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Could red wine be the key for athletes to beat drug tests?

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • January 17, 2013 - 3:10 PM

So we were perusing Wine Spectator the other day, as we are wont to do in searching HIGH AND LOW for posts to amuse all of you (OK, actually a colleague sent us a link), and we came across an item of sports interest:

Professional athletes may stop drinking red wine in public, for fear of what it could imply. Researchers at London's Kingston University think they may have found a way for professional athletes to beat doping tests—by drinking red wine. Testosterone is key to building muscle and stamina, and doping tests measure testosterone levels in urine samples. However, Declan Naughton, a researcher at the University's School of Life Sciences, has reported that the red-wine compound quercetin blocks the enzyme that regulates testosterone secretion, reducing the amount of testosterone that would be detectable in urine.

Whether it could really work to beat doping tests is theoretical, as clinical trials are still needed. What is real is that the results are published in the journal Nutrition, and Naughton forwarded his findings to the World Anti-Doping Agency. Last year the same researchers found similar results with green tea consumption.

We're a bit skeptical, but if Lance Armstrong is knocking back a bottle of Manny Being Merlot on Oprah tonight, that will convert us immediately.

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