Bad news for chronic deer penis ingesters planning on participating in the Beijing Olympics — you'll have to find something else to help you win a gold medal this year. Yes, deer penis and all sorts of other crazy Chinese voodoo medicines have officially been put on the no-no list by the Beijing IOC because some of the ancient traditional performance boosters contain high quantities of banned substances like ephedrine. (Turtle blood, caterpillar fungus, animal hoofs, leopard bone wine, etc.)
So, most Chinese athletes have stopped using. Except Yao Ming, who's apparently mainlining deer penis like a sweaty junkie in order to bounce back from his foot surgery. Ming's agent in China, Eric Zhang Mingji (rhymes with "fling-shee") says that Yao ain't stopping. "He will be taking Chinese medicines but hasn't started on the treatment yet,'' he tells Bloomberg News.
Will Yao actually risk disgracing his country? Still too early to tell. But we've all read enough Jim Carroll and William s. Burroughs to know how overpowering and soul-erasing an addiction to deer penis can be. Somebody should really intervene if they want to have Yao in uniform in '08.