5 years ago

Cognition enhancing drugs ('nootropics): time to include coaches and team executives in doping tests?

The use of brain boosting drugs by athletes has been well documented and testing for such cognition enhancing drugs is now implemented. Largely absent from the purview of antidoping agencies, however, is the drug testing of coaches and team executives. This editorial introduces commonly used nootropics (drugs that influence cognition) and describes their on-label effects. We then examine the off-label uses of these drugs and consider whether sport organisations, if they are genuinely determined to eliminate performance enhancing drugs among all participants, should also incorporate the testing of coaches and team executives. Advances in sport analytics have changed coaching and executive roles, with decision-making acumen more important than ever.

Brain enhancing drugs including modafinil (Provigil), methylphenidate (Ritalin), and dextroamphetamine (Adderall) were developed to treat sleep problems, attention deficit disorders (ADD), memory deficiencies, and other cognitive maladies.1 Methylphenidate's efficacy is supported by double-blind placebo-controlled trials in the treatment...

Publisher URL: http://bjsm.bmj.com/cgi/content/short/51/18/1316

DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2015-095474

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