05-22-2002, 06:13 AM #1
NFL To Begin Testing For Ephedrine
NEW YORK (AP) - The National Football League will become the first professional sports league to test for the banned stimulant ephedrine in a program to begin July 1.
Any player testing positive for the chemical - known as ephedra in its herbal form - or chemically related compounds will be subject to a four-game suspension, the league said Friday.
The ban on the stimulant, an ingredient in some strength-building food supplements that has been linked to seizures, strokes and deaths, became part of the NFL's anti-steroid policy in September.
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said at the time that random testing, which is part of the ban, would not begin until consultation with the NFL Players Association.
The July 1 start of the testing program, first reported Friday by The New York Times, has now been agreed upon by union executive director Gene Upshaw and NFL executive vice president Harold Henderson.
``We're in the process of beginning to notify the players,'' NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Friday. ``There will be postings in every locker room saying ephedrine testing begins July 1.''
The memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, reads in part:
``As you recall, last season the NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to ban the use of certain stimulants including ephedrine. Products containing these stimulants are often promoted for weight loss or increased energy; however, there is growing evidence linking these products to several life-threatening conditions such as strokes, seizures, thermo-regulatory disorders and heart arrhythmias.''
Ephedrine is sold in a few over-the-counter asthma medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The herbal form, which is unregulated, is an ingredient in about 200 unregulated supplements for weight loss, building muscle or boosting energy, and occasionally in large doses as an ``herbal high.''
05-22-2002, 06:37 AM #2
All politics, if they didn't ban it, people would bitch about korey stringer dying from it. Smart move by the comissioner, had to be done, but nonetheless, i doubt it will solve anything. what is the duration of ephedrine in your blood anyway????
05-22-2002, 05:59 PM #3
I have no idea. It's just strange to me that ephedrine is taking all
of this heat for being so dangerous. Reminds me of a couple of years
ago when the media was making such a fuss about Creatine causing
dehydration deaths (of a couple of amateur wrestlers, if memory serves).
It's just plain dumb to ban ephedrine ENTIRELY. But, I suppose, much
like all pro sports drug tests, athletes will find a way around them.
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