Channing Cash is an accomplished Team USA Paracanoe Athlete, and she tells us the incredible series of events that led to her becoming a professional athlete. We cover her early childhood in a small village in Laos, the many struggles she has overcome, constructive ways to cope with roadblocks in performance, her experiences with anti-doping education and testing programs as an athlete, challenges athletes face with inadvertent ingestion of banned substances in supplements and other consumables, and more.
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Dr. Richard Holt is Professor in Diabetes and Endocrinology within Medicine at the University of Southampton. In our interview, he discusses what growth hormone is, its normal physiological functions, the mechanisms through which it may enhance athletic performance, potential side effects and dangers of doping with growth hormone, challenges in detecting growth hormone abuse, the history of growth hormone testing in sport, the new innovative growth hormone testing methods he has helped develop, and more.
Danielle Moncrieffe, PhD is a Research Associate and Partnership for Clean Competition Research Fellow at the Drug Control Centre at King’s College London. She has been developing novel liquid chromatography methods to detect growth hormone doping by quantifying the biomarker procollagen III amino-terminal propeptide (P-III-NP). Danielle explains what P-III-NP is, its clinical relevance, and its relevance in anti-doping. She also shares her experiences as a PCC Fellow and the benefits of this fellowship.
Dr. Mario Thevis is Vice President of Research, Professor, and Head of the Centre for Preventive Doping Research at the German Sport University of Cologne. He is also Director of the European Monitoring Center for Emerging Doping Agents, a forensic chemist, Editor-in-Chief of Drug Testing & Analysis, and a PCC scientist. He discusses challenges detecting microdosing of prohibited substances, new drug tests being developed using exhaled breath samples, recent breath testing field trials, and more.
Dr. Tessa Muir, B.V.Sc., is the former Anti-Doping Manager at British Horseracing Authority. She is an equine veterinarian, a Veterinary Officer with the British Army, and a Regulatory Veterinarian at Racing Victoria. She discusses current doping issues, recent doping cases, and key anti-doping programs and strategies to detect, deter, and prevent doping in horseracing. Tessa also shares important similarities and differences between equine and human sports for anti-doping and other integrity concerns.
Dr. Nicolas Voelcker is Scientific Director of the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, Professor at Monash University, and Science Leader at the CSIRO. He shares how applying his expertise in nanomaterials to anti-doping allowed him to work on exciting research projects and take advantage of great funding opportunities. He also describes the anti-doping testing applications of a porous silicon nanomaterial he works on, and how this material is used with mass spectrometry to detect prohibited substances.
Dr. Steve Elliott is a former Scientific Executive Director at Amgen, an expert on the process of creating new red blood cells (i.e. erythropoiesis), and a champion of anti-doping. He dives into what erythropoietin (EPO) is, how it’s made in the body, the impacts of not having enough EPO, and how EPO abuse can enhance athletic performance. We also cover tests developed to detect EPO and recombinant EPO abuse, and the red flags scientists look for to determine if athletes have been doping with EPO.
Bonnie Ford is a senior writer for ESPN.com who has over two decades of experience covering sports and anti-doping. She shares challenges associated with making anti-doping stories interesting and accessible for general audiences as well as the pressures and stresses of sports journalism. Bonnie also discusses guidelines for responsible journalism when covering sensitive anti-doping cases, potential pros and cons of making doping cases public, and the evolution of her anti-doping reporting over the years.
Jim Scherr is the former CEO of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and he is the inaugural CEO of World Lacrosse. In this interview, he talks about the history of the sport of lacrosse, current and long-term goals for World Lacrosse, lacrosse anti-doping and athlete education programs, anti-doping challenges associated with being a growing sport, his experiences as an Olympic and World Champion wrestler, his prior roles with USA Wrestling and the USOC, the evolution of anti-doping, and more.
Dr. Jim Dalton is Dean and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Michigan. He breaks down what exactly selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) are, how they work, and how they are being used for both therapeutic and doping purposes. He also talks about barriers to getting FDA approval of SARMs, issues with supplements containing SARM contaminants, and his experiences being on the PCC’s Scientific Advisory Board with other leading anti-doping scientists.
Dr. Daniel Eichner is President and Director of the Sports Medicine Research & Testing Laboratory (SMRTL) in Salt Lake City. He discusses the benefits and limitations of using dried blood spot sampling and sample collection via exhaled breath and oral fluids, as well as recent field trials with these technologies. He also shares his experiences running a WADA-accredited lab that does research and routine testing, developing new tests for biomarkers of doping, and current anti-doping research priorities.
Matt is a Doping Control Officer (DCO) with Drug Free Sport international, and he shares a candid account of what it’s like to be a DCO. He discusses unexpected occurrences during doping control missions, the behind-the-scenes roles and responsibilities of DCOs working in the field, the rigorous training process required to become a DCO, the variety of challenges he faces in collecting and protecting the integrity of samples, improvements in doping control processes and technology over time, and more!
Dr. Kelsey Erickson is the SafeSport Director at USA Cycling and an expert on the psychology of doping and whistleblowing. She discusses the process of reporting misconduct in sport through the SafeSport program, evidence-based doping education, how the people and the environment surrounding athletes impact athletes’ behavior, the bystander effect, using research to inform policies and platforms for whistleblowing, and challenges in translating academic research to applications in the real world.
Yuliya Stepanova is an elite runner who specializes in the 800m track event, and Vitaly Stepanov is a former employee of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. Both served as whistleblowers helping to expose doping and related issues in sport in Russia. They discuss their firsthand experiences being an athlete and working within a system that supported doping in sport, the challenges and consequences of being whistleblowers, the impacts of their actions, what they wish they had done differently, and more.