World
Everyone’s Juicing Steroids
Latest raids in the US of undercover steroid labs suggest the market for steroids goes way beyond the world of elite athletes 
 
Earlier this month, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced that it had busted 16 underground labs and seized 134,000 steroid tablets and pills, 8,200 liters of injectable steroid liquid (that’s 140 kegs worth), and 1,400 pounds of the raw powder from which steroids are made. In Arizona alone, four labs and 150,000 doses of all types were taken by DEA agents in an undercover operation that spanned 20 states and four foreign countries. 
 
There are, clearly, a lot of steroids out in the world. Investigators suspect there are hundreds more labs churning out performance-enhancing drugs. According to the DEA, most of the material used to make steroids isn’t even in the U.S. – it’s in China. As big as it was, the DEA inquiry offers a view through the smallest of keyholes of this illicit business.
 
One reasonable inference from the amount of steroids seized might be: there must be a heck of a lot of athletes who are doping. And that’s true.
 
This month, the British Parliament released a previously unpublished study by the World Anti-Doping Agency that used anonymous surveys to estimate the prevalence of doping at some recent competitions. It estimated that between 29 and 34 percent of the athletes at the 2011 world championships in track and field in Daegu, South Korea used performance-enhancing drugs that season. As many as half of the competitors at the 2011 Pan-Arab Games in Doha, Qatar had recently juiced, the study found. (I was at those Pan-Arab Games, and privy to the barely noted fact that nine gold medals were stripped before the event even ended.) 
 
Amazingly enough, world-class athletes are merely the fine layer of frost atop the iceberg’s tip when it comes to the steroid economy. 
 
To illustrate, and speaking of ice, take Iceland. As part of this recent operation, a lab was busted there. Iceland sent five athletes total, all skiers, to the last Olympics. (Compare that to nine people who were arrested at the steroid lab.) It’s unlikely that an underground steroid economy in Iceland subsists on elite athletes alone. So who is driving this tremendous market?
 
One answer is non-elite athletes. In years of reporting on performance-enhancing drugs, I’ve frequently been asked why athletes in smaller sports or facing lower stakes would dope, given that there’s little money in it for them. 
 
My answer: people like being good at sports, and anyone who has ever scheduled their life around training for a sport, no matter how big or small, would never have to ask that question. 
 
My alma mater, Columbia University, launched a steroid probe into the football team way back in 1988, when the team had not won a game in five years. Two players admitted to steroid use as part of that internal investigation.
 
More than a decade later, while I was a Columbia student-athlete, two students were busted for selling steroids on campus, and one claimed he sold to an athlete. 
 
This is a university that gives no athletic scholarships and whose greatest sports successes (post-Lou Gehrig) have come in the pool, on the track, and in the fencing hall. I happen to know about these incidents only because I went there. And still, my reporting has shown that there are nowhere near enough sub-elite athletes to account for the booming trade in illegal steroids. So, again, who is driving this market? 
 
In my observation, the main customers for what’s being churned out of the illegal labs the DEA took down are gym-goers who want to get stronger and look different, supplemented by people in professions where physical strength is prized, such as police officers and soldiers.
 
For a 2008 Sports Illustrated article on steroids that I co-wrote with L. Jon Wertheim, I spent several days in England with a man named Tony Fitton. Despite not having a college degree, in the 1980s Fitton was given a faculty position at Auburn University, in the National Strength Research Center. 
 
Fitton was already well-versed in steroid use. Years earlier, he had disrupted a study on the training effects of steroids when he began buying the… Continue Reading…
 
Courtesy: ProPublica

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Home healthcare firm raises $37.5 mn
South Asia's home healthcare pioneer Portea Medical on Sunday announced raising $37.5 million (Rs.247 crore) from venture funds to expand its reach across India and the region.
 
Venture capital firm Accel led the second round (series B) of funding, in which International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank group, Qualcomm Ventuires and Ventureast participated.
 
"The latest investment will be used to fuel our expansion from 24 cities across India and in other markets in the region, including Malaysia where we are providing healthcare services at home in four cities," the company said in a statement here.
 
Portea raised $9 million in the first round of funding from Accel, Qualcomm Ventures and Ventureast in December 2013.
 
"The fresh investment from marquee investors reflects our prospects of building a leading consumer healthcare brand in the region," said Portea chief executive Meena Ganesh.
 
