Inhalers as PEDs

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  • Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #14509

    Inhalers are becoming increasingly more prevalent at track meets. This is partly due to the increased rates of asthma in this country but even then the number of athletes with inhalers is outpacing even what might be expected by those statistics alone. Is it some nefarious plot by athletes to cheat? Is it that athletes somehow have a higher rate of asthma than their sedentary counterparts? Or mayb

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    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #69428

    I actually left out the thought that spurned that blog (damn ADD)…should we consider banning inhalers and bronchodilators from competition under all circumstances. The reason it crossed my mind is that it seems to give preferential treatment to those people with asthma over say an amputee. In both cases the person has a physiological and / or anatomical disability that would not allow them to compete in the sport (at least not at the highest level) were it not for the use of a special aide. A guy like Oscar Pisitorious could look at asthmatics and complain that they’re allowed to use an equalizing device so why can’t he?

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    horla on #69440

    Because his “device” isn’t equalizing. The official report state that he has an advantage because of his prostetic legs.
    Here in Belgium you have to get a prescription from 2 doctors + a doctor from the Athletics Federation has to give an authorisation.

    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #69441

    The same could be said for an inhaler. I believe all bronchodilators have both a beneficial pulmonary AND stimulant effect and both can positively improve performance. The IAAF began to crack down on it because SOOO many people were claiming to need it for medical use (a potential loophole which could make it permissible).

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    Josh Hurlebaus on #69447

    I can see both sides of it. I had pretty bad asthma when I was a child but ended up growing out of it. I couldn’t do very much at all aerobically without my inhaler. Now I don’t have problems at all. People that I had never seen have problems in previous seasons all of a sudden have inhalers at practice this year and it makes me wonder though.

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    horla on #69457

    What are the rules for those inhalers in the USA? Is just one prescription enough?

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    jump-start on #69394

    Athlete with asthma need to apply for a Theraputic Use Exemption (TUE) in order to use an inhaler. In this process the medical committee need to determine whether the athlete would require the medication if they were not in the sport and also the degree to which the disease threatens their health. I do not think that performance enhancing “blades” fulfill either of these criterion.

    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #69395

    Athlete with asthma need to apply for a Theraputic Use Exemption (TUE) in order to use an inhaler. In this process the medical committee need to determine whether the athlete would require the medication if they were not in the sport and also the degree to which the disease threatens their health. I do not think that performance enhancing “blades” fulfill either of these criterion.

    I’m aware of the TUE but a lot of athletes skirt the issue by faking ashthma or getting a doctor on their side. Also, even for those who legitimately have asthma, the question remains:

    Should an athlete be allowed to take an aide (be it blades, an inhaler, etc) that would allow them to compete when they otherwise could not compete without it?

    Obviously there’s a lot of grey area there but it makes for an interesting talking / thinking point? When genetic doping becomes more thoroughly understood should we say, “oh, this poor guy was born with a talent deficiency doesn’t have a chance of competing in track, we should allow him to alter his genetic composition so he can compete.”

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    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #69396

    I wanted to add that my sister had asthma and was a pretty darn good discus thrower back in the day. She used an inhaler but it wasn’t really an issue in competition. For competitors in events that have a large aerobic component the inhaler could in many cases be a necessity.

    Another interesting thing to note is that there are many, many forms of asthma and that it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause, time of onset, etc. which makes making rules about the matter even more difficult.

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    winnesota on #69274

    Should an athlete be allowed to take an aide (be it blades, an inhaler, etc) that would allow them to compete when they otherwise could not compete without it?

    Thats a good way to phrase it. I dont have a problem with people who have an aide as long as it doesnt cause them to compete at a higher level than they otherwise could if they didnt need an aide. But thats where it gets tricky, how do we test that? We cant.

    Another thing that is similar to inhalers is ridalin. How do you really diagnose ADD…

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    Josh Hurlebaus on #69275

    Well adderall is an amphetamine, so if you faked ADD just to get it you will test positive anyway, but thats assuming you are at a high enough level to get tested.

    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #69276

    I think you could get a TUE for adderall. Also, that one’s a little different because someone who has ADD (like myself 🙂 ) could still presumably compete at a high level in any of the track or field events (althought it could cause some problems with focus, training, etc). On the other hand someone with a bad case of exercise induced asthma would have almost NO chance of competing at a high level without a bronchodilator.

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