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Paralympic performance boost taking the piss?

Officials at the Paralympic games in Sydney have been warning wheelchair athletes about the dangers of a new high pressure performance enhancing technique.


“Catheter clamping” – also known as “boosting” or autonomic dysreflexia – involves clamping the catheter shut to increase pressure in the bladder which in turn increases the athlete’s adrenaline flow. However too much bladder pressure can lead to brain haemorage and death, or at least severe illness and headaches.

Problems have arisen with testing for ‘boosting’ athletes as the obvious side effects of elevated blood pressure, goose pimples and excessive sweating are all adrenaline related and therefore not unusual before an event, which leaves strip searching as the only option.

We wouldn’t reccmomend taking an elastic band to your next race, but it makes you realise stopping to syphon off all that heavy water before a climb might not be your best tactic after all. Still, best keep an eye on your riding buddy who suddenly starts taking two 3 litre Camelbak bladders on rides but never pays a call.

Think of the mess if they burst.



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