Athletes who fail dope tests have traditionally relied on the excuse that, facing a bout of asthma, or perhaps seeking to boost their penis size, they innocently ingested an "over the counter" medicine or food product which, unbeknown to them, contained testosterone or other banned substance.
It has long been suspected that far from being innocent, these athletes were in fact merely using the medicine excuse as a last-ditch attempt to escape lengthy bans. It has now emerged, however, that a simple genetic disorder, prevalent in those of athletic build, makes them far more likely to misread labels and lists of ingredients, putting them at grave risk of accidentally taking a banned substance.
This medical breakthrough brought an immediate wave of relief among those athletes recently accused of doping offences. The nine unnamed Australian athletes currently facing bans for drug use at the Commowealth Games said in a joint interview today: "We happened by chance to venture into a chemist a month before the Games and purchased, on a whim, a bulk supply of asthma medicine, as you do. Imagine our horror when our A and B samples all tested positive for steroids - we were mortified, we never once thought of looking at the label!"
Olympic and world 400m champion LaShawn Merritt, recently suspended for two years for doping, spoke movingly of a similar ordeal. "I remember feeling around in the larder for some parmesan cheese to sprinkle on a pizza. I had no idea at the time, but what a shock it was to find out I'd actually picked up, completely by accident, a jar of Epitestosterone, a well-known masking agent used to cover evidence of testosterone supplements - what a prize idiot I felt! At least I can prove now it really was an honest mistake.'
When asked if the same condition could be responsible for footballers forgetting to show up for random drug tests, forgetting to honour their overpaid contracts and forgetting to remain loyal to the clubs which have looked after them, researchers said "No, that's because they're a bunch of thick, selfish, cheating bastards."