WADA mulls nicotine-doping sanctions

WADA's job is usually to "promote, coordinate and monitor" the fight against doping worldwide.

But now its scientific director, Olivier Rabin, says the body has evidence that nicotine, a stimulant, can be used to boost performance -- and they are considering introducing new sanctions to deal with it.

"We're discussing this problem regularly," Rabin said at an anti-doping conference in Paris on Friday.

"In certain sports we know that the use of nicotine is widespread." According to Rabin, scientific evidence suggests that using certain amounts of nicotine is akin to using a stimulant.

He said it was those cases WADA would possibly pursue. It is not "our objective to catch athletes who smoke, but those who use nicotine as a means of enhancing their performance".

"It's something we're looking into and who knows, we can't be certain, it may lead to a proposal to include nicotine on the list of banned substances," he added.

"But that doesn't mean we're  going to ban athletes from smoking. It's up to us to come up with ways of distinguishing the one from the other."

WADA's list of banned products is renewed annually and, after a long period of consultation, is published on October 1 every year.

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