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Russia to bar athletes drinking beer at doping tests

March 1, 2019

MOSCOW (AP) — A beer with your urine sample? No longer in Russian sports.

Citing “aggressive” athletes and interference with drug-testing results, Russia has barred sportspeople from drinking alcohol when they’re tested for banned substances.

A post-race beer might help a dehydrated athlete produce a urine sample, but now they’ll have to stick to “large quantities of water” provided by the drug-testers, the Russian anti-doping agency’s deputy CEO, Margarita Pakhnotskaya, said.

She told The Associated Press that drinking was a particular problem with track and field athletes.

“It is not very good for athletes’ behavior at doping control, politeness and following the rules,” she said. “They’d be rude, a bit aggressive.”

The Russian agency even found beer could interfere with the results of the “biological passport” program checking athletes for signs of drug use. “Beer influenced it a lot. It could cause or hide some changes,” Pakhnotskaya said, adding there’s no evidence athletes were deliberately trying to manipulate the tests.

Athletes won’t get a doping ban over a single brew.

Anyone turning up with a brew will be given a “strict” warning to put it away, said Pakhnotskaya, and if they ignore that they’ll be referred to their sport’s governing body.

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