Case and Commentary
Oct 2000

Testing Olympic Athletes for Drug Use

Audiey Kao, MD, PhD
Virtual Mentor. 2000;2(10):90. doi: 10.1001/virtualmentor.2000.2.10.hlaw1-0010.


Dr. T is the team physician for the Utopian College basketball team. The team has been highly competitive during their regular season and has a good chance of receiving a bid from the NIT. He has been treating AC, one of the starting members of the team and a star player. Both the student body and the coaching staff feel AC has a serious shot at being drafted by a professional team. AC has been suffering from exertional chest pain after a couple of strenuous practice sessions. Although AC has dismissed the pain as anxiety-related, he did faint after one of the practice sessions prompting the team physician to request that AC be examined by a cardiologist. AC claims he feels fine and is concerned that if he sees a cardiologist his chances of playing may be derailed. AC's family history indicates that his paternal grandfather had a premature sudden death due to a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Question for Discussion

  • What are Dr. T's ethical duties toward AC?

See what the AMA Code of Medical Ethics says about this topic in Opinion 3.06 Sports medicine. American Medical Association. Code of Medical Ethics 1998-1999 Edition. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association; 1998.


Virtual Mentor. 2000;2(10):90.



The people and events in this case are fictional. Resemblance to real events or to names of people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. The viewpoints expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.