WADA adds Xenon, Argon gases to banned substance list

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officially added Xenon to its list of banned substances this weekend, brought on by growing concern about the gas’s use as a performance enhancer in sports.

Xenon is a noble gas that can be inhaled, usually in combination with oxygen, to increase athletic advantages like red blood cell production. The Telegraph reports that its been popular especially among Russian athletes for as long as a decade, and was taken by athletes before the last Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Another noble gas, Argon, has also been banned alongside Xenon.

Inhaling these gases helps the body produce more of the hormone erythropoietin, which in turn boosts the athletes red blood cell production and provides athletes with a physical advantage. NBC Sports also reports that inhaling gases like Xenon can bring such advantages as improved lung capacity, higher testosterone levels and can even prevent muscle fatigue.

The banning of Xenon and Argon has been added to the banned list under Section 2.1 according to PlayTrue magazine, a section that already dealt with Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents and that hormone erythropoietin.

The actual banning of the substance will not go into effect for three months, per WADA rules, allowing the agency to fully notify all countries and parties of the amendment before the ban takes effect.

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swimcoach
6 years ago

Are there reliable tests for these gasses?? When are we going to start testing at our Jr Level here in the States?

Steve Nolan
Reply to  swimcoach
6 years ago

Assuming they’re able to test for erythropoietin, an abnormal spike being an indicator of someone huffin’ these gases.

And we should absolutely not start testing on the junior level.

Rafael
Reply to  Steve Nolan
6 years ago

Why not test on Jr?

Admin
Reply to  Rafael
6 years ago

Cost, intensity, over-reaching into kids who wouldn’t for the life of them believe that they could be tested (happens in other countries), scaring people away from the sport because of the burden of testing, making children have to be limited by the whereabouts, the potential pedophile issues…there’s a LOT of reasons. I could see coming up with a watered-down testing system for juniors, but can’t imagine trying to implement the full-blown testing system throughout the junior ranks in the U.S. Too big, too expensive, too many moving parts. Juniors can be tested by the USADA, but those juniors have to be good enough to qualify for testing under the senior requirements too (Missy was tested 10 times in 2011 by… Read more »

swimcoach
Reply to  Braden Keith
6 years ago

I’m into totally limited testing – just to put some level of fear into the kids. They have none. It would cost almost nothing. Shoot, just put in the meet announcement that they may be tested, and test 10 kids every couple years. Just an FYI – a portion of that Biogenesis case in Florida involved a good number of high-school aged athletes. It wasn’t all A-Rod. And honestly, who’s quitting swimming because they might get tested? There are kids on illegal stuff. Jack3d is out there – sold at GNC – and it’s not legal in our sport (Unless you’re never tested). Do a search right here on SwimSwam for Methylhexaneamine (which is in Jack3d). You get 2 pages… Read more »

Admin
Reply to  swimcoach
6 years ago

swimcoach – remember that the reasons I gave to not test juniors are almost entirely based upon the idea of a full-blown testing program like the seniors have. So cost, etc. People would leave the sport if there was an out of competition program instituted where athletes had to fill out whereabouts findings. People might also leave the sport if it was so extensive if every Suzy swimmer with a sectionals cut couldn’t take her asthma medication because she might test positive and not be allowed to swim anymore. That can be a huge burden. Sure, there’s the easy ones – don’t take jack3d. But they just banned Argon gas. The doping rules are complex and not easy to follow.… Read more »

I Wonder
6 years ago

Could you provide a quick overview for those of us that don’t know who exactly gets tested? Ally Howe doesn’t seem like a Senior level swimmer, so why would she get tested?

Admin
Reply to  I Wonder
6 years ago

I wonder – give me a little bit of time and we’ll put together a “layman’s terms” version.

6 years ago

like in the work world with illegal drugs, simply putting a disclaimer like ’employees may be subjected to random drug testing’ on a job or contract is enough to deter use in most adults, even if the orginization rarely or never performs random tests. i like the idea of swimcoach above me, put in the meet announcements that there may be drug tests and most kids are going to ride the straight and narrow, even if they werent’ before but the question i have, is how could these improve swimmers, and how are the administered, are we talking, like in the ready room, or months before hand during training? have this been proven to be useful for swimmers? and is… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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