9/18/06 WADA: Altitude Simulation Not Banned, Improves Performance
Colorado Altitude Training Confirms Safety
Boulder, CO - In their annual meetings this weekend in Montreal, the World Anti-Doping Agency declared that altitude simulation does improve performance, but is not doping: "The Executive Committee approved the recommendation of WADA's scientific committees not to add artificially-induced hypoxic conditions to the 2007 List." Asked about the decision, Dick Pound told reporters, "...the overwhelming consensus of our health, medical, and research committees - was that, at this time, it was not appropriate to [ban altitude simulation]." Hypoxic altitude simulation creates an altitude environment for athletic training. The research studies have shown that spending time at altitude safely increases speed, strength, endurance, and enhances recovery.
This decision is supported by the worldwide scientific community, which noted the perfect health and safety record of altitude simulation; the Center for Sports Law and Policy at Duke University; sports ethicists world-wide, including the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport; and the majority of WADA's stakeholders including the influential International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF). The IAAF had this to say leading up to WADA's decision: "...the IAAF Medical & Anti-doping Commission and Department would like to express to you their definitive position against the banning of hypoxic devices."
WADA has reviewed altitude simulation formally over the last three years, and each year altitude simulation has remained off of the Prohibited List. Officials at Colorado Altitude Training (CAT), the largest manufacturer of altitude simulation equipment, feel that this should be the final chapter in the altitude simulation debate. Asked if he thought that this decision would be good for sales, CEO Larry Kutt said, "Sure. WADA's discussion has shown how effective our altitude systems are. They're safe and they're as legal as any other training method. It's less expensive than spending time at real altitude. Our technology makes altitude training available for everyone - 'leveling the playing field', to use WADA's terminology." Citing over 10,000,000 athlete hours spent in altitude tents without one untoward effect, Kutt says, "It is very important to us that athletes be given a safe and healthy way to train at altitude without leaving their homes, families, and jobs behind to sequester themselves in a mountain cabin." And, now without the fear of regulation.
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