Gary Wadler, a Long Island internist and an expert on performance-enhancing drugs, and who was also the former chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List and Methods Committee, died Tuesday, according to a Newsday report.
Dr. Wadler was 78 and the Newsday report quoted Wadler’s wife, Nancy, who said that her husband suffered for years from a neurodegenerative disorder, Multiple System Atrophy, and had recently been in hospice care at their apartment.
When the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform called a hearing in Washington D.C. on steroid use and doping in Major League Baseball in March, 2005 – where former players Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling appeared before committee members and when McGwire famously said, “I’m not here to talk about the past” – Wadler was one of the several anti-doping experts who was called to testify.
“Gary was a fierce advocate for clean sport – he was selfless in his service and his impact on the movement is immeasurable,” Travis Tygart, the CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, told the Daily News.
Wadler, who was an NYU associate medical professor, was also formerly part of the advisory board of the Taylor Hooton Foundation. Don Hooton, the father of Taylor, has been an anti-steroid crusader ever since the teenage Taylor committed suicide in 2003, the result, Don Hooton has said, of Taylor’s steroid abuse.
If reporters needed thoughtful insight on the steroids and PED issue in sports, Wadler was often sought out, and he was quoted in many outlets around the country during the 2000s. Whether it was MLB first implementing its drug-testing program with penalties (2004), or cyclist Floyd Landis winning the 2006 Tour de France, only to be stripped of his title due to a positive drug test, Wadler had sharp opinions to offer on the doping landscape, and he would often deliver them with a rapier wit.
Of Landis’ fall from grace in 2006, Wadler had this to say to the Daily News:”I’m assuming he had some testing prior to the 17th stage, at which point if he were on a cycle (of steroids) it would have shown up. Basically it’s the same principle you use in Olympic sports or any type of competition testing. You’ve got to be on this stuff for a significant period of time to derive the benefits. You cycle for six- to 12-week periods with anabolic steroids. You just don’t take it in the morning and shoot out of a cannon in the afternoon.”