Tom Werner received a B.S. in chemistry from Juniata College and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from MIT. After postdocs at Harvard and Tufts Medical Schools, he taught for 36 years at Union College (Schenectady, NY), retiring as Florence B. Sherwood Professor of Physical Sciences Emeritus. Werner was Principal Investigator on several external grants awarded for the support of undergraduate research including funding from Petroleum Research Fund, Research Corporation, NSF-ILI, NSF-AIRE and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. Werner served as Chair of the Board of Governors of the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), as Director of the NCUR/LANCY Initiative and as a NCUR Board Member. In 2002, he received the American Chemical Society Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution. Near the end of his Union career, he developed a course entitled “Chemistry and Athletic Performance” that combined his expertise in analytical chemistry and interest in sports with the goal to teach chemistry from a more socially relevant perspective. The course syllabus was developed with input from Dr. Don Catlin and his staff at the UCLA Olympic Analytical Lab and Anti-Doping Research, Inc.
Doping in Sports: How chemists catch the “cheaters” (sometimes).
Doping is to sport what criminality is to society, and there will always be criminality in society.
- Jacques Rogge, former president, International Olympic Committee
The alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs has tainted athletic accomplishment since the beginning of sporting competition. Contemporary examples of this sports “doping” problem include pro cycling being brought to its knees by doping allegations that resulted in the loss of sponsorship, Major League Baseball the BALCO case and the Mitchell Report pummeled Major League Baseball with evidence of steroid use and drug testing concerns remain a higher profile issue at the Olympics. The talk will focus on the methods that chemists use to detect sports doping with substances such as amphetamine, steroids, human growth hormone and EPO. Limitations of these methods will be discussed, along with a listing of some of the enormous challenges facing chemists as newer doping substances and methods become available. The talk is based on a course entitled Chemistry and Athletic Performance, which was developed by the speaker with the aid of Dr. Don Catlin and staff at the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory and Anti-Doping Research, Inc.