Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

No Holds Barred: Dr. Margaret Goodman of VADA on Anti-Doping Education, Testosterone, and the Drug Culture 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Dr. Margaret Goodman, the president and board chairman of VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.

VADA is perhaps best known for working with both boxers and mixed martial arts fighters on a voluntary, state-of-the-art drug testing regimen, which includes random, unannounced blood and urine tests. Among the fighters currently working with VADA are boxer Nonito Donaire and MMA fighters B.J. Penn and Rory MacDonald.

While this drug testing has been in most of the headlines regarding VADA, the main focus of the organization actually has been education. Towards this goal, VADA has just announced a partnership with the National Center for Drug Free Sport's Resource Exchange Center.

The Resource Exchange Center, also known as the REC Center, is free to access, and describes itself as "a subscription-based service that exists to provide up-to-date, confidential and accurate information on dietary supplements, dangerous and/or banned (prohibited) substances, and provide interactive tools and educational materials to empower athletes to make healthy and responsible decisions."

We spoke with Dr. Margaret Goodman by phone Tuesday about the latest developments for VADA, including this new partnership with the Resource Exchange Center.

"The main point of VADA is not to test athletes. It's to be an educational resource," said Dr. Goodman in this interview. "And certainly associating with Drug Free Sports's REC Center is going to be huge for us and huge for anybody that wants to take advantage of it."

The issue of the use of synthetic testosterone, which is an anabolic steroid, as a performance-enhancing drug is also making headlines involving athletes in the Olympics, baseball, MMA, and numerous other sporting events. Dr. Goodman noted that the potential harmful side effects of such usage, including damage to the liver, kidneys, heart, brain, and bones, are rarely discussed. She called on the Association of Boxing Commissions to establish a panel of experts to review cases where athletes have applied for a therapeutic use exemption for testosterone, instead of the individual, local commissions just making such decisions on their own.

We also discussed the battle to promote clean sport, combatting the growing drug culture, and much more.

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