Caffeine potentially on WADA’s List of Prohibited Substances

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I saw a Washington Post’s article this morning that said that caffeine is on a list at WADA that lists it as a on  a “waiting list of prohibited substances”.

The article says-

WADA added caffeine to its Monitoring Program for 2017 so experts could study whether athletes are using the substance “with the intent of enhancing performance.”

WADA’s study will continue through September, at which point the agency will issue a three-month notice that the substance will be added to the Prohibited List the following year. To be added to the prohibited list, the substance must meet two or three criteria: 1) It has the potential to enhance performance; 2) It poses a health risk to athletes; and/or 3) It violates “the spirit of sport.”

Caffeine, ie coffee or caffeine sodas, was banned for use in competition before 2003.  But there was a threshold, so you could drink coffee, but not just 5 double espresso before the start of a race.

I guess they are going to do a study to see how much caffeine an athlete can ingest to add in athletic performance.  I hope they aren’t going to be super strict, because from personal experience, just a small amount of caffeine aids in lots of different things, but for sure, athletic performance.

I assume that they are going to set thresholds once again.  The thresholds were pretty high before, so maybe they need to lower them a bit.  I’m sure there are guys out there consuming a ton of caffeine in athletic competition, so I, hesitantly, have to agree a ban needs to be enacted.

37 thoughts on “Caffeine potentially on WADA’s List of Prohibited Substances

  1. Bolas Azules

    Called “missing the forest for the trees.”

    Yeah caffeine while these lads are juiced to the gills on every substance (and synthetic substance) known to mankind….good call WADA.

  2. The Cyclist

    Yes, yes, yes… and yes. Finally I will be able to point a finger at all these coffee addicts and say they are cheeaaaaating next time they wanna stop for a coffee. Can’t stand all these “cyclists” that need to stop to “fill up” all the time. So god damn annoying.

    Coffee and cigarettes, yes. Coffee and cycling… big no.

  3. Joe

    Prove it!

    While it seems obvious that something fishy is going on, it is quite rare when we catch an athlete via testing. Some point to this as evidence that testing is a deterrent. But it really is not. Notice that it takes 8-10 years for testing to catch up, based on retesting of Olympic samples from many years past.

  4. Touriste-Routier

    Do you really think WADA is doing such a bad job of identifying and banning substances? Remember testing, catching, and punishing is different from identifying and declaring. Lots of parties to blame for failures of the former. Regulatory bodies are usually going to be reactionary; nature of the beast.

    Sure a few things slip through the cracks (like Tramadol), but these are often because some are deemed to have legitimate therapeutic use. Remember WADA needs a unified code across all sports, not just something that is specific to a single sport. Put in special cases like substance x is OK in sport y, but not z, and you start rendering the testing less blind.

  5. KrakatoaEastofJava

    In the eighties (as I remember) it was on OUR list (IE, in the back of the USCF rulebook). Coffee & Tea were OK, but supplements (like UpTime) were prohibited. I thought that was kind of dumb. People weren’t yet really into espresso back then.

  6. Clifford

    Drinking a bunch of espresso — more than two shots — before a serious ride or race would just make me have to puke or shit during an inopportune moment. Probably better to ban!

  7. Joe

    i played around with caffeine that probably pushed the legal limit a few times and all it seemed to do was make me ride stupidly aggressive early in the race and then be gassed and having stomach cramps during crunch time. The shitting usually came post race.

  8. chris

    Eddie B. –> Caffeine suppositories –> Steve Hegg disqualified from 1988 Olympic team!

    Maybe using that particular route of administration has less side effects than eight shots of espresso. I looked up Steve Hegg’s explanation which appeared in the L.A. times on why he thinks he tested positive (I’d either be passed out from dehydration or calling 911 from heart palpitations and panic attacks, not racing):

    “It was extremely hot down in Houston. It was in the 90s all day long,” Hegg said during an interview last week. “I contribute the problem to the heat and the dehydration . . . that made the caffeine more concentrated,” Hegg said.

    “I used the same amount of caffeine in Houston that I have used in any other international world championship-type race, and have been tested a million times and never had a problem before.”

    “I always drink two large cups of coffee, from like the 7-11 or Stop and Go type before races . . . 16 ounce (size), probably.

    “In the morning, I don’t know, I had four to five cups at breakfast, three or four anyway. Then we had rain delay. I had warmed up once already. I was pretty dehydrated, so I started drinking Coke, because I knew there was small amount of caffeine in there and I wanted that.

