Alcohol is one of the substances banned by athletes during Olympic competition, and so is coffee. That is why the Winter Olympic Committee is working hard to educate athletes and team doctors hoping to avoid a heartbreak like what happened in the 2000 summer games.
Romanian Gymnast Andreea Baducan lost her gold medal because the cold medicine she used, with approval from the team doctor, contained the banned substance Pseudo-Ephedrine. Even the International Olympic Committee agreed that Andreea was not to blame, but she still gave up the gold.
As the Winter Olympics draw near, athletes and team doctors are reminded that there are ingredients in many over the counter drugs that could trigger a positive drug test.
"Other things include medications that are inhaled to help with conditions like asthma, or narcotic pain medication, these would be examples of those we would have to be very careful and use only under strictest of protocols," said Dr. Scott Hansen of the Olympic Medical Committee.
"Any medication that might fall under that restricted or prohibited category has been well marked, and several safeguards put in place before it could get into the hands of an athlete," said Dr. Scott.
Dr. Hansen says those safeguards will be crucial since the games this time coincide with the peak of cold and flu season. The Winter Olympics begin with opening ceremonies February 8th here on NewsChannel 11.
For more information about drug testing at the Olympics (click here).