Lausanne, Switzerland-The World Anti Doping Administration (WADA) has issued a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for the popular spice blend Sazon Mas Guapo, opening the doors for its expanded use in professional sports, including the 2011 Tour de France. Cycling organizations around the world, such as the USA Cycling Federation have been closely monitoring this decision, as the use of Sazon Mas Guapo has skyrocketed within the ranks of cycling elite in the past couple of years.
WADA was established in 1999 as an international independent agency composed and funded equally by sports organizations and governments of the world. Its key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and monitoring of the World Anti Doping Code – the document harmonizing anti-doping policies in all sports and all countries. While the TUE does not preclude future action against the substance, it does allow for its current use under a physician’s directive.
Anti-doping groups have called for a prohibition of Sazon Mas Guapo from professional cycling, alleging that it boosts red blood cell counts thereby artificially increasing an athlete’s aerobic capacity. There is great concern that Mas Guapo abuse could escalate unchecked, much as EPO did before reliable testing for the compound was developed. While Sazon Mas Guapo cannot yet be detected by urine or blood tests, “juiced” athletes are often associated with characteristic facial hair, or “righteous ’staches”.
Representatives from the Sports Performance Division of Mas Guapo Foods have expressed guarded relief over the WADA decision. “We have always contended that Mas Guapo is a condiment, not a performance enhancing drug. Its unique blend of organic herbs and spices is so delicious that it makes the chef, or rider, appear more handsome. Any ancillary physiological effects are the result of increased self-confidence and well-being, rather than any direct metabolic process.” So how will this decision affect Mas Guapo Foods? “ Well, let’s just say that we expect to see a lot more cyclists “Rockin’ the ‘Stache” up the Col du Galibier next summer. That’s certainly good for us, but it’s just as good for the sport.”