Doping and Running
Doping in Running is a controversial subject, but an important one to discuss. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) works tirelessly to stamp out doping in the hope of achieving fair play in sport and achieving their “play true” core value. So, in this episode the aim is to inform you of the good work they are doing…but also for you to think about “Does this affect me?” Possibly not, but if you are a Club Runner with aspirations to achieve more…then maybe YES. Or maybe you know of someone who is an aspiring runner so with this information you can inform them of the risks from consuming supplements and medications. So, open for discussion is:
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The Tokyo Olympics are upon us, so random drug testing will be carried out on some athletes. BUT, have you ever considered how these tests are completed?
Basically, there are two types of testing:
In-Competition Testing refers to the period commencing at 11:59 p.m. on the day before a competition and finishing after the end of the competition and the sample collection process linked to that particular competition.
Out-of-Competition Testing takes place at any time outside the In-Competition period.
The procedure includes a urine and/or blood sample collected from an athlete. The athlete collects the urine sample himself/herself, however, to ensure there is no dishonest practice, a specialist (known as a Doping Control Officer (DCO)) of the same gender as the athlete is present during the sample collection.
Blood samples are taken by a specialist known as a Blood Collection Officer (BCO) who is a specially-trained professional and holds a medical license.
A “chaperone” will notify an athlete who is selected for testing for doping and will monitor all activities undertaken by the athlete until the sample collection process is completed.
WADA was established in 1999 following the doping events of the Tour de France in 1998. Here are some facts about WADA:
Their mission “is to lead a collaborative worldwide movement for doping-free sport”
So who is bound by the anti-doping code established by WADA?
to date there are approximately 700 sport organisations who have accepted the World Anti-Doping Code. These organisations include the:
All signatories who are bound by the anti-doping code are required to undertake three steps in order to be fully compliant with the Code:
So, ALL elite and professional athletes and runners are be bound by WADAs anti anti-doping code. BUT all athletes/runners registered with England Athletics COULD also be open to anti-doping testing as they are linked to UKAD, which is the national anti-doping agency.
The list of substances currently banned by WADA is comprehensive and varied. The complete list can be found at www.wada-ama.org but here are some of the key ones:
Diuretics: e.g. Furosamide, Spironolactone
Hormones: e.g. oestrogen linked hormones such as: tamoxifen. Also, metabolic modulators such as insulin
Anabolic agents: mostly androgenic steroids that are testosterone based e.g. epitestosterone
Growth Factors: e.g. growth hormone releasing hormone, insulin-like growth factor
Stimulants e.g. cocaine. Actually, currently caffeine and nicotine are on the 2021 monitoring programme….so could be banned in the future.
Narcotics: e.g. morphine and methadone
Cannabinoids such as cannabis, however cannabidiol (CBD….which is very popular at the moment) is NOT on the banned list
Glucocorticoids: (certain steroids) e.g. hydrocortisone
So, how could a runner prevent the risk of inadvertently taking a banned substance? Well, using supplements with Informed Sport (IS) certification is the gold standard approach. Here are some facts about IS:
So, WHICH products do contain the IS certification logo? The list is vast, but some that most people may have heard of include:
BUT not all of these brands products are IS certified, just some of them. So it is important to check for the certification label on the product.
1) WADA – (World Anti-Doping Agency) was set up in 1999 following the doping events of the TdeF in the summer of 1998
2) It is their mission “…to lead a collaborative worldwide movement for doping-free sport”
3) ALL athletes at elite and professional level MUST abide by the anti-doping code established by WADA
4) BUT…this is not necessarily the case for amateur runners. Runners at Club level may, in theory anyway, be randomly tested, however weekend warriors and social runners do not need to worry
5) There are many substances contained within the banned list and are divided into 3 categories:
· Prohibited at ALL times
· Prohibited in Competition
· Prohibited in particular sports
6) Remember that nutritional supplements COULD be contaminated with a banned substance so, if you need to avoid these substances, choose products with Informed Sport Certification.
7) Some well-known brands with Informed Sport Certification (for some of their products anyway) include:
· Better You
· Minami Nutrition
8) Finally, remember that NSAIDs and paracetamol (amongst others) are NOT on the banned list, however have side effects from chronic use that may affect general health and running performance so try to keep their use to a minimum.
The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and
advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact
your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.
Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell met at as nutrition students (Institute for Optimum Nutrition, London) and became lifelong friends and nutritional buddies! Both have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living.
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