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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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G

gerard

New Member
Oct 3, 2002
230
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0
Originally posted by Rik
Other opinions?

Easy taking PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS it's called in my philosophy bookBLOODY CHEATING. It's the same as climbing the Tourmalet with a "Suzuki GSX-R1000" instead of your "Vitus" road bike (sorry for mentioning specific brands):D

Regards, gerard.
 
R

Rik

In to diving medicine
Oct 4, 2002
177
29
118
Cheating, wasn't that the subject of this thread?

Most of us will agree that using any 'performance enhancing drug" is not good for the sport (and probably for the diver).

However, I do believe that it should be discussed. Just for the general public to know what the effects and the risks are. Even if we would come to the conclusion that there are only a few, perhaps even none, that should really make a "winner" out of a diver.
And naturally, when we would find a product what could, in theory, enhance the performances of the diver, the AIDA officials reading this could work out some way to prevent the divers from using it and ‘hanging’ those who do.

A summary with some additions:

>Beta-blockers:
Could work, however can be fatal during dives and limits your heart out-put during stress and physical exercises. Could be used in theory for static, however the effects by a healthy diver are unknown, and you would need a physician to get the product, calculate the dose, and more importantly, when you would need to start and stop with the drugs.

>Sedatives and Marihuana:
No clue. Even if it would work, could in theory cause that the diver wouldn't recognise when to end his or her attempt. There has been no research what the effects of hypoxia are on sedatives.

>Blood-doping:
Classic method: Extracting blood and adding it later can result in a high viscosity, which increase the workload for the heart and thus decreases the theoretical benefit. A physician or nurse should be needed for the proper procedure.

Chemical method: Using EPO, results in a high viscosity. EPO can be found in blood tests (recombinant EPO)

Exposure to low oxygen environments (like training on high altitude) can cause a “natural” increase in hematocrit levels and red blood cells.

The old test existed of measuring the hematocrit levels, and giving it a specific maximum. This test could still find the divers who have high Ht level caused by ‘other’ procedures than EPO.

Note: A other thread on DeeperBlue, suggested that freedivers could have a lower iron level, due to their specific eating pattern and thus implying that the amount of Ht produced with these procedures could be rather limited.

>Beta-mimetica
No idea. Are there asthma patients who have experience with this?

>Oxygen
You don’t easily hide an oxygen tank during a competition. Although the benefits of a breath-hold on 100% oxygen are known (static of 14 minutes), the high oxygen pressures are harmful for the lung. Discussed could after which time period breathing of 100% before a attempt is neutralised.
Deep dives on 100% oxygen can result in damage to the central nervous system due to oxygen toxicity.

Last, but not least. Like most of us know, freediving is more a psychological sport than it is physical. Even if you would prepare your body with drugs to 102% of it maximal capabilities, if you don’t feel right you still would perform 90% or less. Is the benefit worth the risk?

Any comments?

Rik

:hmm DISCLAIMER: This information should NOT be used for cheating of enhancing your performances. The writer can not be held responsible for any accidents resulting in any material, psychological or physical damage or death caused by using the information provided in this article. The writer strongly opposes any cheating in freediving expects that you oppose it too :duh
 
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B

bruno

New Member
Sep 15, 2001
63
12
0
59
RSR13

Ever heard of it???

During Italian Giro 2001 prof cyclist Dario Frigo was caught with this product in his hotel room even before it was officially on the market as medical drug.

RSR13 is a genetically modified hemoglobine (Hb). Oxygentransfert to organs and brain is much more easy, O2 concentration can go far below normal values. This drug is given to patient with brain tumor. Patient are said to respond better to radiation after oxygen poor cancer has been well oxygenated.

As far as I know, RSR13 can damage liver, can cause fatal high blood pressure, is extremely expensive and can not be found in urine (dopingtest)

Want to know more???

:ban

bruno
 
K

Klaas Feenstra

New Member
Jun 4, 2002
18
4
0
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RSR13

Just suppose a freediver would use the drug. It would cause that the availble oxygen is earlier released from the hemoglobin.

Wouldn't this not result, at best, in narrowing the thin line between a 'clear' performance and a LOMC or Black-out?

How 'conservative' would a freediver be using this drug. Would there not be a chance that the extra free O2 would be faster used up than when bound to hemoglobin?

Trying to enhance your performance with drugs is walking over a rope with two people at each side standing ready to cut the rope.

Just my 0,2 cents

Klaas
 
G

gerard

New Member
Oct 3, 2002
230
27
0
Re: RSR13

Originally posted by Klaas Feenstra
Trying to enhance your performance with drugs is walking over a rope with two people at each side standing ready to cut the rope

I don't think so. Try @##%&*s. I am not giving ideas to anyone. I'm drug-free because my ethics don't allow me to take stuff. But when I say take that, is because it works and it's effective. The problem is that you are likely to be caught and punished unless you have a good plan B.

