WADA president to urge re-banning of caffeine

Move follows hospitalisation of Aussie rules footballer

by Simon_MacMichael   August 11, 2010  


In a move that conjures up visions of future Tour de France cyclists looking on longingly at sponsors’ guests, journalists and anyone else not actually riding the race enjoying a morning café at the Village Départ, the chairman of the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) is proposing re-introducing its ban on the use of caffeine in sports, removed six years ago.

John Fahey, a former premier of New South Wales and finance minister in John Howard’s government but now chairman of WADA, made his announcement following the hospitalisation of a high-profile Australian rules football player at the weekend.

Ben Cousins of the AFL side Richmond, a recovering drug addict who has cut an often controversial figure during a career largely spent with the West Coast Eagles, collapsed after suffering an adverse reaction to prescribed sleeping pills that he had taken after a match at the weekend, apparently taken to counter the effects of caffeine tablets he had taken before the game.

Neither substance is currently on WADA’s banned list, and use of both is perfectly legal under Australian law, but the episode has raised concerns in the country about sports players effectively using them as ‘uppers’ and ‘downers’ around matches.

Fahey told the Melbourne newspaper The Age that while use of such substances may be within the letter of the law, in his opinion it went against the spirit of sport.

"In my view it brings the game somewhat into disrepute because there are substances there that have an unknown quality to them and unknown consequences," Fahey explained.

He added that he would be asking WADA’s medical committee to re-examine whether caffeine should appear on the list of banned substances after the ban was removed in 2004. Prior to that, the legal limit for caffeine was 12 microgram/ml in urine, said to be equivalent to around eight cups of espresso.

"Having been taken back off the banned list, it can be put back on," he said, adding: "It will be looked at again in light of what's occurring at the moment."


6 user comments

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Surprise I will boycott watching any sport where they don't allow caffene! I need it to live Yawn

posted by David French [49 posts]
11th August 2010 - 20:16


1,200 gram is quite a lot still!

posted by JJ the Flying D... [65 posts]
11th August 2010 - 22:24


JJ the Flying Dutchman wrote:
1,200 gram is quite a lot still!

You're right, it is! Checked again and changed to something more sensible.

Mind you, the amount of cappuccino and Diet Coke I get through...

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [9109 posts]
11th August 2010 - 23:57


Anyone competing at a professional elite level should not need any performance enhancers to be first past the post! Play True! Thinking

posted by MJF [1 posts]
13th August 2010 - 5:40


Whilst riding the Giro & TDF i regularly stop for a hot drink with campers on the roadside. Nothing works better for me than a hot coffee or two !

An Aussie athlete was sent home from Olympics , years ago because of his "Questionable Caffeine intake" so there must be something in the decision, but the Racers will be annoyed about not being able to enjoy a coffee at the "Depart Village" in the morning as they do so often currently.

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

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posted by skippy [405 posts]
13th August 2010 - 8:57


This is some bad news for Jens!

posted by bademeister [10 posts]
13th August 2010 - 9:20