British Olympians were used as guinea pigs to test an experimental substance in a secret UK Sport project costing hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money in a bid to enhance their performance at London 2012, an MoS investigation has found.
The so-called ‘novel nutritional intervention’ was fed to medal hopefuls during competition despite only being available for use in ‘research’, and there being no guarantees it wouldn’t breach anti-doping rules or that it was free of side-effects.
UK Sport prepared waivers freeing themselves of any blame if anything went wrong and non-disclosure agreements banning athletes from talking about it.
Tranches of documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday show that 91 elite-level sportspeople across eight Olympic sports were given the product — an energy-boosting drink branded DeltaG, then at the first stage of in-competition testing in humans.
The substance, a synthetic version of a naturally occurring body acid called ketones, was originally developed by scientists at Oxford University with $10million of funding from the American Department of Defence so US Special Forces could operate for longer behind enemy lines with fewer rations.
UK Sport, the government agency responsible for funding Olympic and Paralympic sport in Britain, produced a ‘participant information sheet’ to accompany the project application which read: ‘UK Sport does not guarantee, promise, assure or represent that use of ketone esters is absolutely World Anti-Doping Code compliant and therefore excludes all responsibility for use of the ketone ester.’ (continue reading on The Mail on Sunday where this article was published).