Last December, Beaverton-based athletics star Shelby Houlihan’s Olympic dreams came to an end when she tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone. Houlihan claims she has never taken any performance-enhancing medication and that the failure of the drug test was the result of a pork stomach burrito that she ate in a Beaverton food cart. Pig organs may contain traces of nandrolone, enough for the steroid to show up in drug tests, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency. Houlihan did not name the food cart that served the alleged burrito, so WW go in search of it (“Eat on the go”, July 7, 2021). We found three food carts that match Houlihan’s description and sampled a burrito for each. Here’s what our readers had to say:
Todd Morgan, via Facebook: “Now you have to eat it and take a steroid test to see if it shows up. Come on, reporter, you can’t have a headline like that without following it. If it shows up on yours too, she may have a case.
Jacob Samples, via Facebook: “Seriously, the Olympic committee needs to get their heads out of their elite butt and mitigate these situations / allow an appeal process. A burrito? Seriously!?”
JT, via wweek.com: “This whole story (the runner’s story, not the article) is so BS. I’m a huge fan of the pork and cow innards in Mexican cuisine, and there’s no way a person could mistake carne asada for log. Apples and oranges.
Pete Bunke, via Facebook: “Burritos are the new poppy seed muffins. “
Doubtful, via wweek.com: “Complete the investigation, have five people eat the burrito, get tested, then write a story update.”
@ trevinoraymond8, via Twitter: “As an Olympian, I’m surprised it’s part of her diet. Did she like the burrito?
Léa Belton, via Facebook: “Nobody cares about this burrito.” The real question is when are we going to stop disqualifying athletes based on crap like weed? “
Dan Anderson, via Facebook: “My whole life could be described as a quest for a performance enhancing burrito.”
I appreciate your article which warns us about the dangers of HFCs [Dr. Know, WW, July 7, 2021]. However, as an individual who works in the HVAC industry, I dispute some of your facts. The HVAC system is a closed loop; the only reason it emits refrigerant is if it develops a leak or if someone is tampering with it. You should tell the whole story before you try to convince people that these units normally “emit” HFCs. Still, I wish we could find a great environmentally friendly alternative to what we have.
Dr Know replies: You are correct that under ideal conditions, refrigerant remains in the system until it is removed by a qualified technician. That said, in our less-than-ideal real world, 60% of HFC production is used to replace refrigerant that either slowly escaped or was quickly vented into the afterlife by idiots like me, as I described in my column. It is estimated that half of all HFCs ever produced have already been released into the atmosphere, despite humanity’s best intentions.