So here we have the AOC which has just banned the supply of sleeping pills to its athletes. The AOC has admitted that the ban may result in Australia missing out on medals. From what Im reading the main reason the pills are being prescribed are two fold:
1. athletes are being forced to stay up late to attend post event publicity functions, drug testing etc. They are getting back to their beds at very late hours and are having to take sleeping pills to get sufficient sleep to be able to perform the next day.
2. a number of athletes are taking caffeine pills to enhance their performance. They are needing to take sleeping pills because they're too caffeined up to get a good nights sleep.
I'm really having trouble getting my head around all this. My thoughts as follows:
1. If the AOC admits that not giving their athletes sleeping pills will put them at a disadvantage against other teams that are still prescribing the pills then surely here we have a form of drug enhanced performance???
2. Shouldn't someone be addressing the issue of the athletes being forced to stay up so late that they cant get a normal nights sleep rather than just plying them with sleeping pills? Someone in the AOC isnt on the ball here.
One good thing coming out of all this is the revelation that cycling isnt the only sport with a drug problem.
A possible solution is that the team doctor hands out the sleeping pills, and keeps tabs and notes so that an athlete does not take too many. This is done in hospitals.
I have 2 questions:
* Why would you take caffiene pills when you can drink expresso or maciato's ?
* Why would you take sleeping pills when you could have a small glass of red ?
Caffeine pills are a more convenient way of taking caffeine. Good for people who dont like coffee (fools).
I think youll find alcohol is actually a poor way to get yourself to sleep. A couple of reds certainly keeps me awake all night.
It shouldn't be up to the Australian Olympic Committee.
It should be the International Olympic Committees Decision.
Just another knee-jerk reaction to the Grant Hackett fiasco...
Which followed on from the knee-jerk reaction to the facebook photo in the gun shop fiasco...
They're scared of negative publicity, but more importantly, they are trying to mitigate against any potential future litigation against them by athletes who may claim to be addicted to pills directly from their olympic involvement. I smell a rat, and wouldn't be surprised in the next few years if a heap of other athletes come forward with addiction issues from tablets specifically prescribed by the AOC medical team.
My 2c worth.
The athletes should not be expected to stay up late for any reason - testing and other expectations need to be scheduled to fit around the athletes movements not the other way around. If they are needing chemical remedies to get to sleep then there is clearly something wrong. Personally, if I work out hard I'm stuffed, sleep is natural and easy.
I would have thought nerves or anxiety could also be an issue?
I'm jealous of you rossmg! I'm the opposite. If I work out hard, I'm also stuffed, but my legs and muscles ache, I don't stop sweating easily, I get 'restless legs' and can't sleep to save myself! I also suffer from insomnia at times. I can ride 150km in a morning, rest all afternoon, but still not sleep that night because of this. Although I don't take any sleeping pills, sometimes I need a couple of nurofen to dull the ache in my body so that I can sleep...
Therefore, I can kind of sympathise with an elite athlete at the pinnacle of their career needing some assistance to sleep before the event for which their life has probably revolved around. And if they need caffeine to kick start them the day of their event, you can be 100% sure that they are pumping that and everything else 'legal' into their bodies to perform.
If you're having to take neurofen after a work out then perhaps you're working out too hard or there are health issues that need addressing. Maybe your training regime needs a bit of fine tuning.
If youre resting all afternoon after a morning ride then that could part of the reason youre not sleeping at night. My wife whos a nurse will often have a nap in the early evening. By the time she comes to bed around 10pm she cant sleep and that then keeps me awake all night. As an experiment you could try an afternoon ride and not spend too much time resting before heading off to bed in the evening.
Purely my thoughts and opinions of course but something doesnt sound right.
Yeah sure, nerves and anxiety certainly would interfere. Nonetheless, one would hope they have strategies other than chemicals to combat such problems, meditation for example. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), not much fun - ever tried acupuncture?
Agree that hard work can encourage sleep. There is a difference for the athletes: keyed up. Think how some people are the night before an exam, an interview, thinking about need to wake up early to catch that flight, etc.
While cycling gets the publicity, performance enhancing substances are used by almost every sport. Several Olympics ago, the medal winning Bulgarian weight lifting team was on a plane and out of there before anyone could be tested - - and of course there has always been the track and field incidents. The TdF is just more in the public eye.