Regards, gerard.
 
E

efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
3,294
489
173
Personally I wouldn't take illegal drugs, but I don't care if my opponents use illegal drugs. Let them take EPO, let them take steroids, beta blockers, let them take RSR13 or artificial oxygen carriers.

The diver who takes all of these things cannot even beat a penguin or a seal. Yet, the penguin and the seal were created without drugs, through natural adaptations.

The natural mechanism of adaptation is virtually flawless. Messing with natural adaptations will never allow you to reach your maximum potential.

Using illegal drugs may improve your performance in the short term, and you might beat Mr. 'Clean', but in the end, if Mr. Clean trains properly, and long enough, he will always beat the drug athlete.

I will give an example of this. If an athlete takes enough EPO, he eventually dies from too thick blood when his hematocrit goes over 60-65%.

However, Andean natives, through *natural* adaptations, have hematocrits of up to 80%, and they don't die from 'too thick blood', because their body has adjusted their fibrinogen and other viscosity agents.

This is just one example of how the athlete with the drug can never beat the human who has gone through natural adaptations.

Maybe the drug athlete can reach amazing performances in a very short time, but in the end he will be beaten.

Even with all the steroids invented, the strongest man in history is still Louis Cyr, who lifted 1968kg (4337lbs), in 1896, before the invention of anabolic steroids, using only natural adaptations as his weapon. He lifted 250kg (551lbs) with only one finger.

So, let athletes use drugs, because in the end they will never reach their maximum potential.


Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
 
G

gerard

New Member
Oct 3, 2002
230
27
0
Nice post Eric

It really captures the spirit of what sport should be.

Regards, gerard.
 
A

ActiveMatrix

here fishy fishy!
Apr 10, 2004
51
6
98
Here's another interesting question... What would the effects of baby aspirin be on freedive performance? It seems to me that lower blood viscosity would decrease heart rate and cause a performance increase, plus as an Emergency Medical Technician I am constantly hearing about new studies involving the drugs I administer, and it is being shown that over long term periods, the body will build a tolerance to aspirin, increasing hematocrit levels to the point that if an old fart that has been taking it for a while suddenly goes off, it alone can be enough to cause a cardiac event.
If this is the case, then I would think that it might be an interesting and safe way to boost performance in the long term. (Although still quite unfair in competition.)

As far as illegal performance enhancing drugs go, I've seen some nasty stuff in my short time riding on ambulances. (gave a ride to a 17 year old high school wrestler having a heart attack from steroids, the whole time DYING to just kick this kid in the groin)
Your body takes a long time to adjust itself to these substances, and in the meantime it is thrown off balance. Now throw that person in a couple hundred feet of water with no air, and they will very quickly rethink their decision to use that crap.
Sure, freediving can be dangerous. Yes, you can die doing it.
NO, increasing that risk tenfold is SURE AS HECK not worth another 10 feet!
 
Chefkoch

Chefkoch

Well-Known Member
Oct 7, 2001
77
6
98
45
I have to take beta-blockers (bisoprolol) and one drug lowering blood pressure (ramipril). I had an acute myocarditis in july and will take the drugs until october.

The lowered heart rate could boost freediving performance, but there's another, potentially more important aspect: relaxation. With beta-blockers, you just don't get that excited, and this could be very helpful during competitions. There's a reason why racing drivers used to take beta-blockers ;)

The doctors told me to avoid freediving and heart rates above 100 for the next 3-6 months. I keep freediving though, just for the joy of it; nothing deep, fast or performance-driven. Last week I had my first pool training session since my heart issue occured back in july 1st. As a biochemistry phd and pharmaceutical researcher I was curious to see what the beta-blocker would do to my freediving. WOW that was one of the most satisfying training sessions in years! One of my exercises is to take a 1min break on the pool's floor at 5m, then dive 2 laps of 22m each. Now I easily rested 2minutes before diving the 2 laps! Contractions came much later, I was so relaxed and comfortable i felt i could fall asleep at 5m! I easily did 3'45'' of very slow dynamic. I didn't do greater distances or faster dives in order to avoid my heartrate hitting 100bpm. But the feeling was great!
 
R

Rik

In to diving medicine
Oct 4, 2002
177
29
118
Betablokkers, like bisoprolol, do lower the heart-rate and can indirectly reduce fear and anxiety. It can therefore help in the initial part of an breath-hold.