    “I lost track how many of those I had, but I mean we had a 3-hour rain delay so I’d been sitting there and it (the Coke) was free so I was drinking it.”

    “We finally got to race that night. I’d been waiting and waiting and waiting and drinking and drinking and drinking, trying to stay hydrated, and it never even crossed my mind that I would be (over the limit). ”

    The USOC views a positive drug test as final, without chance of appeal. There are two tests done on each athlete’s urine sample. Hegg’s sample failed both tests.

    “Caffeine works different for everybody,” Hegg contends. “It’s one of those unknown things . . . (The testing’s) not really fair because the computer doesn’t take in any of the variables (body composition, weather). (The heat and humidity) must’ve make a difference because I was dehydrated.”

  9. KrakatoaEastofJava

    All those supplements ever did for me was to make me feel like complete dogshit (wrapped in catshit).

  10. Touriste-Routier

    At the Pro Race in Freehold, NJ sometime after his testing positive, we saw him at a diner pre-race, my teammate ordered a coffee, and pointed to Hegg, and said, “make his decaf”. We thought it was a lot funnier than Hegg did.

  11. Spooky

    What a load of fucking shit…. Anybody can buy and drink coffee so everyone has the same advantage… This is becoming ridiculous and the obsession with doping is becoming ridiculous… More shite to fill the pathetic media

  12. Emacdo

    I find that cigarettes and cycling is actually the winning combination. Who doesn’t like a Gauloise on a long climb, or better, a steep descent to calm the nerves?

  13. JB

    “To be added to the prohibited list, the substance must meet two or three criteria: 1) It has the potential to enhance performance; 2) It poses a health risk to athletes; and/or 3) It violates ‘the spirit of sport.'”

    In my opinion, caffeine only meets criterion #1.

  14. Ensign Starbuck

    If you wanna git down, down on the ground……caffeine. Nevermind forgot the words. Remember watching old Steve Hegg destroy the TDC in 96 in de Burgh and get onto the Olympic Team but I think he Pumped Some Iron City Beers the night before lol. Black Coffee werks fer Me!

  15. Munchma Quchi

    Clifford. Too much information.

    Keep your bran muffin and prune diet to yourself.

  16. Wood U naut like ta Now

    FFS … “Venus Williams” has a “TUE” for fucking √ Adderall … come-on, wake up people … If you have money you “get a pass …” Lame ass USCF … Welcome to the proletariate kids!

  17. Munchma Quchi

    Anytime Hegg and Eddie got together there was something fishy going on. 1990 he took both the road and TT gold while working closely with EB. Just like the old days of 1984.

  18. Wood U naut like ta Now

    Serena was granted approval for oxycodone, hydromorphone, prednisone, prednisolone and methylprednisolone in 2010, 2014 and 2015. The first two are medically defined as opioid painkillers, and are banned in the anti-doping rules because they’re labeled as narcotics. The second two are medically defined as corticosteroid anti-inflammatories, a portion of which are generally banned in competition.”

  19. James

    The problem w caffeine is people are abusing it. Its gone for some well beyond a pre ride expresso.

    The adderall gen has no problem hammering back 3-5 ‘energy’ drinks w a Tram & Addy chaser! Boom!

  20. Mike Rodose

    Steve Tilford agrees (hesitantly) there should be a ban on caffeine.


  21. paul boudreaux

    It can definitely help in 12-24 hour mtb races – to a point. Have to manage it and use it strategically just like your effort, fuel and hydration to get your money’s worth. Funny how wide awake you can feel after finishing a 24 hour solo effort – until you add up how many MG of caffeine you’ve taken in over the course of the event.

  22. Humble Pie

    “Black coffee is good as it can be, black tea cant do it for me, its a cup of Black Coffee that a workin man needs!” RIP Steve Marriot

  23. mike crum

    let em drink coffee.. as much as they want…..who cares.. when the greatest cyclist of all time gets busted 4 times, or more, for being on peds, you know the other 197 in the peloton are on them too…chasing eddy.. lol…

  24. Munchma Quchi

    USCF coaches put more than suppositories up some rider’s asses. Just saying…

    Some men just can’t resist the taut young buttocks of a Swedish boy when there is so much lube and oil in the room.

  25. Gabby

    My theory is that you many have a TUE for the tramadol in you finish bottle but if you put enough caffeine pills in there to keep you from taking a nap on your bike in the last 30k then youll trigger a positive on a test. i think the end goal is accomplished in trying to get rid of finish bottles. Its kinda like chris rocks bit on gun control. if you cant get rid of the guns, make the bullets harder to get. Or at least that how i see it.


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