Are recreational drugs performance enhancing?

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FireKrakouer

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Firstly, apologies if this thread has already been done recently, I used the search function and could only find discussion of this from back in 2007.

Hearing the news of Ben Cousins and the recent leaked results from Collingwood has put the AFL's drug policy back on people's minds. It has been discussed how much or how little the AFL should intervene with the personal lives of players, but I'd like to approach this from a different angle: are players who take recreational drugs receiving an unfair playing advantage over those who don't?

Stimulant drugs, such as amphetamines and cocaine, are known for causing weight loss in users due to stimulation of the central nervous system and appetite suppression. Methamphetamine, AKA ice, is still prescribed in some countries as an anti-obesity medication.

Using these drugs could help players lose fat or maintain a lean physique. Some argue that players should be free to do what they want in their off season, but this is a time when they are particularly vulnerable to gaining unwanted weight.

Then there is the potential direct enhancement of athletic performance. Many body builders take stimulant-rich pre workout supplements to improve their workouts. Could some of these drugs increase performance on the field via increased energy, confidence and focus?

I doubt many/any players are under the influence on matchday, but could they be using to improve their training?

I have heard people saying "drug X is definitely not performance enhancing, trust me, I've taken it". It must be understood that psychoactive drugs affect everyone differently! What makes one person jittery and uncoordinated may make another person an athletic super-human.

Then there's the depressant drugs, eg marijuana and opiates. Many of these act as painkillers, and may increase appetite. A larger appetite may be beneficial to naturally skinny players wishing to add bulk to their frame. I realise I'm kind of grasping at straws here with the depressants, but the argument is there.

You could then argue that anything could be construed as performance enhancing. Should we ban caffeine, for example?

My opinion is that illegal drugs should be treated the same as performance enhancing drugs by the AFL. Substances like caffeine are easily available to everyone, cheap, and LEGAL, so I'm ok with them as I don't believe they give one player an unfair advantage over another.

We saw with Lachie Keefe and Josh Thomas that there can even be a direct overlap between recreational and PE drugs (if you believe their story). I'd like to see the rules simplified, with recreational drugs placed in the same basket as PEDs.

Thoughts?
 

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FireKrakouer

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Lol, no.

Ice isn't going to make anyone an athletic super-human, and neither is cocaine or other various recreational drugs.
Maybe I was over the top saying "super human", but do you believe they couldn't improve performance in any way at all? They couldn't help a sleep-deprived player get through a long training session, for example?
 

JohnnyFontane90

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they do have properties that would be considered performance enhancing if your understanding of it was limited to an academic journal.

but no absolutely they are not.

if it impairs driving, you bet your ass it impairs your ability to play professional sports at the highest level
 

Wooljay

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Maybe I was over the top saying "super human", but do you believe they couldn't improve performance in any way at all? They couldn't help a sleep-deprived player get through a long training session, for example?
So could No-Doze.

There is no way a player is smoking shards just to get through a training session, it's just an absurd concept. They'd barely be able to function or concentrate and it would be so clearly apparent they're off their head.
 

Topkent

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Maybe I was over the top saying "super human", but do you believe they couldn't improve performance in any way at all? They couldn't help a sleep-deprived player get through a long training session, for example?
Any time you try and gain on ICE or coke etc you will lose in double later
 

cryptor

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Yes and no. Cocaine and other stimulants could potentially have a performance enhancing effect. But not in the recreational way some players use it. Doing a line of coke in some night club bathroom or doing some E at a music festival is going to do more harm than good to their footy performance.

If as someone else above said they were doing it very carefully in the right doses spread out over the course of a game then yes they would probably gain an advantage from it. But no player is doing this.

It's customised designer PEDs made to order in labs that are likely the issue. I don't know enough about how it all works but I reckon many of them aren't detectable or at least as easily as detectable as "traditional PEDs".
 

