Sports Watchdogs Mulling Viagra Ban

      February 04, 2009 11:27

      Viagra is being considered for inclusion among banned substances as an increasing number of athletes are taking the impotence cure to boost their performance.

      French daily Le Parisien on Sunday said the Cycle Union of France plans to include Viagra among banned substances. The BBC said the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) asked two U.S. universities to investigate the effect of Viagra on athletes' performance. Depending on the result, WADA will consider banning Viagra before the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

      Athletes believe the blue pill helps boost their performance as its vasodilation effect helps provide more oxygen to the muscles.

      Experiments by Stanford University in 2006 show that in alpine regions over 3,000 m, cyclists who took Viagra became 15 percent faster, which is why the drug is popular among cyclists. A German research institute in 2004 also showed that Viagra boosts the performance of mountain climbers.

      Professional baseball players, athletes, skiers and body builders also take Viagra to improve their performance. Le Parisien said Italy's Mafia and criminal groups in the U.K. feed Viagra to racehorses to manipulate the outcome of races.

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