Diuretics: History notes

Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 1:57 pm

Diuretics and doping
The first Olympic games of the new millennium were marred by a doping scandal when three Bulgarian weightlifters tested positive for diuretics. Izabela Drag-neva, Ivan Ivanov, and Sevdalin Minchev, who had won gold, silver, and bronze, respectively, were stripped of their medals after drug testing revealed the presence of furosemide, a banned substance. After the third suspension, the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation was sanctioned and suspended from participation in the rest of the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Australia. However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned the ban after Bulgaria agreed to pay a $50,000 fine. Alan Tsagaev, a Bulgarian lifter whose test was clean, went on to win the silver in his weight class.
Diuretics are used by athletes to lose weight quickly in order to compete in lower weight classes for sports like wrestling, boxing, and weightlifting. In addition, they are sometimes taken as “masking” drugs to speed the elimination of banned performance-enhancing substances such as steroids from the body. Bulgarian coach Ivan Abadjiev blamed the positive drug tests at the Sydney games on an herbal tonic he had given the athletes before competition.

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