This entry was posted on Friday, June 13th, 2008 at 2:11 pm and is filed under Funny stuff, Misc, Saddle testing, Weird stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
In May, Cyclingnews.com reported that pro racing cyclists have started to experiment with a new drug, Sildenafil. This is not currently on the World Anti-doping Agency’s prohibited substances list. It was developed to improve blood circulation but was later found to have performance-enhancement uses.
A 2006 study published by the Journal of Applied Physiology (JoAP) and reported in Science Daily claimed that the drug can significantly enhance performance at altitude in some cyclists. However, WADA is not thought to be in favour of banning Sildenafil.
The JoAP study tested 69 trained cyclists at sea level and in an altitude chamber stimulating 12,700 feet (3870 m) above sea level. No benefit was gained at sea level, but the Sildenafil group improved its performance over a six kilometre time trial at altitude by 15 percent over the group given a placebo.
WADA’s spokesman Frédéric Donzé confirmed that the drug is not banned in competition, but said that the agency is looking into the matter.
“WADA is aware of the high altitude study presented in Science Daily. WADA monitors this substance, as it does with many other substances, and is currently funding a research project on the performance-enhancing potential of Sildenafil at various altitudes.”
Should a ban be forthcoming, which commentators say is likely, WADA is working on a non-invasive testing technique. After races, the first three finishers would be lined up for a ‘visual’ test. Sildenafil’s commercial name is Viagra and WADA scientists believe it will be simple to see which cyclists have taken the drug.
Thanks to doctors Young and Smith for additional reporting on this story.