Beutbrute

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Really depends on what the drug is, what the dosage is, who the individual taking it is and what task is being performed. Pretty sure ASADA tests include testing for recreational drugs, which are illegal on game day
 

Gigantic

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No, and they shouldn't be either because if you throw a blanket over almost all illicit drugs then you're going to make the whole issue even more of a grey area to deal with where recreational drugs that delve on the border of performance-enhancing if used right will be punished just as severely as steroids. There's a distinct difference between recreational drug use and performance enhancing drug use in the context of the sport and I think they should be dealt with separately.
 

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FireKrakouer

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Many of you are addressing my point on direct athletic performance but ignoring my point on weight loss. If anti obesity drugs like AOD and clenbuterol are banned, why not the anti obesity drug methamphetamine? It is still marketed for this purpose in the US.

I realise they are banned on match day, but I think to be consistent they should be banned altogether.
 

DylanR

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Theres no way a player doing coke or ice gets on the footy field and plays better it just doesnt happen, if a player was high on ice playing a full game of footy they'd risk serious health concerns because their heart would explode
 

Beer n Skittles

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Many of you are addressing my point on direct athletic performance but ignoring my point on weight loss. If anti obesity drugs like AOD and clenbuterol are banned, why not the anti obesity drug methamphetamine? It is still marketed for this purpose in the US.

I realise they are banned on match day, but I think to be consistent they should be banned altogether.
Because they've been assessed by someone who actually knows what they're talking about, and they've decided they are not performance enhancing outside of game day.
The drugs you mentioned increase aerobic capacity, oxygen transportation, aid recovery. Their banned status is not due to their weight loss effects. Even the one Warnie was banned for isn't due to weight loss, it's a masking agent.
 

Jim Prideaux

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Methamphetamine, used correctly is definitely a PED. It has a long history in military circles being used to increase stamina and alertness amongst other things. That said, your average Ice user is not taking it correctly.

People on Bigfooty often mistake the effects of long term abuse of a drug as the only effect. Meth used correctly will enhance your performance.
 

omit

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Many of you are addressing my point on direct athletic performance but ignoring my point on weight loss. If anti obesity drugs like AOD and clenbuterol are banned, why not the anti obesity drug methamphetamine? It is still marketed for this purpose in the US.

I realise they are banned on match day, but I think to be consistent they should be banned altogether.
Because those drugs weren't banned for their weight loss effects. AOD was banned by WADA as a non approved substance. i.e. There are no governments or pharmaceutical associations that approve of it's use. From the WADA website "Any pharmacological substance which is not addressed by any of the subsequent sections of the List and with no current approval by any governmental regulatory health authority for human therapeutic use (e.g drugs under pre-clinical or clinical development or discontinued, designer drugs, substances approved only for veterinary use) is prohibited at all times."

Clenbuterol was banned because it is a masking agent
 

JohnnyFontane90

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I'll trust the researched opinion of the WADA on whether a drug is performance enhancing. Some rec drugs are when taken on gameday & if you test positive on gameday you cop the full PED ban
but do you trust the opinion of law enforcement and governments around the world who drug test drivers and machine users because it's dangerous to operate them under the influence of those same drugs?
 

FireKrakouer

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There is no way a player is smoking shards just to get through a training session, it's just an absurd concept. They'd barely be able to function or concentrate and it would be so clearly apparent they're off their head.
You don't think Cousins or his mates ever trained or played high? I've heard rumours to the contrary, but I'll grant they are just rumours.

There are a few posts stating that users wouldn't be able to function, or that it would be obvious that they are high. I have worked in construction with an ice addict and found it hard to tell when he was on or off, he was so used to the stuff that he could control himself. I believe an experienced user taking small doses could maintain control. I've never personally taken an illegal stimulant, I'm just going by what I've seen in others.
 

floki

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No, i played in the back pocket for a team who's midfield and forwards bonged on at half time given the opportunity, the umpires may as well of bounced the ball at full back to restart after a goal.
 

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