New ‘Doping’ Practice Being Abused is Highly Dangerous

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Thankfully our sport, regardless of recent events is in a much better place than it was a decade ago. Systematic doping of entire teams is largely a thing of the past, but weak individuals and corrupt support staff still sadly exist, seeking to cheat and steal victories.

One very dangerous practice currently being abused by some individuals, is the administration of carbon monoxide into the body.

This highly deadly gas, occupies the sites on the haemoglobin molecule that normally bind with oxygen and is not readily displaced, forming the compound CarboxyHemoglobin.

The artificial performance gain occurs as the body recognises the lack of O2 in the blood because the Carbon monoxide replaces that of Oxygen in the haemoglobin molecule in a Red Blood Cell.

When the body responds to this continued low of oxygen by asking the kidneys to produce more EPO ‘naturally’ to counter the perceived low – thus producing more RBC’s.

This practice is not currently banned so unbelievably cannot be called doping, but it IS gaining an unnatural advantage over honest, natural athletes is unfair and against the honour of sport.

Due to the immense danger of the practice, we are calling for it to be urgently outlawed and mechanisms put in place to detect its abuse.

Carbon monoxide also acts as a vasodilator, widening of blood vessels but the danger exists as it blocks oxygen from getting into the body, which can damage tissues and result in death. The terrifying possible effects of the abuse of the silent killer is below:

Symptoms Associated With a Given Concentration of COHb

10% COHb – Heavy smokers can have as much as 9% COHb. Headache and dizziness within six to eight hours of constant exposure

15% COHb – Headache, tachycardia, dizziness, and nausea within 20 min; death in less than 2 hours

25% COHb – Nausea and serious headache.   Headache, dizziness and nausea in five to ten minutes. Death within 30 minutes.

30% COHb – Symptoms intensify. Potential for long term effects especially in the case of infants, children, the elderly, victims of heart disease and pregnant women. Headache and dizziness in one to two minutes. Convulsions, respiratory arrest, and death in less than 20 minutes.

45% COHb – Unconsciousness

50+% COHb – Death in 2-3 breaths.



  • 1

    davyd 12.06.2013 at 03:03pm

    As mentioned, is now compulsary that energy companies insrall carbon dioxide monitors with any new installation. Like all doping it goes against all the tenates of sport. Cheating we learn is unacceptable from early childhood. Is a fundamental part of not just sport but of our socialisation in general. Then athletes go to great lengths to have a good diet and stay as healthy as they can achieve. So the switch in mindset when someone decides to dope(cheat) I find very interesting. If caught doping and receive a ban, I've recently been wondering if counselling or addressing what brought you that point should be a requirement before returning to competition. Anyone else have any thoughts on how they feel about simply serve the ban then compete again?Especially when it comes to someone who is caught for a second time. On the original point, c.monoxide,EPO and others, the long term side effects of using these substances is completely unknown. Risk of cancers and other highly dangerous if not lifethreatening problems is frightening to me. Test science is always playing catch up so some athletes still see risk/reward a good set of odds.

  • 2

    Bryan Scott 10.10.2012 at 04:22pm

    Having been 'rescued' from CO2 by an insistent alarm in a Campervan when the 'fridge burner went out at night. The other dangerous side effect is that of induced complacent acceptance of the drowsiness. You do not realise what is happening to your body. Is winning worth dying for, in some circles apparently yes or at least not caring about living.

  • 3

    Tour of Beijing 2012 « in the drops 08.10.2012 at 05:43pm

    [...] the startlist for anyone interested. One of these riders will thrive on the Carbon Monoxide to take the glory. A map of the race is available here. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe [...]

  • 4

    Anon 29.08.2012 at 01:05pm

    Thus method has been around in the IronMan community for the last two seasons. Medically organizied and very sad.

  • 5

    Carl Dean 29.08.2012 at 12:39am

    Unreal what young athletes will do to win. Less pressure / More education

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