Pseudoephedrine (a decongestant - available in Benadryl and Sudafed products) is now on the prohibited list. Salbutamol (for asthma) is now allowed (under certain dosage), when declared. Supplemental oxygen now allowed; and there's been a clarification on "blood spinning" (injection person's own blood back in) - allowed in some cases (with declaration), prohibited in others.
This obviously impacts Olympic athletes. Unclear how/if this will affect NHL (or other league) testing/reporting.
Pseudoephedrine is in a ton of the more effective allergy medicines because it's the best of the decongestants that are cheaply available. It's also notoriously been abused in professional sports (sudafed popping and greenies in baseball). It's an interesting decision to ban it outright and not allow it in certain amounts when it's declared.
Note that pseudoephedrine was removed from the banned substances list just prior to the last Winter Olympics and is now being re-instated:
Pseudoephedrine, the stimulant found in the cold remedy Sudafed (The NHL's Dirty Little Secret from a 1998 Sports Illustrated article), is no longer on WADA's banned list. Apparently, after years of being deemed performance enhancing, it no longer is. Dr. Christiane Ayotte, who analyzes the NHL's drug test out of her IOC-approved lab in Montreal, for one, was extremely disappointed when the stimulant was removed from the WADA list. What a happy coincidence that pseudoephedrine was removed from the WADA list just as the NHL finally was implementing a drug program.
"I was strongly opposed to this," Ayotte told the Sun of the decision to remove pseudoephedrine from the WADA list, adding that she still believes the drug to be potentially dangerous. Ayotte insists there are "less potent" stimulants still on the banned list.
Actually he never accused the NHL of steroid abuse. What he said was:
"I spoke with Gary [NHL commissioner Gary Bettman] and he said 'We don't have the problem in hockey,'" Pound said Thursday in an interview with the London Free Press. "I told him he does. You wouldn't be far wrong if you said a third" of hockey players are gaining some pharmaceutical assistance.
Exactly. This needs to be repeated. He DID NOT claim that 1/3 of players were using Steroids - he claims that 1/3 of players were using some form of performance enhancing drug ("You wouldn't be far wrong if you said a third of hockey players are gaining some pharmaceutical assistance)".
Performance enhancing drugs are a VERY broad category, especially if you go by IOC/WADA definitions. My guess is that by far the most common drugs are not steroids, but stimulants. I've read numerous reports over the years - Sudafed is one of the league's dirty little secrets.
The legal drug of choice in the NHL is Sudafed—not for cold relief, but for the on-ice boost it offers
At 6:30 on game nights in Montreal, as the fans start streaming into the Molson Centre, as the TV sportscasters fidget while waiting to deliver their live reports, as the hot dogs grill in the press lounge, Canadiens goaltender Andy Moog goes through his pregame routine in the dressing room. He takes two Sudafed tablets and washes them down with a cup of water—it is not a question of health but of habit. Moog took Sudafed for the first time six or seven years ago, when he was with the Boston Bruins, because he had a terrible head cold. Since then, his remedy has become his ritual. Four other Canadiens also reach regularly for Sudeys, as they sometimes call them, to kick-start their motors, to get ready to play. For these men a game face includes an open mouth and a couple of hockey's little helpers.
A similar scene is being played out in dressing rooms throughout the NHL. The exact number of players who use Sudafed, a nonprescription drug that contains the stimulant pseudoephedrine, in an effort to boost their performance on the ice, is unclear. Two NHL trainers estimate that before a game 20% of the league's players routinely take over-the-counter medications that contain pseudoephedrine, not to combat the sniffles, as the manufacturers intended, but to feel a little buzz. The NHL, however, disputes that figure, saying the percentage of players using drugs such as Sudafed is much lower and that they use them for medicinal purposes only.
It's the NHL's dirty little secret, and with the Olympics imminent, it is of great concern to the league because although Sudafed is legal, it is on the Olympic list of banned substances. Consider the following:
—Anecdotal accounts of Sudafed abuse in the league abound. A former coach says one of his players built up such a tolerance to the medication that he had to gobble 20 pills to get the desired boost.
"There are all kinds of overdose stories—guys not being able to finish the first period because they get the shakes, paranoia, anxiety," says Detroit Red Wings athletic trainer John Wharton, who's been with the club since February 1991. "There are some guys who have been able to tolerate [large doses of pseudoephedrine]. The most I've seen a player take is eight pills. That dose would put some people in the hospital." Wharton says he has seen four or five abusers in the last seven years.
—Jari Kurri, the respected 17-year veteran right winger of the Colorado Avalanche, says some of the dirty play in recent years might be a result of players having had something more than the usual competitive juices flowing through their systems. He suggests a link between the use of pseudoephedrine and the increasing lack of respect NHL players have shown each other in this decade. "You take it, you get hyped up," says Kurri, who also says that he took Sudafed once before a game last season when he was with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. "I don't know if the stickwork, the dirty hits, are because of that, but I think it's something the league should look into."
