Many athletes experience medication-related problems involving over-the-counter (OTC) and prescribed medications. The necessity for a pharmacist intervention with athletes is crucial because of the detrimental effects inappropriate drug use can have on the health, athleticism and financial success of the athletes.
On October 24, 2019, the NBA announced that Phoenix Suns center, Deandre Ayton, was suspended 25 games after he tested positive for a diuretic. He will be sidelined until December 17. Ayton said in a statement, “I want to apologize to my family, the entire Suns organization, my teammates, partners, our fans and the Phoenix community. This was an unintentional mistake and unfortunately I put something in my body that I was completely unaware of. I do understand the unfortunate impact that this has on so many others, and for that I am deeply sorry. I’m extremely disappointed that I’ve let my team down.” League rules dictate that any player testing positive for a diuretic, which can potentially mask a drug test’s results, shall be deemed to have tested positive for a steroid or performance-enhancing drug and shall suffer the applicable consequences. Given that his suspension was without pay, Ayton forfeited more than $2.1 million. ESP will advise you on drug therapy before you take it to avoid incidents such as this.
In late August 2019 NBA player, Wilson Chandler with the Brooklyn Nets tested positive for a drug on the league’s banned substances list. Chandler states that during his injury rehab process before signing with the Nets, he was prescribed a treatment that included small doses of a substance that is on the NBA’s prohibited substances list. Chandler did not know the substance was banned and neither did the doctor. Chandler failed the league’s drug test and was suspended for the first 25 games of the season. Chandler’s suspension jeopardized his season and possibly his career. ESP will continually monitor your sport's banned substances list and consult with you about any updates to keep you in the game.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals was suspended 6 games to open the 2019 NFL season for violating the league's performance enhancing drug (PED) policy. Peterson has apologized and is disappointed that his name is attached to something like this, but he understands that regardless of intent he is ultimately responsible for everything he puts in his body. It had been speculated that Peterson took the PED for recovery so that he could get back on the field quicker. This incident could derail the legacy and possible hall of fame induction for this talented player who is arguable one of the best to ever play his position. ESP will make sure you understand the consequences of all drugs you put in your body.
On December 13, 2017, the British rider Chris Froome returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for salbutamol at the 2017 Vuelta a España. Froome won the Vuelta riding for Team Sky, but faced the possibility of having his victory removed if he was sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) for having too much salbutamol in his system. Salbutamol is a drug used to treat and alleviate the symptoms of asthma. Froome has a known history of suffering with asthma and uses salbutamol to manage his symptoms. Team Sky said in a statement that Froome suffered from ‘acute asthma symptoms’ during the final week of the Vuelta. A team doctor advised Froome to take an increased dose of salbutamol to help alleviate his symptoms. According to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules, 1,600 micrograms of salbutamol can be taken by an athlete via inhaler in a 24-hour period without the need for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) certificate. A TUE is issued when an athlete requires a drug listed as prohibited by WADA for a legitimate medical need. The UCI has since dropped its anti-doping investigation against Froome and cleared him of any wrongdoing, but critics state he should have known better. ESP will advise you on the proper way to address any escalating medical conditions with drug therapy to keep you in the game.
The U.S. swimmer, Ryan Lochte, has been banned from competition until July 2019 for receiving an intravenous (IV) infusion of permitted substances. The investigation found that Lochte had more than the permitted 100 ml in a 12-hour period. IV infusions or injections in a volume greater than 100 ml within a 12-hour period are prohibited at all times, except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital treatment, surgical procedures, or clinical diagnostic investigations under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the Fédération Internationale de Natation Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List. Lochte received a 14-month suspension retroactive to May 24, 2018, the date of the social media post of him receiving the infusion. "Unfortunately, while the rule is a newer rule and is not widely known as others, I should know better", Lochte said. ESP will make sure you understand all the rules of your sport's governing body and will keep you informed of any updates and changes.
Unfortunate incidents occur with OTC and prescription drugs. Athletes are concerned about the uncertainty of exactly what's in OTC products and improper education about prescription drugs. Because of this, athletes stop taking their medications resulting in needless suffering. Ultimately this is reflected in athletes' performances as well as being very detrimental to their health. Athletes can't keep up with the ever changing rules and changing banned drug lists. They need a support system to keep them informed.
A better job of education can be accomplished by utilizing a pharmacist for live interactions rather than the sport's governing body sending out a sheet or posting on its website what is acceptable. The mere suspicion of doping can have a negative impact on the longevity of an athlete's career. EJ Sports Pharmacy can assist you in becoming thoroughly knowledgeable about the medications you take for short-term and long-term medical conditions. Allow ESP to provide you the personal attention you deserve.