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Drug abuse in competitive freediving

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Oct 3, 2002
Hi guys, this is an sticky subject which I'd like to discuss.

I am not waiting for anyone to come and say "Hey Gerard I take this and that, so what!".

I'd like to hear the opinions of the ones who don't take anything and suspect of people who do. Again I am not saying that they must give names; but by hearing their opinions maybe we can bring up the truth. For instance, we know that in cycling, sprinting, swimming, weightlifting, gymnastics, etc. (and even soccer!) lots of athletes take performance enhancing drugs. Why do they take it? Simply because of peer pressure, coaching pressure, increased recovery, better performance, drugs fix incorrect training models (which is closely related to reason number three), etc.

So if we bring this up right now maybe we can stop competitive freediving of becoming a mock, of becoming a circus like the rest of the professional sports. You may think Gerard is a naive and a dreamer, I say no way why don't we play a fair game and keep freediving in its own right, a romantic adventure instead of a neurotic game.

BTW I intend to compete with NO DRUGS. I also competed with no drugs in cycling (MTB category) and cross-country running. Things can be done drug-free but you must be smart to stay away.

Regards, gerard.

I agree you must be smart and stay away from drugs.
But are there any drugs you can use in freediving at all?
Whatever you use it can disturb your intuition (six sence) and that can be deadly. Since freediving is moustly mental stuff (relaxing and all) steroids and similar stuff don't come into play. Cofein and taurin (i think) raises your BP so that is not good either. The only thing I can think of is (it was mentioned on another thred) geting more blood cels that carry O2 (don't know the medical therm).
Please correct me if I am wrong.


NO drugs please like I said to you Gerard I hope none of todays freediving pros are taking drugs that would be sad to see.

BTW what about our druggie cricketer Shane Wanke^ oooppps Warne I never liked him anyway.

Prohibited substances

Its a list of note. I was listening to a talk on the radio a few mornings ago and the speaker said it was a veritable quagmire to negotiate. He said that 30 % of commercially available vitamin capsules / tablets contained banned substances. So you can't even take your vitamins without some doubt.

Shane Warne claims to have popped a diuretic for weight loss. If thats true i wonder so what ?
Does a diuretic make him hit harder ? make runs faster ? Would steroids help him in cricket ? I can't see it.

Sudafed is banned for freediving. Is it an unfair advantage to dry your soggy ears to aid in equalising ? Interesting...

I think the banned lists must be thinned out and trimmed to 10 % of what they are now, with only the real enhancing drugs EPO, Deca - durabolin and the like making the hitlist. Coffee and vitamins and Sudafed are run of the mill enough in daily life that they should be taken as a part of life.

It will make things less confusing and not wipe out anyones career for less than zilch.
Notwithstanding this Shane Warne deserves to nosedive anyhow :)

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Yeah ive never liked Shane warne anyway although dad still insists that he is a legend, Brett Lee is the man but overall Mcgrath is the best :cool:

Its a bit hard to figure out what drugs might give you an advantage in diving.. EPO maybe?

As for the Warny issue: So he let his vanity get the better of him. So does most of the world...:hmm

btw if youve ever met Brett Lee, or seen him trying to pick up, you might see him in a different light...:D

Shadow do you mean seeing him pick up chicks.


Ps have you met him

I have used a drug which made a critical contribution to my performance in a competition.

In fact, without it I would not have even completed my performances at the competition.

I would not even have made it to the competition.

It was a cup of strong, black Maui organic coffee, Ono Farms.

Without it, I am nothing. With it, I am next-to-nothing, which is
a big improvement.
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The reason that many 'over-the-counter' vitamins/supplements contain 'banned' substances is because they contain either DHEA or pro-hormones like androstenedione, androstenediol, etc...

Those substances are marketed with many 'benefits', yet people who buy them don't realize they are banned by the IOC.

Further, people who get hormone therapy (IGF-1 or human growth hormone), are also using banned substances, although again these are marketed as 'wonder miracles' and the customers are never told that these are banned by the IOC.

The problem with drug tests is that they can disqualify athletes who are not cheating. For example, the substance in marijuana/hemp, THC, is also contained is small amounts in hemp seed oil, which is a VERY healthy product. However, eating lots of hemp seed oil, even though it doesn't make you 'high', can get you disqualified.

Further, there is some debate as to taking colostrum (milk extract), because it contains IGF-1, which might get you disqualified.

I have heard of other examples of 'normal' foods which can get you disqualified, even though I can't remember them all.

