Drinking coffee could become a thing of the past for athletes if caffeine is put on to WADA's banned list.
Drinking coffee could become a thing of the past for athletes if caffeine is put on to WADA's banned list. JULIAN SMITH

Wake up and smell the coffee

BRACE yourself for a spate of sporting retirements amid reports the World Anti-Doping Agency is set to add caffeine to their list of banned substances.

According to Russian Federal Microbiological Agency chief Vladimir Uiba, athletes being forced to give up their daily caffeine hits could become a reality as early as this year.

Speaking to local news agency TASS, Uiba said: "Caffeine is currently on WADA's waiting list of prohibited substances.

"If it eventually makes its way into the list of the prohibited substances, we will be forced to recommend everyone against drinking coffee as well as soft drinks containing caffeine.

"Theoretically, it can happen this year."

Coffee was added to WADA's "monitor program" this year to allow the experts to ascertain whether it is used by athletes to enhance their athletic performances "in competition only".

The focus on caffeine will conclude in September when the findings will be handed down and a decision made on whether it is added to the banned list.

It would not be the first time with caffeine on the banned list until 2004 when athletes were limited to "a urine level below 12 micrograms per millilitre" (or six to eight cups).

HOW A SUBSTANCE BECOMES PROHIBITED:

1: The substance or method has the potential to enhance, or does enhance performance in sport.

2: The substance or method has the potential to risk the athlete's health.

3: WADA has determined that the substance or method violates the spirit of sport.

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