NFL doping: Are players using Viagra to boost performance?
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NFL doping: Are players using Viagra to boost performance?

San Francisco : CA : USA | Nov 29, 2012 at 5:48 AM PST
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Levitra ad

If you think the use of Viagra is limited to bedrooms, then you’re wrong. Viagra is also used in the professional playing field of National Football League (NFL) players as a performance enhancing drug (PED) according to a credible source. A Chicago Bears insider tweeted:

#Bears WR @BMarshall said he's heard crazy stories of players trying to get an edge, including use of Viagra. #puzzled

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall says he heard stories that the common prescription medication drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension is also used by players who try to get an edge on the field. But Marshall did not admit that he used it for himself before playing the most rugged game in sports.

But the story of sildenafil citrate, or Viagra, use as a perfomance-enhancing drug in sports is not new at all. According to a Viagra case study conducted by Marywood University lacrosse players reported by New York Times in 2008,

"Viagra, or sildenafil citrate, was devised to treat pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in arteries of the lungs. The drug works by suppressing an enzyme that controls blood flow, allowing the vessels to relax and widen. The same mechanism facilitates blood flow into the penis of impotent men. In the case of athletes, increased cardiac output and more efficient transport of oxygenated fuel to the muscles can enhance endurance."

The report also mentioned the 2004 German study of climbers at 17,200 feet at a Mount Everest base camp, published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, found that Viagra relieved constriction of blood vessels in the lungs and increased maximum exercise capacity. Furthermore, the used of Viagra also allows you to compete with a sea level, or near sea level, aerobic capacity at altitude.

The case study was financed by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which is investigating whether Viagra creates an unfair competitive advantage in dilating an athlete's blood vessels and unduly increasing oxygen-carrying capacity. If the result is positive, the agency could ban the drug.

In the Levitra TV ad above, a male baby boomer depicts the useof the drug as an enhancer of football throwing ability. Vardenafil, or Levitra, is widely known as treating erectile dysfunction as well.

So professional athletes have been documented using sildenafil, believing the opening of their blood vessels will enrich their muscles. In turn, they believe that it will enhance their performance.

Opinion:

At a time when NFL keeps suspending players for using Adderall as a performance-enhancing drug, now how about the use of sildenafil to create an unfair competitive advantage? Isn't that cheating? Should NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell be concerned about it?

Although NFL athletes play only once a week due to the physicality of the game, how about the NBA athletes, which are required to play two to three times a week? Viagra used as PED by elite athletes may be rampant since the drug is not prohibited, therefore not screened by any routine doping agency.

As much as we ridiculed Lance Armstrong for engineering a sophisticated doping scandal in professional cycling, what can the doping governing bodies (USA Doping Agency) do about the Viagra use in sports?

Source:

NY Times

NBC Profootball

Wikipedia

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Viagra or Levitra used as PED by professional athletes?
richwebnews is based in San Francisco, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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  • Are NFL players using Viagra as a PED? (Image: Reuters/Jeff Haynes)

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