Russia to bar athletes from drinking beer at doping tests

Russian National Anti-doping Agency RUSADA head Yuri Ganus, left, and Margarita Pakhnotskaya, deputy CEO of Rusada leave the office to talk to journalists in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. The World Anti-Doping Agency has reinstated Russia, ending a nearly three-year suspension caused by state-sponsored doping. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

MOSCOW – 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’ behaviour 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.

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