The company plans to hire an additional 5,000 employees over the next 18 months, taking its headcount to 8,000 by 2016 in line with its growth plans across the region.
 
Portea's medical staff, including doctors and nurses visits about 60,000 patients a month in 24 cities across the country.
 
"Over the last 18 months, we served thousands of patients and helped their families deal with healthcare challenges by making primary care accessible and affordable," Ganesh said.
 
According to IFC's venture capital head in South Asia Pravan Malhotra, Portea's model of providing affordable and quality care for patients in their homes ensures that hospital infrastructure and beds can be utilised for critical cases and procedures.
 
Besides offering attendants and physiotherapists, the company provides lab samples and medical equipment on hire, bringing healthcare services to a patient's doorstep.
 
"As there is a huge need to offer an in-home healthcare option in India and other emerging markets, Portea's service improves outcomes by combining trained physicians and nurses with technology," said Accel India head Arnu Mathew.
 
The company has over 40 hospitals as partners and a network of referring physicians across the country.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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More Power to Your Device!
How to select a power-bank that would save your day
 
With speedier processors and more RAM (random access memory), mobile handsets are becoming faster every day. Although the new-generation hardware consumes less power, the battery, which allows the show to go on, is not getting smarter. So, you will find smartphone users searching for a charging point all the time. There is another option too. Use a power-bank to recharge your mobile devices. This comes handy, especially if you travel a lot and do not have time and opportunity to recharge your mobile device. 
 
A power-bank is a portable device that can supply power through USB (universal serial bus) using the stored energy of its built-in batteries. This is similar to an inverter we use at homes and offices as a backup for electricity disruptions. There are thousands of power-banks available in the market selling for a few bucks to some thousand rupees. So how can one choose a right power-bank?
 
First, check the capacity of the mobile battery, which is denoted in milliampere hour (mAh). So, if your device battery shows 2,300mAh, it means that it can hold that much energy charge. In this case, you need to buy a power-bank with minimum 2,300mAh so that it can provide at least one full recharge for your mobile device.
 
Second, check the battery output. It will be denoted on the battery in volts (V). Normally, it is below 5V or/and 2.0A. However, since most new mobile devices have adopted this as a standard, you need not worry too much about it even if your device shows numbers below this. 
 
Now, an important question: How many times do you want to recharge your device/s? If you are planning to recharge a single device, you can either go for a power-bank that would give you one or two full recharges. If you want to recharge more than one device, you need to take the cumulative energy value (total of battery capacity) of these devices and choose accordingly. However, ensure that the power-bank has additional charging cable and connecting points for simultaneous charging of your devices. 
 
Also, while deciding on the capacity of the power-bank, do consider the average health of the battery and conversion rate. Normally, both are considered at about 80% or 0.8 of the battery capacity. A simple formula thus would be:
 
Battery capacity/0.8 (average health)/0.8 (conversion rate) x n (the number of times you need to recharge the device). 
 
From this example, 2,300mAh/ 0.8/0.8 x 2=7,200 (rounded off). So for a device with a battery capacity of 2,300mAh, you need to have a power-bank of about 7,200mAh capacity for two full recharges.
 
Which brand should one buy? This is a complicated question because, until recently, there were hardly any standard brands in power-banks available in India. Although these power-banks are available at a throwaway price, I would not recommend these for two simple reasons. One, the after sales support; and, second, the quality of the power-bank, including the battery itself. Remember, dubious batteries tend to heat a lot and may cause explosion, in rare cases. 
 
While unbranded power-banks are available at cheap rates, known brands, like Sony, Samsung, Lenovo and Asus, command a higher price. The launch of power-bank from Mi has completely changed the scenario and several top brands are now selling power-banks at a reasonable price. For example, a 10,400mAh power-bank from Asus costs about Rs1,699 and Lenovo sells at around Rs2,297. At the same time, Mi sells the same capacity power-bank at just Rs999. Even Ambrane, PowerXcel also sell it at Rs999. 
 
When you buy a branded power-bank, you get peace of mind and some additional features like metal casing, smart-control and charging-discharging chips as well as protection from overcharging and over-discharge. I can say from personal experience that Mi power-bank is one of the best for regular usage. It has ample power (10,400mAh) and comes with an aluminium casing and smart-chips. If you want to buy some other brand, check, if it has similar features. 

 

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COMMENTS

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

1 year ago

Before buying these power banks for the mobile, one has to see their changeability and durability.

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