FINA, the governing international body for all things aquatic sports, has announced today Jordanian swimmer Nazih Samer Mezayek has received a two-year doping ban for testing positive for the banned substance Nandrolone.
The positive test was found in a random Out of Competition test conducted by the Jordanian Swimming Federation and was effective as of the date of the test – September 10, 2011.
Mezayek is a breaststroker who swam at both the 2009 long course World Championships and the 2010 short course World Championships. His best finish was 50th-place in the 200 short course breaststroke in Dubai in 2010 with a 2:30.86.
Nandrolone is a substance that showed up frequently in positive tests pre-2009, but has apparently gone out of favor with aquatic athletes until this test. It is an anabolic steroid that causes muscle growth, an increased appetite, and increased production of red blood cells, which would subsequently lead to improved athletic performance. Compared to other anabolic steroids, Nandrolone has a greatly reduced liver toxicity, as well as much milder effects on skin and hair conditions. It still carries a severe risk of heart damage, as well as erectile dysfunction.
This was one of the banned substances that 5-time Olympic medal runner Marion Jones admitted to taking during her career. It’s also the steroid that baseball stars Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds have been allegedly injected with.