Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Olympians may use caffeine to boost medal chances

  • Comment
Athletes are increasingly taking caffeine to enhance their performance, according to researchers.

A study of UK athletes revealed that 33% of track and field athletes and 60% of competitive cyclists took caffeine as a performance enhancer.

Caffeine was removed from the banned substance list four years ago by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), yet many athletes still consider it to enhance performance.

In an editorial in BMJ Clinical Evidence, Mark Stuart who was a pharmacist for the Sydney Olympics and Manchester and Melbourne Commonwealth Games, cited one study that indicated continued widespread use of caffeine, and two studies that suggested the placebo effect as a possible reason.

‘The placebo effect may reconcile the disparity between the current culture of caffeine use in sport and the current WADA position,’ Mr Stuart said.

‘Given the evidence-driven backing of WADA from the scientific community, the likelihood of widespread caffeine use at this month’s Olympics will, hopefully, not threaten the integrity of fair play in sport,’ he added.

The Beijing Olympics are due to open on 8 August.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.