While we have not heard of swimmers taking meldonium for health reasons or competitive advantages, we wonder if any open water swimmers do specifically take medications, drugs, supplements or any kind of banned substances to gain a competitive advantage.
Substances can range from commercially available steroids that have been included on WADA banned lists for some time to specific medications that have recently been added like meldonium.
While Olympic medals, commercial sponsorships and cash prizes can provide suitable incentive for some athletes to seek competitive advantages through chemical substances (see here), are there other motivations – personal and private – for amateur athletes to similar seek and take banned substances so they can complete or win an open water swim?
* Would you take medications to complete a marathon swim or channel swim?
* Would you take banned substances in order to win a race?
* Do you know athletes who take supplements – specifically banned substances – in order to achieve their athletic goals?
* What are the reasons for doing so?
* Is the achievement of athletic goals made any less valuable or respectable when banned substances are received?
* If any individual wants to take banned substances for an individual open water swim (marathon, channel, ice, or stage swim), does it matter? Should this be an individual choice?
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