Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Studies Show Asthma Medications Offer No Performance Advantage to Unaffected Athletes

One of the most interesting things in Gina Kolata's piece today in the New York Times is not that asthma inhalers offer no performance advantage to athletes without asthma - interesting, though, this is - it's that substances can be banned by the governing body of doping (WADA) even if they provide no performance boost at all (story). As she recounts, to be banned by WADA a substance must meet two of three requirements: it boosts performance; it may harm an athlete; and it disparages the spirit of the sport. So, even though asthma meds have been proven to be worthless performance boosters for those without asthma, it remains a banned substance because there's some health risk to using it and the simple act of taking a substance to unnaturally boost performance goes against the spirit of sportsmanship.

The logic seems a little dodgy to us at Run Junkie. Nevertheless, the article is an interesting read and goes into detail about the recent studies looking at asthma meds and performance and also why so many elite athletes suffer from the condition.

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