Russia decides letting athletes drink beer during doping tests isn't a great idea

Photo: Tero Vesalainen (iStock)

Anyone who’s enjoyed a few beers in the span of just a couple hours knows it results in frequent restroom visits. Beer’s diuretic effect was the reason Russian athletic officials allowed athletes to drink it during doping tests; the athletes were potentially dehydrated after competition, and the beer helped them produce more urine for testing. But the Associated Press now reports that due to concerns over “aggressive” athletes, the Russian anti-doping agency will tell athletes to stick to water during testing.

Anti-doping agency CEO Margarita Pakhnotskaya tells the AP some athletes, especially track and field competitors, would be “rude, a bit aggressive” after the post-race beers. They’re now being told to consume large quantities of water instead.

Advertisement

Following 2015’s massive, state-sanctioned doping scandal that resulted in 47 Russian athletes being banned from the winter Olympics, Russia is perhaps eager to prove that its athletes are fully compliant with all World Anti-Doping Agency protocol. The AP notes that beer sometimes muddied the “biological passport” program that Russia used to test for banned substances, though Pakhnotskaya says they have no evidence that athletes were deliberately trying to influence the tests by drinking beer. Athletes who show up to the testing sites with beer will be issued “strict” warnings, and potentially referred to Russian athletics’ governing body for censure.

Athletes worried about not being able to produce sufficient urine should try a method that always works for me: Get on a bus with no bathrooms. You’ll have to pee instantly.

Share This Story

About the author

Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.