller and the drug EPO to increase the production of red blood cells. Remember, the NFL's list of banned drugs is based on those in other sports and the Olympics, so compounds included on the list are NOT limited to just hormones.


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