Scottish Daily Mail
Do prescribed drugs give athletes an advantage?
IN AN international competition, an endurance athlete such as Bradley Wiggins with asthma or hay fever would struggle during the pollen season when competing in the Tour de France. Like all asthma sufferers, Wiggins will have had his lung capacity assessed before getting preventer and reliever inhalers. As an international sports doctor, I would advise an endurance athlete to take two to three puffs ten to 20 minutes before training and before a gruelling race. They should carry an inhaler for use during competition. Drugs such as triamcinolone and other closely related cortisones boost and enhance performance and help you lose weight without losing stamina. These substances also aid recovery, giving an unfair advantage. The use of triamcinolone violates the spirit of sport as it has potential to enhance performance. Different substances will stay in the system from hours to months, especially important if taken shortly before competing. As a 1956 hockey Olympian and like Sam Quak, 2016 Olympic hockey champion: ‘I believe in clean sport, only clean sport and always will.’
Dr JINDI DHILLON, Folkestone, Kent.
‘PLeaSe raise your hand if you’re an asthma sufferer?’ . . . ‘So there are quite a number of you. Now, please raise your hand if you’ve been prescribed the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone.’ . . . ‘So, only one of you. and what do you do for a living, sir?’ … ‘You’re a professional cyclist who has won the Tour de France and five Olympic gold medals. Well, that’s a coincidence, isn’t it?’
N. WOODS, Chilton, Co Durham.
SPORTS stars are reported to have taken banned medications authorised by a TUE certificate which, we’re told, stands for Therapeutic Use Exemption. Perhaps in some cases it should mean Trumped-Up Excuse.
CHRIS HAGGETT, Warrington.
IF BraDLeY Wiggins isn’t fit enough to race without drugs for which he needs a TUe certificate, then perhaps he should compete in the Paralympics.
J. M. HURRELL, Ashford, Kent.