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NFL Bans EphedrineNFL Bans Ephedrine

October 15, 2001

2 Min Read
NFL Bans Ephedrine


NFL Bans Ephedrine

NEW YORK--The National Football League (NFL) notified its clubs Sept. 27 that it broadened its prohibition on anabolic steroids and related substances to include products containing high-risk stimulants, including ephedrine. The ban covers ephedrine alkaloids, ephedra, ephedrine, methylephedrine, norephedrine, pseudoephedrine and norpseudoephedrine, plus phentermine, fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine.In the NFL announcement, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said that there has been a dramatic increase in the production and distribution of products claiming to enhance sports performance. He added that John Lombardo, NFL's advisor on anabolic steroids, advised the league that there is growing evidence, especially among athletes, linking ephedra intake with cardiovascular difficulties, strokes and other serious health conditions. Testing and discipline for violations of the expanded policy will begin after further discussion with the NFL Players Association.The decision brings the NFL (www.nfl.com) in line with other competitive sports organizations, including the NCAA and the International Olympic Committee, that have already banned ephedrine. NFL's policy bans the use or distribution of products containing ephedrine alkaloids, unless prescribed for medical use by a team physician. It also prohibits endorsements by clubs and players with any company that produces or markets a product containing ephedrine.Industry associations said they were not surprised by the decision. "This seems to be the right decision for the NFL to make, because it brings them into consistency with other competitive athletic organizations," said Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). "Also, because it is industry policy not to market or sell ephedra products to children, it makes sense that their sports role models not use ephedrine."WesSiegner, legal counsel to the Ephedra Education Council (www.ephedrafacts.com), said it is his impression that the industry supports NFL's move, as the industry stands for the responsible marketing ofephedra, rather than sale of products to give a temporary edge in athletic performance.

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