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'Exercise pill' could take the work out of workouts

August 01, 2008|Alan Zarembo | Times Staff Writer

To Evans' surprise, the experiment worked. When sedentary mice were fed the drug daily for four weeks, they were able to run an average of 1,795 feet on a treadmill, 44% farther than mice that had received a placebo.

The researchers now plan to test whether AICAR or GW1516 can increase endurance beyond the maximum that can be achieved by intensive training alone.

In the meantime, Evans said, his team has developed detection protocols for both compounds and their breakdown products and turned them over to the World Anti-Doping Agency in Montreal.

He said it was unclear whether the tests would be in place for the Olympics.

Frederic Donze, a spokesman for the association, said in an e-mail that the organization "does not indicate when it implements new detection means or methods."

But, he added, it is not crucial for the tests to be in place now.

"A number of anti-doping organizations, including the International Olympic Committee, store doping control samples of their events for eight years for potential future retesting and detection as anti-doping science advances," Donze said.

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alan.zarembo@latimes.com

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