Sports Medicine Congress

Is there any research evaluating the use of supplements in swimmers at FINA or Olympic events?

Yes, in fact there are two research papers written on this topic. Corrigan & Kauslaskas published a paper on supplement use in swimmers during the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000. The results show that 89% of swimmers declared a substance on their doping control forms. Swimming was the second highest of all of the Olympic disciplines for vitamin ingestion. The group of athletes that had higher vitamin ingestion was the Athletics athletes.

The second study is from the FINA World Championships in Barcelona in 2003 by Pipe, Corrigan and Mountjoy. The following table shows the use of supplements in aquatics:

Substance Type
Number of athletes
Percentage of total
Vitamins
176
57%
Mineral
51
17%
Supplement
80
26%
Herbal preparation
34
11%
NSAID (anti-inflammatory)
52
7%
Asthma Medication
66
21%
Oral Contraceptive
20
13%

The next table shows the comparison from Sydney 2000 to Barcelona 2003 which illustrates a general decrease in overall use:

Substance Type
Sydney 2000  
Barcelona 2003

No = 345
No = 308
Vitamins
316
176
Minerals
94
51
Supplements
295
80
Incl. Creatine
74
35
Asthma
105
66
NSAID
117
52
Herbs
63
80
Oral Contraceptive
89
20

Read the full article 'Sport Supplements in Swimming'

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