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Alcohol-free doping samples: RUSADA bans Russian athletes from drinking beer during tests

March 01, 17:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Some of the athletes use beer or other soft-alcoholic drinks as a diuretic agent to accelerate the process of collecting urine doping samples

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© AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has prohibited national athletes from drinking beer and other soft-alcoholic beverages to speed up the process of urination during doping test procedures, RUSADA Deputy Director General Margarita Pakhnotskaya told TASS on Friday.

Athletes’ bodies are usually dehydrated after crossing the finish line and some of them use beer or other soft-alcoholic drinks as a diuretic agent to accelerate the process of collecting urine doping samples.

"Maintaining a firm stance on clean and healthy sports, we cannot brush something aside like a ban on the consumption of alcohol during doping test procedures," Pakhnotskaya said in an interview with TASS. "This ban will be in force not only for RUSADA’s staff but for all athletes as well."

"With the authority of the national anti-doping agency, RUSADA’s policy now allows athletes only non-alcoholic beverages and bans the consumption of all beverages containing alcohol from the moment of notification about the doping test procedure until this process is over," she said.

"This condition is now included in the manual for doping control officers," Pakhnotskaya continued. "From now on, an athlete caught drinking beer during a doping test procedure will receive an official first warning and it will be documented by a doping control officer. A tougher punishment may follow in the event of a repeated violation."

Pakhnotskaya said that a discovered trace of dissolving substances from the consumption of soft-alcohol drinks in a urine sample of an athlete might distort the outcome of the test for any banned performance enhancing drugs. National track and field athletes in race walks were the most noted beer users during doping test procedures, she added.

"Some international sports federations have already enshrined a ban in their regulations on the consumption of alcoholic beverages during doping control procedures," she said. "For instance, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and FIFA are among them.".

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