Personally I suspect three particular athletes in the freediving world of using questionable substances, but I could be completely wrong...(and I *hope* I'm wrong!)

Someone apparently approached the IAFD with a list of two or three athletes who were apparently using illegal substances, but it was only a rumour.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

Eric who were they please :D Guess you could get in trouble if you said anything though :hmm

Originally posted by Shadowkiller
Its a bit hard to figure out what drugs might give you an advantage in diving.. EPO maybe?

Easy Shadowkiller. Chemicals will give the competitive (and non-competitive) athlete and advantage over the rest since they will be able to train harder and more frequently therefore ENHANCING PERFORMANCE, especially in activities where the athletes are exercising passed their ventilatory threshold, IOW when the anaerobic mode is "on".

Some of the substances mentioned here are useless in terms of efficacy what I am referring to is anabolic steroids . Anyone using this stuff should be banned forever and as TMcKee told me not long ago "we'd have burned them at the stake!".

In real life thousands of athletes perform under the influence of those drugs, but everything is very hash, hash (I've een it with my very own eyes) until they get caught in a IOC test, which should be updated because TODAY it's easy to beat this test -you just need a knowledgeable doctor and a good lab to perform the trick-

Regards, gerard.

But does any of these drugs give an edge in comp. freediving?
What could you posibly gain with drugs that you can't get it without them?
I would like to hear the example! Is there a drug that can make (I don't need a name) your static time longer? Or in no limits dive?
I would expect maybe in CW you could gain more muscle mass, more power in your legs... and a few meters in depth (maybe)..

Sebastien Nagel, president of AIDA, takes beta-blockers for a heart condition he has. He also says that while under the influence of beta-blockers (banned by IOC), he has broken the static world record several times. Beta-blockers dramatically reduce your heart rate.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Re: Prohibited substances

Originally posted by Skindiver

Sudafed is banned for freediving. Is it an unfair advantage to dry your soggy ears to aid in equalising ? Interesting...

Skin. [/B]

To my knowledge, Sudafed is banned because the IOC banned pseudoephidrine, the main component of Sudafed. From what I understood, it has steroid properties.

Ah well, you can't buy it here in The Netherlands, you can't even get it on prescription!

Kind Regards,

Klaas Feenstra
Originally posted by efattah
Sebastien Nagel, president of AIDA, takes beta-blockers for a heart condition he has. He also says that while under the influence of beta-blockers (banned by IOC), he has broken the static world record several times. Beta-blockers dramatically reduce your heart rate.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

I wonder what his doctor opinion is of freediving on Beta-blockers... The problem with Beta-blockers is that you won't get a higher cardiac output if you would need it in a stress situation. Although you won't need that soon during static.

Ofcourse you can wonder if the reason of using beta-blockers isn't enough to be disqualified for freediving, however that choice is up to the freediver and the advising medical doctor.

Kind Regards,

Klaas Feenstra
Fascinating, Eric.

I can see how beta-blockers could help in all kinds of performance freediving. They would extend breatholds, dive depths etc, but would mean that you would also need massive surface intervals.

I wish I had the courage to experiment with these things - just for interest's sake!

But I don't - so I'll stick to hard dives with smaller surface intervals.
Just something I wondered.

During deeper dives, the hart slows. There even have been researches who showed that below a certain depth some of us get a form of arrythmia.

Nothing wrong with that, since returning back to the surface, the rhythm returns to normal. However, imagine that you would slow your heart even more by using beta-blockers. Couldn't that not lead to a cardiac arrest?

Not to mention that your hart can't give extra output when in an stress or emergency situation...

If we not would mention the fact that beta-blockers are on the doping list, I think that using it could give a serious health risk.

Other opinions?

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Ok, I know that I will go down in a shower of flames for this one, but I have heard that marijuana can improve static times. Anyone know for sure?

Though I haven't touched the stuff in years, I am curious to know if the rumour is true.

Next stop "Jamaica, mon"
I could imagine that it would work, however I have no expirience with it...

Perhaps it is a idea to visist the Netherlands and try it in a safe environment.. No, kidding. Perhaps it works, however it could also turn out that the diver wouldn't recognise the first symptoms of a LOMC and thus get a Samba or Black out...

Even when supervised by medical trained personel, I guess that expirimenting with drugs like that is still not without a risk.

I once heard a medical doctor say that freediving under beta-blockers would probably be fatal.

Probably another reason why they're banned.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
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