Montreal right wing Mark Recchi sees no correlation between pseudoephedrine and dirty play but doesn't deny that Sudafed gets him going. "You get a bit of an upper from it," says Recchi, who no longer takes the medication but admits that at one time he used it every 10 or 15 games. "You get pretty wired up. Sometimes it gets you a little emotional on the ice, a little too fired up."
—Brian Savage, a left wing on the Canadiens, takes two Sudafeds before every game at roughly the same time as Moog. Savage says he started the routine three years ago, his second season in the league. "I'm not sure if it pumps me up anymore," he says, "[but] if I'm a little groggy, it brings me up." Sometimes the trouble is coming down. After a game that ends at about 10:15 p.m., Savage can't fall asleep until 2 or 2:30 a.m. "I go out for dinner, have a glass of wine," he says. "Then I can fall asleep."
According to players and medical personnel, Sudafed began to appear in NHL dressing rooms in the mid-to-late 1980s. The approach to the medication at the time was surprisingly relaxed on some teams. When Wharton joined the Red Wings as their strength and conditioning coordinator, he says, Sudafed tablets sat on the table in the dressing room "like a bowl of fruit. But we got rid of them right away." He estimates that three quarters of the Detroit players at the time used Sudafed before a game.
"[When I played for Edmonton], I remember somebody walking [from the back of the dressing room] with a little jar, and he used to rattle it, and it sounded like a snake," says Moog, who spent five full seasons with the Oilers, from 1982-83 to '86-87. "We used to call [the tablets] 'rattlers.' [He'd say,] 'Anybody want a rattler?'"
Tough guy says stimulants a problem for hockey
WebPosted Mon, 21 Mar 2005 14:56:52 EST
While the media spotlight has focused squarely on the use of steroids in baseball, a former NHL tough guy says hockey has its own doping problem.
Dave Morissette, who played a handful of games for the Montreal Canadiens during the 1999-2000 season, claims the use of stimulants is rampant in hockey.
Morissette alleges hockey players abuse ephedrine-based, over-the-counter drugs such as Sudafed and Ripped Fuel in a book by journalist Mathias Brunet. Mémoires d'un Dur à Cuire (Memories of an Enforcer), which chronicles the tough guy's 12-year hockey career, hit the shelves Monday.
Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, and Amphetamine Prevalence in College Hockey Players
Most Report Performance-Enhancing Use
Lt Col Robert T. Bents, MD; Maj John M. Tokish, MD; Linn Goldberg, MD
THE PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE - VOL 32 - NO. 9 - SEPTEMBER 2004
RESULTS: More than half (58%) of the 122 college hockey players who completed the survey reported past or present use of the specific stimulants. Almost half (46%) reported pseudoephedrine use to enhance performance, including 24% who indicated current use, and 38% reported ephedrine use, including 11% who admitted current use. Stimulant users had good knowledge about the potential side effects of ephedrine, including sudden death, hypertension, and insomnia. Nearly all (92%) stimulant users were aware of the current NCAA ban of ephedrine. Over 33% stated they would use a banned substance if it would help them get to the National Hockey League.
No, I don't have a hard time beleiving Pounds 1/3 estimate.
There were no positive drug tests among the 1,406 administered under the NHL's new anti-doping program, which targets steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs but not stimulants.
The NHL did not test for the drugs on WADA's list of banned substances that are prohibited only during competition, such as stimulants. Some cold remedies that contain stimulants, such as ephedrine, are suspected to be widely used by hockey players.
Sudafed - hockey's dirty little (but very well known) secret. Popped like candy in NHL locker rooms.
And it's not like hockey is the only sport where athletes used uppers. Just look at the Jason Grimsley revelations in MLB - before there was testing for amphetamines, clubhouses had coffee urns marks leaded & unleaded - with and without uppers.
Lots of interesting stuff. Although I am sure they are/have been abused, epinephrine and pseudoephedrine have a use as a vasoconstrictor (stops or slows bleeding). Epinephrine is found in many of the local anesthetics that dentists use for dental work, just for its vasoconstrictive properties. Wonder what they are supposed to do for that emergency dental work between periods?
I did run into an instance where my child was tested. At the time, caffeine was on the banned substances list. Some of the listed items are very pervasive and in this instance, avoiding caffeine before the test was difficult.
IMO, there needs to be some balance in the testing where there is some recognition of the pervasiveness of some of these drugs and recognition for legitimate uses of the same.
Sorry, but this list is a total joke. The effect from sudafed is likely largely placebo, it's not like players are doing lines of coke before games (anymore, THEO).
You do know that the active ingredient in real Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) is an ingredient used in making Meth, and that in some states (Oregon) is available only by prescription and that there are federal limits on the quantity purchased (and pharmacies are required to get ID for you to purchase it) - but I guess you're right it's only a placebo. What do those Meth dealers know anyway?