Thyroid hormones in sport

How very diffcult it would be for sportspeople if thyroid hormone taking were banned. How on earth can anyone determine "genuine medical need"? We see so much difficulty in determining exactly that in post after post!

Wada rejects calls to ban elite athletes from taking thyroid medication

UK Anti-Doping has expressed its disappointment at the World Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to reject calls to ban elite athletes from taking thyroid medication.

In April, Jo Pavey, the reigning 10,000m European champion called for an end to the “unethical” use of the hormone replacement as an alleged performance-enhancing drug.

However, Wada has opted to leave thyroid medication off its 2016 prohibited list after consulting scientific and medical experts who “were unanimous in their view”.

Rest of story here:

Many other reports across the usual media.

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11 Replies

  • Helvella, as the ranges are so broad how will they determine what are 'normal' levels and how much performance enhancement, if any, is given by Carbimazole, Levothyroxine, T3 or NDT?

  • It's interesting that Graves' disease will result in muscle wasting. But somehow athletes get more muscle with liothyronine? Or are they just reducing the fat or what? I guess they eat 15 eggs per day or something. Like that American swimmer whose name escapes me. The one who can do the butterfly superbly but that's really all. Hyperflexible low back.

    Apparently the Olympic athletes are not all that healthy despite everything. They live on junk. Lots of sugar and have rotten teeth. In London Olympics they had dentists working all out full time dealing with dental emergencies for athletes, coaches, trainers, etc.

    I'd rather just walk. Thanks. No need to set the world on fire.

  • Don't they also take testosterone and HGH? They build muscle.

  • Body builders use all sorts, apart from Testosterone & HGH.

    They use Insulin, which is apparently the most anabolic substance there is.

    They control Estrogen with Tamoxifen, Clomiphene, Arimidex among others.

    They re-stimulate their own Testosterone production (which is suppressed by the use of extraneous) with HCG.

    T3, Caffeine, Ephedrine, Clenbuterol..... the list goes on.

    Some may be surprised to know that many body builders are highly educated & know what they're doing. Sadly, many aren't & some do real damage to themselves.

  • OK, well, I Don't think I'll become a body builder. It sounds exhausting! :)

  • Over here in Finland the head of endocrinologists said on TV that t3 is nothing but doping. She said everybody feels good after taking it as it is like cup of coffee, cheers you up but it is much more dangerous and has nothing to do with treating thyroid issues.

    I find statement like that dangerous. It probably is generally know that thyroid med can be used as doping but some people, even athletes might need them to treat illness. Same with asthma medication. Doping for one, life safer for another one.

    Any drug can be considered as doping. Statins for example, it masks usage of other drugs. Nice side effects tho, too much statins can peel off your skin.

    Anyways. It is dangerous that thyroid med can get that bad reputation.

  • Your Finland endo who talks about "doping" is a dope. The fact that he/she did not qualify their statement by saying it is "doping" only if you are above the normal range, demonstrates total ignorance of the fact that T4->T3 conversion problems exist and are real.

  • Exactly! Unfortunately she is the one who makes the calls over here. She has written all the proper care guidelines here. So there is no t3 issue, it does not exist. There is not hashimotos. If you have some antibodies it is normal and symptoms must be caused by something else.

    Unfortunately this gives patients misinformation as we are guided to read proper health care if searching information of our health issues.

    Fortunately there are some doctors who know and treat t3 issues. Unfortunately they consider it is 4 % of thyroid patients that have issues with converting when in other countries they say it is 10%.

    Over here the proper health care board is people who just happen to be shareholders of medical companies. That is generally known and public information but they say they are not biased. Sure.

    So they have also decided than in very rare cases patients might need armour you have to apply for it. Takes about three weeks to get respond. Patient has to pay for it and it has to be renewed every year. You only get armour from certain pharmacies so for some it might mean 600 km trip to pharmacy.

    They just love making it difficult lol.

  • I would be tempted to have patients write letters to her that would rattle her cage. Whether true or not, I would have patients send in letters that say they are purchasing T3 from another country, off the web, because her incompetence in regard to T4->T3 conversion problems, is requiring them to treat themselves.

  • Its relatively easy. Most peple don't go to the doctors with problems unless they need to.

  • I suspect that every single person here who is self-medicating would find it difficult if they were investigated by the regulatory bodies of any sport. For example, even a golfer taking part in club compeitions.

    Of course, it may seem unlikely that anyone would notice, but as anti-doping regimes become more stringent, we can expect more testing even at less exalted levels than national and international competition.

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