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Oxygen4Energy: International Sports News - World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Bans Oxygen Use
Date:3/5/2009

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has banned athletes from using bottled or canned oxygen in training and competition in any of the sports that it governs.

LAKE FOREST, Calif., March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a statement from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), bottled or canned oxygen is banned under Prohibited Methods, Section M1: Enhancement of oxygen transfer: "Artificially enhancing the uptake, transport or delivery of oxygen is prohibited."

By citing this Section M1 ruling, WADA, is categorizing bottled or canned oxygen along with potentially dangerous oxygen delivering methods like blood doping, perfluorocarbons, efaproxiral and modified haemoglobin products. From a risk assessment standpoint, this comparison is VERY unreasonable. Oxygen has been safely used in medicine for decades, whereas the other methods specifically cited by this rule are known to have potentially serious side effects.

Since bottled medical oxygen is considered a drug by the FDA, it is understandable that its use is banned. However, considering the nature of recreational canned oxygen, it seems very surprising that WADA would ban it:

  1. It is completely safe and not considered a drug by FDA guidelines.
  2. It has never been scientifically proven to enhance athletic performance.
  3. It is publicly available and affordable, therefore it would not jeopardize the true "spirit of sport."
  4. There is no way to test for it, so athletes who continue to train with oxygen and defy the rules would never get caught.

Most people find this ruling VERY difficult to accept, especially since the National Football League, one of the most respected sports organizations in the world, allows its players to PUBLICLY use oxygen on the sidelines during games. This was clearly demonstrated in this year's Super Bowl.


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