Athletes turned off by the latest biotech breakthroughs can try this recipe: Strip down and rub mustard oil all over your body. While exploring the role skin plays in the production of red blood cells, Randy Johnson's team of researchers at UC San Diego found that rubbing mustard oil on mice caused spikes in natural EPO production, and that led to increased red blood cell levels. It's unclear how much mustard oil a human athlete would need to enhance performance, or how much mustard oil could lead to strokes and heart attacks. With all the crazy, complicated doping schemes out there could the journey to the top of the podium simply require a trip to the grocery store?I'm sure the cadre of writers at this site have varying opinions on the ethics of using so-called performance-enhancing substances. And at the risk of you collectively lumping our opinions into a singular position on the matter, I'll briefly give you my take: it's a bullshit crusade. Whatever testing, developed, or implemented, they'll never catch everyone. And the lengths to which these agencies are willing to go, at the expense of the personal rights of athletes, would seem unconscionable in any other walk of life. But mustard oil...I could get down with that. Cheats of Strength: 10 Next-Gen Olympic Doping Methods [Wired]
Looking for some cutting-edge ways to improve athletic performance without failing a drug test? Aren't we all! With failed PED tests expected to be at a record high for these Beijing Games, testers aren't exactly resting on their laurels. They're trying to find ways to test for the next generation of drugs for the London Games in 2012, which include everything from artificial blood to household mustard oil. Yeah, mustard oil.