[ Editor's Note: Chryste Gaines, MBA, Olympic gold and bronze medal sprinter and former teammate of Marion Jones in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, stated the following in a Dec. 22, 2008 email to in response to the IOC ruling:
"We are being unfairly punished. If the drug testing agencies cannot determine if an athlete is taking performance enhancing drugs how are the teammates supposed to know?... It negates all the family functions, church functions, and social events we missed in the name of winning an Olympic medal." ]
There is a detailed process for appeals and hearings, should sanctions by a sporting organisation be considered. The penalties are severe for drug abuse, trafficking, doping and using prohibited methods. In many sports a second offence for anabolic steroid abuse results in a life ban from the relevant sport.
There are countless enterprises in Australia touting supplements, vitamins, amino acids and herbal extracts to promote health and improved performance. Some supplements such as creatine and amino acids are not 'banned' but the purity of such products must be guaranteed before the athlete is safe from testing positive. The truly risky area is that of herbal extracts and compounds. Some include ephedra which is banned, and the botanic (or Chinese) name may not help the unwary. Similarly guarana contains caffeine, which is 'banned' above a level of 12 microgram/mL in urine.