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by Mark Zalewski
December 7, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Marianne Vos to return to cyclocross this month; Paralympian Michael Gallagher opens up about his EPO doping: ‘It’s a good thing I got caught’; Future of TJ Sport team uncertain; Doctor presents controversial article on dehydration and climbing power; Niels Albert on van Aert form and a Nys comeback; Tom Van Asbroeck to Cannondale-Drapac; Jason Lowndes signs for Cycling Academy Team; More speculation about 2017 Vuelta route; Louis Vuitton buys Pinarello; JLT–Condor unveils 2017 kit; State of Matter MAAP Racing to fold; Italy’s Strava king, son of doping doctor, trying to turn pro at 38; Cyclist killed by truck ruled accidental due to use of headphones; Jens Keukeleire unique off-season training; Beach racing in Belgium.
Controversy is surrounding the comments of a doctor who has worked with Team Sky and BMC, after he gave a presentation in which he discussed losing weight with controlled dehydration to improve performance. Dr. Roger Palfreeman spoke last week at a conference in Doha, Qatar, saying that “optimum hydration is not balanced hydration” and that athletes can learn to tolerate the feeling that comes with drinking less to improve performance.
Christopher Froome (Team Sky) pictured during stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana.
Dr. Palfreeman used Team Sky’s Tour de France champion Chris Froome in an example of his method.
“Losing two kilos during the day of a mountain stage, Froome needs 47 seconds less to climb the Alpe d’Huez, which is no small thing considering that in 2015, for example, he won the Tour by just 72 seconds,” Palfreeman said. “And he can lose two kilos through controlled dehydration, drinking less than certain logic would require.”
The presentation said an athlete must be misinformed about his or her hydration status, recommending mouthwash with menthol to deceive thirst, as well as using paracetamol, a medication used to treat fever, and antidepressant Wellbutrin (bupropion). The medications are not on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list, but bupropion is on it monitoring programme.
Team Sky responded to Palfreeman’s presentation, saying “Rider welfare is paramount and so issues such as hydration are carefully managed by our Head of Nutrition and our team doctors.” Other research has looked into the effects of dehydration in athletes, and concluded that while some benefits exist, they can be outweighed by other negative outcomes.
Click through to read more at Cycling Weekly.