However... the medication does also reduce the frequency during the end of an breath-hold, where an increase is required to get enough blood flow through the brains. This reduction might cause an severe black-out. It might also negatively affect the rate of recovering after such an black-out.
 
S

sross

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2007
312
36
68
Has AIDA, or any other organization, compiled a list of dangerous or banned substances for freediving competition?
 
R

Rik

In to diving medicine
Oct 4, 2002
177
29
118
AIDA follows WADA regulation and procedures.
 
C

Chrillepille

Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2006
78
5
48
...and on top of the WADA list, oxygen is considered a banned substance when competing.
 
S

sross

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2007
312
36
68
Thanks for the list, guys.

It has always seemed to me that so-called blood doping, esp. increasing RBC count, would be the way people would try to boost their performances in freediving.

What about blood thickening effects, though. Has anyone ever studied safety issues around increasing RBC count, or use of oxygen transport enhancing substances?
 
Broseidon

Broseidon

Lord of the Brocean
Aug 13, 2007
1,901
586
203
Platelet aggregation is easily reduced with a simple asprin.

There are no real safety issues with short term increases RBC, homeostasis will sort it all out. The main issues are the side effect of the drugs used to enhance RBC, many of which are very light.

It wouldn't surprise me if some / all hardcore free divers developed mild forms of Polycythaemia. It would be interesting to see their hematocit levels compared to the mean.
 
S

sross

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2007
312
36
68
Hmmm, good point

I wonder if training in an elevated body of water (Lake Titicaca @ 3000 m, anyone?) would cause a natural rise in RBC counts, just like it does in land-based athletes?
 
Lyterkillsling

Lyterkillsling

Member
Aug 6, 2012
17
0
11
You could breathe straight oxygen before a static hold and warp time. I think there's been people doing 19 minute breathe holds. But that's in testing. Obviously you couldn't do this in a competition. I think the rules are set right. You body should be in total control of mind and body. No enhancements.
 
Chefkoch

Chefkoch

Well-Known Member
Oct 7, 2001
77
6
98
45
I have to take beta-blockers (bisoprolol) and one drug lowering blood pressure (ramipril). I had an acute myocarditis in july and will take the drugs until october.

The lowered heart rate could boost freediving performance, but there's another, potentially more important aspect: relaxation. With beta-blockers, you just don't get that excited, and this could be very helpful during competitions. There's a reason why racing drivers used to take beta-blockers ;)

The doctors told me to avoid freediving and heart rates above 100 for the next 3-6 months. I keep freediving though, just for the joy of it; nothing deep, fast or performance-driven. Last week I had my first pool training session since my heart issue occured back in july 1st. As a biochemistry phd and pharmaceutical researcher I was curious to see what the beta-blocker would do to my freediving. WOW that was one of the most satisfying training sessions in years! One of my exercises is to take a 1min break on the pool's floor at 5m, then dive 2 laps of 22m each. Now I easily rested 2minutes before diving the 2 laps! Contractions came much later, I was so relaxed and comfortable i felt i could fall asleep at 5m! I easily did 3'45'' of very slow dynamic. I didn't do greater distances or faster dives in order to avoid my heartrate hitting 100bpm. But the feeling was great!

A little update on my experience with beta-blockers. I've returned from 3 weeks of freediving in northern italy and crete. After more than 12 years of freediving I must say these were some of the most rewarding dives ever! As I stated previously, I didn't do any performance/deep stuff due to my medical condition, just hours and hours of fun diving in the 0-20m range, both inhaled and exhaled.
I'm still alive, so beta-blockers are not fatal per se while freediving. Medical doctors, even those who regularly test scuba divers for their medical, often have a very limited understanding of freediving physiology.
I don't promote drug abuse during freediving. I had to take beta-blockers and blood pressure lowering drugs due to a temporary medical condition, so I had the opportunity to test their effects on freediving. If a freediver was to illegally boost his/her performance during record attempts, esp. in static, beta-blockers would be high on the list.
 
Chefkoch

Chefkoch

Well-Known Member
Oct 7, 2001
77
6
98
45
Apparently, beta-blockers are not banned for freediving! :head :wave :rcard

From the WADA-Prohibited list 2013:

P2. BETA-BLOCKERS Unless otherwise specified, beta-blockers are prohibited In-Competition only, in the following sports.
• Archery (FITA) (also prohibited Out-of-Competition)
• Automobile (FIA)
• Billiards (all disciplines) (WCBS)
• Darts (WDF)
• Golf (IGF)
• Shooting (ISSF, IPC) (also prohibited Out-of-Competition)
• Skiing/Snowboarding (FIS) in ski jumping, freestyle aerials/halfpipe and snowboard halfpipe/big air
 
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