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Drugs in the Olympics: Insider's Book Tells a Story of Catching Cheaters

HONESDALE, Pa., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- A new book gives young readers a rare look inside a lab that catches athletes who use blood boosters, steroids, and other banned drugs.

The Night Olympic Team is a good primer for everyone who writes about the use of performance-enhancing drugs. ... The glossary alone is worth the price of the book, which seeks to inform kids about the mental, ethical, and physical perils of doping.

-Philip Hersh, Chicago Tribune

The Night Olympic Team: Fighting to Keep Drugs Out of the Games by Caroline Hatton tells the true story of scientists who worked through many nights to test athletes for banned drugs during the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Hatton was a member of the UCLA Olympic Laboratory headed by Dr. Don Catlin, a recognized leader in the science of detecting drugs in sports and a preeminent champion of drug-free sports.

Months before the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City began, the world learned of a new medicine called Aranesp(R) (NESP), which might be misused to enhance performance. The drug was so new that no one had developed a test to detect it. Catlin and his team adapted an existing test to detect the new drug, and they soon found NESP in urine samples from three Olympic cross-country skiers who had received a total of eight medals. The scientists then provided the evidence and expertise needed to award the medals to the rightful winners.

"I wanted to provide children with accessible information before they make decisions about doping, although unfortunately some of them are being doped by adults around them," says Hatton. "I also wanted to reach into the future and address tomorrow's thought leaders. Kids can grasp complex issues, have insights, and be highly idealistic. There are no kids' books on this subject showing scientists in action."

Through The Night Olympic Team, young readers discover the dangers of using banned performance-enhancing drugs and the science of drug testing. Sidebars, appendices, and a substantial glossary inform readers about various banned drugs and provide healthy, drug-free ways to enhance performance. The book makes a strong statement for fair play through drug-free competition.

 

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