Tag Archives: Sports
When it comes to performance-enhancing drugs, the World Anti-Doping Agency has a hard line: keep it clean.
And like a growing surge of people across the world, they understand that marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug and that a few recreational (or medical) puffs of ganja when not in competition aren’t going to harm anyone.
The agency – which started in 1999 – is huge, and covers the international level of just about every sport you can imagine from well known sports like hockey and soccer to oddball endeavors like korfball and pelota. They set the rules that the International Olympic Committee follows and even mixed martial arts organizations have adopted the WADA standards.
The WADA new threshold is 150 nanograms per milliliter of blood of THC carboxy, the metabolite of THC that can stay in your fatty tissue for up to a month after use.
The decision was made at at a Word Anti Doping Agency executive committee meeting May 11 and all blood samples dated then on will be subject to the new guidelines. It also advises its member sporting associations to not go after current cases that would fall under the new guidelines, “as a matter of fairness and to provide consistency.”
While not outright allowing cannabis use, the new threshold means athletes could take a few puffs of chronic weeks out from competition and fall under the allowable limit by the time of their match, game, race, fight, etc. Anyone who puffs up until their event will still be busted and likely face sanctions.
“We wanted to focus on the athletes that abuse the substance in competition,” Julie Masse, spokeswoman for the WADA told Golf Week. “This should exclude cases where marijuana is not used in competition.”
Why they still want to punish athletes for using cannabis is beyond us. In fact, it never really made all that much sense to the WADA in the first place. Richerd Pound, the initial president of the WADA, said in 2012 that the WADA original was not going include marijuana on the list but American sports groups pushed for it.
While the ruling is big for sports on the international level, it might not have much of an effect on sports the U.S. In the states, sports are governed by a web of state and national guidelines. For example, MMA fighter rules in Nevada can differ from ones in New York state. Meanwhile, athletes in the NFL follow a different set of rules set out by that organization.
The same is true for the governing bodies of sports in the U.S. reports that the PGA Tour has listed marijuana as a recreational drug and not a performance enhancing drug. The PGA still tests for weed, but players only face internal punishment and their use wouldn’t be made public.
Other sports won’t be affected by the WADA change at all. In college sports, for example, the current threshold set the National Collegiate Athletic Association is currently 5 nanograms – down from 15 nanograms a few years ago.
WADA afficials say the policy change was prompted after receiving “many submissions” from members. While we doubt that came from the high-falutin’ polo players, we’re guessing the push came more from the snowboarders, wakeboarders and possibly even a few swimmers. Or korballers could be notorious pot heads, for all we know.
More links from around the web!
LONDON (Reuters) – The price of fame can be high with an international study on Thursday finding that people who enjoy successful entertainment or sporting careers tend to die younger.
Researchers Richard Epstein and Catherine Epstein said the study, based on analysing 1,000 New York Times obituaries from 2009-2011, found film, music, stage performers and sports people died at an average age of 77.2 years.
This compared to an average lifespan of 78.5 years for creative workers, 81.7 for professionals and academics, and 83 years for people in business, military and political careers.
The Australian-based researchers said these earlier deaths could indicate that performers and sports stars took more risks in life, either to reach their goals or due to their success.
“Fame and achievement in performance-related careers may be earned at the cost of a shorter life expectancy,” the researchers wrote in their study published in QJM: An International Journal of Medicine.
“In such careers, smoking and other risk behaviors may be either causes of effects of success and/or early death.”
Britain’s most high-profile celebrity publicist, Max Clifford, said the pressure that celebrities and sports stars put on themselves to succeed had to play a part, and even at the top they were always worried about who could replace them.
“People assume that fame and success is all about riches and happiness but as someone who has worked with famous people for 45 years I know that is not the case,” Clifford told Reuters.
“The success becomes like a drug to them that they have to have and they are always worried about losing it so they push and push and work harder and harder. You have to be competitive in these fields otherwise it will not work.”
WARNING TO ASPIRING STARS
For the study the researchers separated the obituaries by gender, age, and cause of death as well as by occupation, with anyone involved in sports, acting, singing, music or dance put into a performance category.
Others were split into creative roles such as writing and visual arts, into a business, military and political category, or a group of professional, academic and religious careers.
The study found that the list was heavily skewed towards men who accounted for 813 of the obituaries and the main causes of earlier deaths were linked to accidents, infections including HIV, and cancer.
Lung cancer deaths – which the authors considered a sign of chronic smoking – were most common in performers.
Richard Epstein, a director at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, acknowledged that the one-off analysis could not prove anything but raised interesting questions.
“If it is true that successful performers and sports players tend to enjoy shorter lives, does this imply that fame at younger ages predisposes to poor health behaviors in later life after success has faded?” he said.
He suggested maybe psychological and family pressures favouring high public achievement could lead to self-destructive tendencies or that risk-taking personality traits maximized the chances of success, with the use of cigarettes, alcohol or illicit drugs improving performance output in the short-term.
“Any of these hypotheses could be viewed as a health warning to young people aspiring to become stars,” he said.
(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith)
- Share this
- Digg this
MONDAY April 15, 2013 — Dietary supplements that contain a stimulant called dimethylamylamine (DMAA) pose numerous health risks and are no longer allowed to be sold in the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned.
DMAA — which is most often used in supplements promising weight loss, muscle-building and improvement of athletic performance — can increase blood pressure and may lead to cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, shortness of breath and tightening of the chest. The stimulant may be particularly dangerous when used with caffeine, according to the FDA.
The agency has received 60 reports of illnesses and deaths associated with supplements containing DMAA. The incidents included heart problems and nervous system or psychiatric disorders.
However, a report in itself doesn’t prove that a product caused a health problem, an agency news release noted.
The FDA sent warning letters to companies that use DMAA in dietary supplements. All but one of the companies have agreed to stop using the ingredient in their products. One company, USPLabs, has not complied. It responded to the warning letter by submitting published studies that the company said challenge the FDA’s concerns.
However, the FDA said the studies did not have sufficient information to defend the use of DMAA in dietary supplements. The government agency is finalizing a formal response to USPLabs, according to Daniel Fabricant, director of FDA’s division of dietary supplement programs.
As the FDA continues its efforts to get the stimulant off the market, it urges consumers to check labels and avoid any dietary supplements containing DMAA. Consumers need to be aware that the ingredient can be referred to by 10 possible names. These are listed on the FDA’s DMAA web page.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about DMAA.
Posted: April 2013
Former NFL defensive end and linebacker Jason Taylor appeared on CNN’s inaptly named roundtable show (Get To) The Point last week, where he said some cringe worthy statements about marijuana policy reform:
“Just because the status quo is not working on law enforcement right now does that mean that, ‘You know what we can’t beat it so let’s just legalize it and do it?’ … Well you know what, it’s against the law to rob banks. If we can’t control it, just legalize it. What’s next? What’s next? I mean really, what’s next?”
Aside from equating marijuana use to robbing banks, Taylor also likened it to crack and suggested that legalizing and regulating marijuana would result in the legalization of cocaine, ecstasy, and other “crazy outside-the-box drugs.”
In another bizarre – but this time awesome – moment in sports-related news, legendary sportscaster Bob Costas named Ludacris as his favorite rapper for being the first to “name check” him and then proceeded to quote the following lyric from Luda’s “Hip Hop Quotables” song:
“Now I roll up torpedoes, get blunted with rastas
For a hefty fee, I’m on your record like Bob Costas.”