Beware, you are doped!

Sure, the title is catchy. You smiled, but you didn’t believe it. However, the legislation on doping is intransigent, and you may be doping without knowing it! This is called accidental doping. The law is not easy to understand, even for specialists! So here are a few details.

First of all, all doping is the athlete’s responsibility. There can be no clearance on a third party. Any person tested positive can be suspended for up to four years (no competition, withdrawal of license) for unspecified “heavy” doping: “strong” and difficult to find substance such as EPO, and up to two years for “lighter” doping (common medication).

The risk of being doped without being aware of it is therefore there, in this second category: common drugs. Those that can be taken without a prescription, and that we therefore imagine without consequences. Do you take Nurofen Cold or Actifed (pseudoephedrine, no that’s not an insult)? Doped (well, it depends on the dose). You drank a dozen coffees during the day? Not doped, since 2004, caffeine is no longer considered a doping agent. I still advise you against drinking ten coffees. Do you take food supplements? If they do not have the mention “NF” = French standards – or foreign equivalents -, doped (in fact, it is the standard NF V 94-001, so poetic). And then there are of course drugs like cannabis. Doped. Alcohol is generally not considered as a prohibited product, except in some disciplines such as motor sports. However, it is obvious that the organizer of an event can refuse the participation of an athlete who has abused it.

Doping is a bit of a simplification. Doping only occurs when a positive test is confirmed and a sanction is imposed. These are therefore prohibited substances with a risk of a positive test. The risk is rarely 100%.

But then, how to treat oneself? That sounds very restrictive!

Some practical advice:

1. Read the instructions! When a drug presents risks of doping, it is generally specified. So read the instructions. You can also ask the doctor / pharmacist, even if they are not always up to date. And read the instructions. Be careful, sometimes the instructions are not up to date, and the list of prohibited substances often changes! Ok. Read the instructions anyway, it’s a good way to be fairly sure!

2. Be careful with dietary supplements, as with products specializing in exercise, with beautiful images and marketing. Do not buy, in any case, that on the internet, and pay attention to the respect of the French Standards – or foreign equivalents -.

3. When your doctor prescribes medication, do not hesitate to tell him that you practice a sport (explain your level of practice)

4. Keep your prescriptions! And then bring them to a competition. You have the right to treat yourself, but you must be able to justify it on the spot. During the control.

Unicon, like any of our other competitive events, can be subject to doping control without anyone, either the organization or the competitors, being informed beforehand. And these tests can target any competitor at any time and any place!

Find out more! You can visit the website of the world antidoping agency.  There, the lists are up to date. Prohibited products, as well as authorized food supplements.

So, are you doped?

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