British athletes routinely use caffeine to boost their performance, say researchers.
A third of track and field athletes and 60% of cyclists reported taking caffeine before competing, a Liverpool John Moores University study found.
The drug was removed from the list of banned substances in 2004 but its use is still monitored.
The study’s authors said it raised concerns that athletes were exploiting caffeine to gain an advantage. […]
Study leader Dr Neil Chester said the World Anti-Doping Agency had not been clear about why caffeine had been removed from the list but he understood it was because it was too hard to distinguish between normal social use and abuse of the drug.
A total of 480 athletes were questioned for the study, through athletics or cycling clubs and at sporting events.
They reported using caffeine in the form of energy drinks, sports supplements, pills and coffee, the International Journal of Sports Medicine reported.
Elite athletes were more likely to use caffeine to improve their performance than those who took part in sport recreationally.
Dr Chester said caffeine had been shown to be beneficial for endurance events and would also increase the alertness of athletes.
He added that the fairly recent introduction of caffeine to energy and sports drinks had increased the opportunity for athletes to consume the drug in high doses.
“There’s been a lack of communication from WADA and there is a question about whether or not sporting authorities are condoning its use,” he said.
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7525275.stm, access on July 31, 2008)
Responda em português.
O que pode ser alegado como motivo para a retirada da cafeína pela WADA da lista de substâncias proibidas no esporte?
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