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Science
FRONTIERS
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Wednesday 21:00-21:30
Frontiers explores new ideas in science, meeting the researchers who see the world through fresh eyes and challenge existing theories - as well as hearing from their critics. Many such developments create new ethical and moral questions and Frontiers is not afraid to consider these.
radioscience@bbc.co.uk
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Listen to 12 May
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Wednesday 12 May  2004
Athletes on Starter's Blocks

Sports Doping

Cheating in sport is not a new phenomenon. What is new is the lengths that some athletes will go to win a medal.

Recent doping scandals have highlighted the sophistication and scientific know-how that is now going into illicit drug making, and the win-at-any-cost philosophy.

From designer steroids to the threat of genetic therapy to improve muscle mass - some athletes will go to terrifying lengths to beat the system and win the money and the glory.

But behind every sport doping scandal lies a team of dedicated and resolute scientists who are determined to catch the cheats.

One Step Ahead

Don Catlin is a man with a mission: to catch the cheats who are giving sport a bad name.

At the Olympic testing facility he runs in LA, Catlin works night and day with his team of dedicated scientists to stay one step ahead of the athletes and coaches who will go to almost any lengths to cheat the system and beat the testers.

It was in June last year that Catlin’s lab discovered a new and previously undetectable designer steroid called THG - a discovery that was to cost Dwayne Chambers dearly only a few months later.

As Peter Evans discovers when he visits Catlin in his carefully guarded laboratories, you underestimate the cheats at your peril.

Catlin has had to use cunning and intuition beyond the standard scientific techniques to keep up with the those in sport who are tempted by illegal and often dangerous drugs.

Peter Evans talks to the scientists at the frontline, those battling to stay one step ahead of the unscrupulous few, and to keep sport clean.
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