Ephedra: In the news
Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 3:19 pm
Manufacturers of nutritional supplements containing ephedrine claim that the products can enhance athletic performance and improve physical fitness. Indeed, ephedrine supplements are popular among all sorts of athletes. As health concerns about ephedra grow, however, many professional and amateur athletes will find that they may have to choose between the sport they love and a questionable supplement.
In September 2001, the National Football League (NFL) joined the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and banned its players from using ephedrine. The ephedrine ban means that NFL players can be randomly tested throughout the year for ephedrine use.
The NFL instituted the ephedrine ban partly in response to health concerns. NFL doctors warned players about the growing body of evidence linking ephedrine use with strokes, seizures, and fatal heart rhythm.
Endorsements from popular athletes often spell success for a product. Companies like to have the support of famous athletes because consumers, especially teenagers, often want to emulate their favorite athletes. They want to buy the shoes that Michael Jordan wears or drink the energy drink Brett Favre likes. The NFL ban on ephedrine means that NFL players and teams cannot endorse products containing ephedrine or companies that sell or distribute those products. Many hope this ban will stop some teens from buying ephedra products.