Drugs in Sport – this time it’s me

It’s well-known I hate drug cheats. It’s come up a couple of times and was one of my earlier posts,

Recent developments now mean get to have a taste of what steroids might be capable of. Many will be aware that last Friday I had a preliminary diagnosis of a Tumor in my head. I had a loss of sensation on the left side of my face, loss of function, dribbling, slurred speech, headaches. Generally symptoms that could be ascribed to a Stroke, a Palsy or a Tumor. I’d had the symptoms or some of them for maybe as long as a year but most for just the last two weeks. It was no surprise to have a Tumor diagnosed.

Both Ann and I have varied science backgrounds with combined degrees in Chemistry, Statistics, Biology and a Masters in Ecology. Ann’s job is liasing with all the 1st year health science students  (our doctors). So the words Tumor to us aren’t a death sentence, more evidence and consultation would be required for that. However, Brain Tumor was about #2 on my list of what was wrong even before the initial diagnosis.

Our Health system works well when you’re in trouble. Within an hour of the initial consultation a Neurologist (Associate Professor Graham Hammond-Tooke) had ordered an extensive list of bloods to be taken. I assume the results came back on Monday, as mid-morning I was called for a 2pm appointment. A further hour of tests resulted in a diagnosis of Bell’s Palsy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell’s_palsy). Bell’s Palsy is a diagnosis by elimination, by that I mean it’s what’s left if other obvious things don’t fit. essentially I am missing several symptoms of both a stroke and tumor. Lopsided smile broke out, much like the photo on wiki. The doctor appeared dissappointed that it wasn’t a tumor, he admitted he was as he would then know what he was dealing with. So there is still some degree of uncertainty, but there is no rush for an MRI, that will happen sometime in the future. For now, I am an experiment in Steroids in sports.

I am on a solid dose of common garden variety Prednisone which is a corticosteroid. They have a variety of uses, but in a sporting sense they are used to reduce inflammation. As such they are banned under the “Prohibited  In-Competition” section S9 of the WADA code/list.  The same rules Dirty Lance used when he was busted at the Tour of California one year and got a back dated therapeutic use exemption once they’d made up a bullshit story about saddle sores. The relevant WADA documents are attached.


I’ve now had two 60mg doses and my experiment of 1 suggests it helps. Not on my gammy face just yet. But on all the other aches, pains and niggles that I’ve been suffering from. I’ve had one run on drugs, my 4th run in a row. Saturday, Sunday and Monday were all quite pathetic. But now.
Rib Pain – GONE, Ankle Pain – mostly gone, Hip – GONE, Hammy – mostly gone. Mentally I feel like I want to run harder for the 1st time in quite a while. So bring on Waihi 60k this weekend. I’ll be glowing like a Dennis DeMonchy head torch on the start line last year.

I’ve written to the team at Total Sport to let them know the situation. I could start the process of getting a TUE but can’t be bothered in the short time available. What I have asked is to just be allowed to run but excluded from any merit awards. I’m really only interested in having some fun, telling some lies, mostly getting laughed at and exploring new terrain. If they’d prefer me not to run, then I’m fine with that as well. It just means I’ll go on course with Dazzler and yell abuse at people. In the long run, if I’m on an extended course of drugs I’ll get the TUE.

But until I do. To paraphrase K Day, “Dirty fucking drug cheat.” I’ll take that, as it sure beats Brain Tumor.

One more thing, the guy in the photo on the Bell’s Palsy link. Quite accurate.

8 responses

  1. Holy shit Matt. Love the positive attitude and I’ll see you at the Waihi for a chin wag. Be cool:)

    1. peaches – ,how are you buddy, are you camping, drinking and telling inappropriate stories with us????

  2. It’s a bugger that you have developed the Palsy
    And always mildly unsettling that the medical fraternity can’t be certain what is wrong.
    But fantastic that you feel like running long distances again. Even if it is drug assisted.
    I am hoping to be able to start running again (after 12 months of undefined illness) now that I have stopped taking beta blockers. I am still taking 4 other drugs, and don’t give a damn about WADA, I just want to run.

    1. Sorry Haydn, you got chucked in Spam for a while.

      1. Story of my life Matt:)

  3. Yikes Matt, wishing you good health as soon as it comes (and fun on the drugs in the meantime)

  4. Never made it matt! Can’t wait to catch up with you guys over Summer sometime. Hope your well.

  5. Hi Matt sorry to hear of your health issues, i was wondering why i didn’t c u at the Mazda 12hr. Anyways all the best on a return to full health and see u on the trails in the future. Dom

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