The take a look at that detected three medicine in the blood of the 15-year-old Russian determine skater Kamila Valieva raises questions of why she or any athlete would take the substances.
Valieva mentioned she took the medicine to deal with a coronary heart ailment, however cardiologists mentioned that two of these medicine usually are not recurrently used in cardiology, and the third, the banned drug trimetazidine, is used in Europe just for sufferers whose coronary arteries are narrowed and who don’t have any different choices. Even then, it’s weakly efficient at finest.
Trimetazidine, a metabolic enhancer, encourages the coronary heart to make use of glucose reasonably than fatty acids for gasoline. The hearts of wholesome folks have a lot of gasoline, even throughout intense and extended train, mentioned Dr. Benjamin Levine, a coronary heart and train researcher at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
The others medicine, additionally metabolic enhancers, are the complement L-carnitine and the drug Hypoxen. Both are offered on-line and not using a prescription, although Hypoxen doesn’t seem like offered in the United States in well being shops. Neither substance is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited substance record.
L-carnitine is definitely accessible in all places as a complement and is meant to allow the physique to make use of fats as a gasoline. It is unlikely to have any impact on an athlete’s efficiency, mentioned Dr. Steven Nissen, a coronary heart skilled, at the Cleveland Clinic.
It has been used to deal with sufferers with broken hearts, however there is no such thing as a “strong scientific evidence,” that it helps them, Dr. Nissen mentioned.
Dr. Levine added that “it is certainly not something we use in cardiology,” he mentioned.
Eddie Coyle, an train physiologist at the University of Texas in Austin, mentioned L-carnitine “has no positive effects on muscle.”
Hypoxen is offered on-line by Russian firms. One firm promoting it claims it was developed in Russia in 1976 and is offered with out prescription. The firms make extravagant claims for the drug, saying it might probably enhance athletic efficiency and likewise assist with extreme accidents, burns, main surgical procedure, blood loss, in addition to bronchial asthma.
“I don’t know whether it works or doesn’t work,” Dr. Nissen mentioned.
The hazard for athletes, medical consultants mentioned, goes past the threat of being caught utilizing medicine improperly. The substances is likely to be worse than ineffective — they may hurt efficiency. And mixtures of medicine that would work together add to the unknown penalties. As the historical past of medication reveals all too clearly, medicine that for each logical motive ought to have a useful impact can really trigger hurt.
“Don’t mess around with Mother Nature,” Dr. Levine mentioned.