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Beta-Blocking Drugs

Volume 87: debated on Monday 18 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what evidence he has of the extent of misuse of beta-blocking drugs by sportsmen to improve their performance; and if he will make a statement.

Government condemn the improper use of drugs in any context, but the deplorable practice of drug abuse in sport is primarily an ethical one for sport to grasp and take action on. My Department does not keep details of which sportsmen and women within particular sports cheat by the use of drugs. As I said in my reply to the hon. Member of 30 October, action to combat drug abuse is vigorously and positively led by the Sports Council, whom I fully support in this matter. The council is aware that beta-blockers are used in some cases to aid performance and is funding research to establish a reliable method of detection. The council is also pressing for the drug to be included in the International Olympic Committee's list of banned drugs.