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CMAS - Anti-Doping Education Webinar 2
Welcome to this anti-doping webinar hosted by the International Testing Agency (ITA), on behalf of the World Underwater Federation (CMAS). Read more »
01.02.2023 - DECISION in case No. 21-1034228 Gaponenko Dmytro (athlete)
on violation of Art. 2.1 "Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in any Sample taken from an Athlete" and Art. 2.2. "Using or attempting to use a prohibited substance or prohibited method."
The ITA January monthly webinar is dedicated to “Anti-doping rule violations: right to fair hearings" More »
Anti-doping Activities 2021 (21.06.2022)
The use of Benzodiazepines as tranquilizer in free diving
The serious risks for health - A real doping practice
By DR Michel Lglise
Benzodiazepines are a class of drug substances that impact on the brain and some other areas of the central nervous system to reduce their excessive activity - We can reference about 50 generics and 100 different brands around the world;
they can be classified in 3 groups according the time of elimination from the body ( said half life ) : fast - medium – low elimination
( few hours till several days) and according to their most particular effects on the brain and nervous system
Among but not limited to : alprazolam ( Xanax ) – chlordiazepoxide ( Librium)- clorazepate ( Tranxene ) – diazepam ( Valium ) – lorazepam( Ativan)
Oxazepam ( Serax)- Triazolam ( Halcion ) etc etc
All the BZD are classified by the health department of most of the national countries in specific categories as risked substances mainly in case of : abuse – misuse of their normal medical use , possibly huge risks in certain associations with other medications – association with alcohol …..also grapefruit + and specific personal contraindications – but also even in a normal use when not respecting the prescription ……
These are very useful medications but It must be only an use for treatment under a medical prescription and never turned from that use as ex for sport practice …… that can be an aggravating factor of risk and source of serious accident according to the specificity of each discipline environment and constraints ………
The normal use is limited to reduce anxiety chronic or seizures – panic disorder - induce relaxation and sleep and anesthesia for surgery – muscle relaxation- alcohol withdrawal treatment -in the frame of common daily social life.
The use of BZD is NEVER innocuous as can make believe its large use and overuse worldwide -
A large number of serious ( even lethal ) accidents are reported when the correct use is not respected
The frequent and common side effects are sleepiness, dizziness, drowsiness, anterograde amnesia , hangover effects in the next days, adverse effects in cognition and also hypotension, cardiac arrhythmias , slow heart rate nause, respiratory depression, apnea, blurred vision
The main recommendation is not to use these products using or driving machines and accomplishing some dangerous gestures and performances mainly at work and during the sport practice when needed a total discernment and total mastering of the situation and full efficiency of the cardiovascular and respiratory system.
We can be very worried when BZD are used to facilitate the sport practice and performance in or out of competition.
We firstly think about the free diving disciplines …. the sides effects can induce a profound and dangerous sedation, reduction or loss of consciousness, heart and respiratory depression ,even coma , and in all cases insidious and durable loss of cognition (in severe accident , a specific antidote in Intravenous must be delivered in a huge emergency on site that is no easy according to the specific environment in deep water …)
This a very risky practice, often not always really felt by the athlete but insidiously dangerous for health , in a short medium or long term
It is also totally unfair as assimilated to a doping practice to enhance the performance.
There are absolute reasons to use the benzodiazepines ONLY for strict , duly evaluated medical reasons
This is also an occasion to remember that no doping strategy has place in the CMAS family
DR Michel Lglise
CMAS medical and antidoping director
Former IOC medical commission member