Should Living At Altitude Be Banned Like Steroids?

from the forget-mile-high-stadium dept

Last year, we had a story that asked If Steroids Are Cheating, Why Isn't LASIK? Both are artificial, technology-based enhancements that athletes use to improve performance over what it would be naturally. While the sporting world isn't yet looking into banning LASIK, they may be banning a different type of technology enhancement: the high altitude tent or any similar system that simulates the oxygen levels at a high altitude. Such systems have been used by athletes for years, after it was shown that living at altitude increases your endurance -- especially if you then train at lower altitudes. The ultimate solution, then, is a system that makes your body think you're at higher altitudes when you sleep or are at home, but then when you train, you're actually at the lower altitudes. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is considering making the use of any such altitude simulation system just as forbidden as the use of steroids, saying it's a similar form of cheating. Others, however, wonder why it's really any different than actually living at altitude. Maybe next, WADA will tackle the massive threat that is LASIK surgery.

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  1. identicon
    Daryl Ducharme, 12 May 2006 @ 8:06am

    the difference

    I think the main difference between steroids and other things is the dangers it poses to the different subsystems (read organs) of the body. I do not know what effect these simulated high altitude training methods have on people's bodies. If there are negative, long term effects then that would be the difference.

    Having been training while living in Denver then moving to the east coast near the ocean and training, the difference in endurance is definately huge. I felt like I could go all day at first. Of course now...

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