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Copyright 2000 St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Inc.  
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri)

July 23, 2000, Sunday, FIVE STAR LIFT EDITION

SECTION: NEWS, Pg. A10

LENGTH: 389 words

HEADLINE: OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS, HERBAL TEAS CAN SPELL TROUBLE FOR ATHLETES IN;
DRUG TESTS

BYLINE: Andrew A. Skolnick; Special To The Post-DispatchOLYMPIC ATHLETES; DRUG TESTING; OVER-THE-COUNTER; DRUGS; HEALTH FOOD SUPPLEMENTS; PERFORMANCE ENHANCING; BAN; SPORTS SPECIFIC

BODY:
Even competitive athletes who have no intention of using performance-boosting drugs to cheat need to know what substances are forbidden in their sport.

So says Dr. Lyn R. Frumkin, a physician crew chief for the U.S. Olympic Committee who supervises urine testing of athletes.

Whether or not their exposure to a prohibited drug was inadvertent, athletes who test positive for banned substances risk discipline and disgrace. The innocent use of the wrong over-the-counter cold remedy or an herbal tea can land an athlete in hot water.

Athletes therefore need to be familiar with the most up-to-date information on substances that are prohibited by their sport's governing body, Frumkin says.

The classes of substances banned by U.S. and International Olympic committees and most sports governing bodies include stimulants (such as amphetamines, ritalin, cocaine, ephedrine and even large amounts of caffeine); narcotic pain killers (such as morphine); anabolic steroids (such as testosterone, nandrolone, androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone); diuretics; and certain hormones and growth factors (such as human growth hormone and erythropoietin).

Several other classes of medications are restricted to varying degrees, including alcohol, corticosteroids, local anesthetics, beta-blockers and asthma medications.

Athletes must pay careful attention to the exact name of the medication because many banned products have almost the same name as those that are permitted. For example, Dristan 12-hour Nasal Spray is allowed, but Dristan Nasal Spray, which contains the banned substance phenylephrine, is not.

Some sports governing bodies ban different substances, which adds to the confusion.

Drugs that slow pulse rates or reduce tremors may be allowed for weight lifters and most other athletes, but they are forbidden for archers and target shooters, whose performance they could enhance.

Athletes also must be cautious when using products from health food stores. Many herbal remedies and nutritional supplements contain banned substances.

Athletes especially must be cautious with any product promoted as an energy booster or performance enhancer, Frumkin said. Because these products are unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, the ingredients label on these products cannot be trusted.

GRAPHIC: PHOTO (1) PHOTO - YES - Dristan 12-hour Nasal Spray is allowed ...
(2) PHOTO -NO -  ... but Dristan Nasal Spray, which contains the banned substance phenylephrine, is not.


LOAD-DATE: July 23, 2000




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