Banned Substances in Fencing

Today’s news gives us a somber reminder that all competitors need to use caution – and make sure our competitive children use caution – when it comes to banned substances.  Italy’s Andrea Baldini – one of the world’s best men’s foil fencers – was excluded from the Beijing Olympics for testing positive for a banned substance.  While Mr. Baldini is disputing the test, for him the damage has been done, as he will be missing this chance to medal in the 2008 Olympics.

Banned substances can be tricky.  They include a number of Over-the-Counter and prescription medications, as well as many homeopathic remedies.  Also, some substances persist in the bloodstream long after their therapeutic benefit has been experienced.  It behooves each of us to know – and to make sure that our kids know – what these substances are and how to avoid them.

The USADA web site has a number of resources that can guide us when it comes to which substances can and cannot be used.  Please refer to it regularly – and remember to check any prescription and OTC remedies that you or your child athlete may wish to use.

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