NO ban on Hypoxic Training

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September 20, 2006 The Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has decided not to ban Hypoxic Training systems and has not added artificially-induced hypoxic conditions to the 2007 List. The Committees found that the method was performance enhancing, determined that the methodology was contrary to the spirit of sport, raised some concerns but was inconclusive about the method's threat to athlete health. A substance or method may, but is not required to, be added to the Prohibited List if it meets two of these three criteria. There’s been a lot of discussion regarding the preliminaries for this decision and the subsequent misinformation surrounding the committee's determination that Hypoxic Training is contrary to the spirit of sport. Here are a few excellent resources for those whose mind is not yet made up: Interview with Dr John Hellemans of the New Zealand Academy of Sport South, links to WADA submissions from various authorities, and an excellent letter from Doriane L. Coleman , Professor of Law at Duke Law School, and an affiliate of Duke Law School's Center for Sports Law and Policy.

"We are pleased with the progress of the discussion surrounding artificially induced hypoxic conditions," said Richard W. Pound, WADA's president. "In response to our stakeholders who requested that there be full consideration of hypoxic conditions in the context of the Prohibited List, WADA performed a scientific and ethical review of the matter, and engaged in a thorough consultation with experts and stakeholders. While we do not deem this method appropriate for inclusion on the List at this time, we still wish to express the concern that, in addition to the results varying individually from case to case, use of this method may pose health risks if not properly implemented and under medical supervision."

Committee members also suggested that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical Commission look into the matter for a medical consideration of the method's impact on athlete health.

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