Clenbuterol Found in 22 European Athletes While in China; Tattoos Deemed a Health Risk

Column by Steven V. Selthoffer, Swimming World senior European columnist

BONN, Germany, February 21. THE German anti-doping agency NADA (National Anti-Doping Agentur) based in Bonn, issued a press release and the Koln Sporthoch Schule (Koln Sport University for Germany) issued a travel advisory warning for athletes planning and preparing to travel to China.

Twenty-two cyclists recently returned to Germany and all tested positive for Clenbuterol, found on the WADA anti-doping banned substance list.

Clenbuterol is a complex, fat-burning and muscle-building drug banned by WADA and all international sport federations. However, it is now cropping up in the nutritional food supply chain, found sometimes in beef production in the EU, and cooking oils used for chicken, fish, or vegetables around China and in other parts of Asia.

USA's Jessica Hardy originally tested positive for the substance during the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, and had her two-year suspension reduced to one-year due to a tainted supplement.

The latest concerns don't end there.

Tattoos? A Danger and a Gamble
The results of a new study were released this week in Karlsruhe, GER, and revealed that the ingredients used in color pigments for tattoos are a health risk.

The study supported jointly by the German Federal Chemical and Veterinary Department's found that the ingredients used in 38 different colors/pigments commonly used in tattoos, over one-third were found to be carcinogenic, containing cancer-causing agents. Also, approximately 30 percent were found to contain substances that were "banned."

The report by the Associated Foreign Press did not make clear if the banned substances were those from the banned substance list issued by WADA, from the EU, or both.