Floyd’s lawyer says his client is innocent and Marion’s negative B-sample probably doesn’t prove a thing. But neither is the big doping story this week. Check this:
Updated: Sep. 7, 2006, 5:29 PM ET
Stem cells could be next generation of sports doping
LONDON — For athletes, stem cells have much more than the potential to cure disease and save lives — they may be able to heal injuries, boost strength and endurance, and provide a lasting edge over the competition.
If it sounds like stem cells are next frontier for doping in sports, it’s because they very well may be.
“There’s a spin-off technology from stem cells that could produce super-athletes,” said Paul Griffiths, managing director of CryoGenesis International, which stores umbilical cord blood in its bank for potential later therapeutic use.
He thinks injecting stem cells into healthy muscles might increase their size and even restore them to their youthful capacity.
“You could potentially find a 40-year-old man with 20-year-old legs,” Griffiths said. (Story.)
Know what? Here’s sports doping technology that I’m all for. I’ll let the international sporting establishment deal with setting the rules and prosecuting the cheaters, but in the meantime, can somebody hook me up with whoever is the BALCO of the stem-cell doping underworld?
It’s not often that I read a story that has this kind of effect on me. I’ve played a lot of games over the past 40 years and have a lot of mileage on my legs. My ankles are holding up okay, I guess, but my knees are shot all to hell (this is my good knee). While I deal with it and soldier on, playing as much in the way of soccer and hoops as I can, the price I pay is fairly constant pain. When I do something as simple as stand up, people standing ten feet away can hear the popping and squishing in my knees. It feels about like it sounds.
Obviously I’m not the athlete I once was. I can live with that. I don’t want stem-cell doping so I can play in the NBA (that would be some bad-ass technology if I had it, but hey, it wasn’t my knees that helped me “preserve my amateur status” 25 years ago). No, I’d just like to be pain-free again. It’s that simple. If the therapy caused some improvement in performance that would be great – maybe I’d score a couple more goals a season for my 40+ team.
Maybe all “performance-enhancing technology” ain’t bad, huh? So let’s get our research on, shall we?