British Olympic skier Alain Baxter had his bronze medal taken away after a post-race drug test showed traces of methamphetamine
In March, British Olympic skier Alain Baxter had his slalom bronze medal [awarded at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics] taken away from him after a post-race drug test showed traces of methamphetamine in his blood. Baxter claims that he tested positive because he used a US version of a Vicks inhaler, which, unlike the UK version, contains L-methamphetamine. Although his ban was cancelled on appeal, efforts to get his medal reinstated were unsuccessful, despite support from the British Olympic Association; his appeal had been based on L-methamphetamine being a decongestant with negligible performance-enhancing properties. The other isomer of methamphetamine (D-amphetamine) does have performance-enhancing properties but is absent from the inhaler concerned.
Chemistry in Britain (May 2002)
Ed. In November 2009, The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games announced GSK the Official Laboratory Services Provider for the London 2012 Games. GSK is providing facilities and equipment in a new purpose-built laboratory in Harlow (opened on 19 January 2012) to enable the Drug Control Centre at King’s College London to operate a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited satellite laboratory. Over 6000 drug tests are expected to be carried out over the course of the Olympic and Paralympic Games by a 150-strong team of scientists led by David Cowan.