Pro athletes can rejoice in knowing that they no longer have to choose between their careers and maintaining their potential multimillion dollar image.
News that Propecia will be taken off the World Anti-Doping Agency’s “banned” list has been received with cheers from the world’s follically-challenged athletes, but is it too little too late for those who have already suffered career shattering blows from the anti-doping agency?
Some athletes say that it is.
New Zealand tennis pro Mark Nelson’s career has all but grinded to a halt after being banned for two years just because he wanted to save his hair. His world ranking has dropped dramatically, making it very difficult to recoup from his forced hiatus from the sport.
Other professional athletes who have tested positive for Propecia in recent years include NHL goalie Jose Theodore, Brazilian soccer legend Romário, Italian golfer Alessandro Pissilli, Zach Lund the U.S. skeleton racer, and German wheelchair basketball player Ahmet Coskun who was banned from the Paralympics after testing positive for the drug.
Several of the athletes who were banned say that not only were they publicly accused of “cheating” by the media, but they were mocked for jeopardizing their careers for the sake of “vanity.”
WADA’s chief of medical research, Olivier Rabin, said that when finasteride was added to the banned list in 2005 “science did not allow laboratories to reliably circumvent the masking properties of finasteride and other alpha reductase inhibitors” on anabolic steroids.
He added, “The masking effect of alpha reductase inhibitors remains. However following recent advances in anti-doping science, anti-doping laboratories have now been able to render it ineffective through close consideration of steroid profiles.”
As a result of these findings the WADA agreed that this class of substances can now be removed from the list starting on January 1, 2009.
We at The Bald Truth see this as a victory for our balding brethren, and hope that the reputation and careers of those that were unjustly banned can be salvaged.
Host of The Bald Truth Radio Show
Founder, American Hair Loss Association
Founder and Director of Consumer/Patient Affairs, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons (IAHRS.ORG)