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7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Annual Assembly of the German and the Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

26.-29.10.2011, Salzburg, Austria

Medical counseling of drug abusers in sports via Internet website from the viewpoint of anti-doping

Meeting Abstract

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7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Salzburg, 26.-29.10.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11esm224

DOI: 10.3205/11esm224, URN: urn:nbn:de:0183-11esm2246

Published: October 24, 2011

© 2011 Takahashi et al.
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Outline

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Objective: Drug abuse in sports is widespread; therefore, many men and women are affected by side effects of the abused drugs. However, worldwide, there are few consulting systems for drug abusers, such as the anti-doping hotlines in Sweden and Germany. We think that in an anti-doping effort those in the medical field should provide advice to drug abusers in sports and rescue them from the side effects of such drugs. We hope that this effort would decrease use of performance enhancing drugs. From positions as a sports physician and anti-doping, we consulted privately with drug abusers by telephone from 1993 to 2003. In addition, in 2001 and 2002, we offered web-based counseling, but thereafter discontinued it because of professional commitments. However, in 2009, we resumed web-based counseling with the same objective as in the initial effort. We report results for the year 2009.

Material/Methods: Our counseling efforts on doping were done via a website established in 2009 (http://www.reco.co.jp/doping/index.html). This website is accessible in Japan via Yahoo and Google search engines. The website aims to provide a definition of doping to help users understand the concept of doping, giving examples of side effects of drugs used in doping, and providing other information on this subject. In addition, we refer those who consult via the website to specialized clinics or hospitals. The subjects of this report are Japanese athletes and exercise enthusiasts who used this website for consultation. The first author of this study is a medical doctor who specializes in endocrinology and andrology and was the consultant for each subject. Counseling occurred via e-mail, and access was provided 24 hours a day. No specific personal identifying information was obtained from subjects. In analyzing the content of the consultations, we could identify the state of drug abuse. We categorized the content of each counseling session according to topic and tracked the number of accesses. In addition, symptoms reported were also categorized.

Results: In 2009, 18 persons consulted the website. All were Japanese. As to the content of consultation, 5 persons consulted about “anabolic agents”, 4 about “doping control”, 5 about “side effects”, 2 about “prohormones” and 2 about other matters. In addition, although 9 persons had no bothersome symptoms, 5 felt to be in poor condition and 2 had symptoms involving the genital organs. In addition, one athlete had gynecomastia and another symptoms of allergy.

Conclusion: Fewer persons sought consultation in 2009 than in 2001 and 2002 (57 and 37, respectively). During the period that our website was interrupted, new sites like “Amehuto. com” (http://amehuto.com/bbs/mibbs.cgi?mo=p&fo=tore&tn=0003&rs=631&re=660&rf=no) became popular. On this site, the manager instructs athletes on means of doping and medically treating side effects. As the number of accesses of that website exceeds ours, it is clear that the interest in using anabolic agents continues and that side effects remain a problem. An official public consultation system should be constructed so that reliable medical advice can be given on deleterious effects of anabolic steroids and their treatment. This information should be aimed to discourage usage.