Coffee And Caffeine Controlled By World Anti-Doping Agency

Coffee And Caffeine Controlled By World Anti-Doping Agency

Donal Buckley reported on how the introduction of PED (performance enhancing drugs) by the World Anti-Doping Agency will affect all open water swimmers (read here).

Among the various issues Buckley raises, one sticks out in our opinion.

He writes, “…Though not yet ratified, it’s likely that caffeine will have its threshold set as concentrations in the urine to exceed 15 μg/ mL for a swimmer-athlete to test positive for this substance.

(This equates to a consumption of about 500mg per day, i.e. a maximum of 2 average cups of coffee at 300mg per cup)

We find it more than a bit unfair that a channel swimmer – who may take up to 43 hours in a cold-water dynamic environment to complete a channel crossing as Antonio Abertondo did across the English Channel in 1961 – is limited to the same amount of caffeine as a 50-meter freestyler is who competes in a warm-water controlled environment of a pool.

There are easily over 200 competitive marathon swims in the world (see partial list here). Many of these swims are held in quite cold waters where marathon swimmers typically drink coffee and tea to help keep them warm. And this is not to even include all the increasing number of extreme swims and ice swims that are now held throughout the world.

This is an example of a ruling with, we hope, unintended consequences.

It seems the open water swimmers may be now be forced to drink a lot of warm water instead of the possibility of invalidating their cold water and marathon swims.

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