The purpose of this research was to evaluate the performances of female middle- and long-distance runners before and after the implementation of a new antidoping strategy (the Athlete Biological Passport [ABP]) in a country accused of systematic doping. A retrospective analysis of the results of Russian National Championships from 2008 to 2017 was performed. The 8 best female performances for the 800-m, 1500-m, 3000-m steeplechase, 5000-m, and 10,000-m events from the semifinals and finals were analyzed. The yearly number of athletes fulfilling standard qualifications for international competitions was also evaluated. Overall, numbers of athletes banned for doping in 2008–2017 were calculated. As a result, 4 events (800, 1500, 5000 [all P < .001], and 10,000 m [P < .01]) out of 5 showed statistically significant deterioration in the performances when comparing before and after the introduction of the ABP. The 3000-m steeplechase was the only event that did not show statistically significant change. The highest relative decrease in the number of runners who met standard qualification for international competition was for the 5000-m event (46%), followed by 1500-m (42%), 800-m (38%), 10,000-m (17%), and 3000-m steeplechase (1%). In conclusion, implementation of the ABP was followed by a significant reduction in the performance of female runners in a country accused of systematic doping. It can be reasonably speculated that more stringent antidoping testing, more specifically the introduction of the ABP, is a key reason for this reduction.
Sergei Iljukov, Jukka-Pekka Kauppi, Arja L.T. Uusitalo, Juha E. Peltonen, and Yorck O. Schumacher
Michal Botek, Jakub Krejčí, Andrew J. McKune, and Barbora Sládečková
Purpose: Hydrogen-rich water (HRW) has been shown to have an antifatigue effect. This study assessed up-hill running performance, as well as physiological and perceptual responses after supplementation with 1680 mL HRW between 24 h and 40 min before running, in athletes of heterogeneous running ability. Methods: Sixteen males (mean [SD] age 31.6 [8.6] y, VO2max 57.2 [8.9] mL·kg−1·min−1, body fat 13.4% [4.4%]) participated in this study. Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design, participants consumed either HRW or placebo prior to performing two 4.2-km up-hill races separated by a week. Race time (RT), average race heart rate, and immediately postrace rating of perceived exertion were assessed. Results: After analysis of data for all runners, HRW effect was unclear (−10 to 7 s, 90% confidence interval) for RT, likely trivial for heart rate (−2 to 3 beats·min−1), and likely trivial for postrace rating of perceived exertion (−0.1 to 1.0). A possible negative correlation was found between RT differences and average RT (r = −.79 to −.15). HRW for the 4 slowest runners (RT = 1490  s) likely improved the RT (−36 to −3 s), whereas for the 4 fastest runners (RT = 1069  s) the performance effect of HRW was unclear (−10 to 26 s). Conclusions: HRW intake had an unclear antifatigue effect on performance in terms of mean group values. However, it appears that the magnitude of the antifatigue effect of HRW on performance depends on individual running ability.
Nicole C.A. Strock, Kristen J. Koltun, Emily A. Southmayd, Nancy I. Williams, and Mary Jane De Souza
Energy deficiency in exercising women can lead to physiological consequences. No gold standard exists to accurately estimate energy deficiency, but measured-to-predicted resting metabolic rate (RMR) ratio has been used to categorize women as energy deficient. The purpose of the study was to (a) evaluate the accuracy of RMR prediction methods, (b) determine the relationships with physiological consequences of energy deficiency, and (c) evaluate ratio thresholds in a cross-sectional comparison of ovulatory, amenorrheic, or subclinical menstrual disturbances in exercising women (n = 217). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and indirect calorimetry provided data on anthropometrics and energy expenditure. Harris–Benedict, DXA, and Cunningham (1980 and 1991) equations were used to estimate RMR and RMR ratio. Group differences were assessed (analysis of variance and Kruskal–Wallis tests); logistic regression and Spearman correlations related ratios with consequences of energy deficiency (i.e., low total triiodothyronine; TT3). Sensitivity and specificity calculations evaluated ratio thresholds. Amenorrheic women had lower RMR (p < .05), DXA ratio (p < .01), Cunningham1980 (p < .05) and Cunningham1991 (p < .05) ratio, and TT3 (p < .01) compared with the ovulatory group. Each prediction equation overestimated measured RMR (p < .001), but predicted (p < .001) and positively correlated with TT3 (r = .329–.453). A 0.90 ratio threshold yielded highest sensitivity for Cunningham1980 (0.90) and Harris–Benedict (0.87) methods, but a higher ratio threshold was best for DXA (0.94) and Cunningham1991 (0.92) methods to yield a sensitivity of 0.80. In conclusion, each ratio predicted and correlated with TT3, supporting the use of RMR ratio as an alternative assessment of energetic status in exercising women. However, a 0.90 ratio cutoff is not universal across RMR estimation methods.
Seiichiro Takei, Kuniaki Hirayama, and Junichi Okada
Purpose: The optimal load for maximal power output during hang power cleans (HPCs) from a mechanical perspective is the 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) load; however, previous research has reported otherwise. The present study thus aimed to investigate the underlying factors that determine optimal load during HPCs. Methods: Eight competitive Olympic weight lifters performed HPCs at 40%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, 95%, and 100% of their 1RM while the ground-reaction force and bar/body kinematics were simultaneously recorded. The success criterion during HPC was set above parallel squat at the receiving position. Results: Both peak power and relative peak power were maximized at 80% 1RM (3975.7 [439.1] W, 50.4 [6.6] W/kg, respectively). Peak force, force at peak power, and relative values tended to increase with heavier loads (P < .001), while peak system velocity and system velocity at peak power decreased significantly above 80% 1RM (P = .005 and .011, respectively). There were also significant decreases in peak bar velocity (P < .001) and bar displacement (P < .001) toward heavier loads. There was a strong positive correlation between peak bar velocity and bar displacement in 7 of 8 subjects (r > .90, P < .01). The knee joint angle at the receiving position fell below the quarter-squat position above 70% 1RM. Conclusions: Submaximal loads were indeed optimal for maximal power output for HPC when the success criterion was set above the parallel-squat position. However, when the success criterion was defined as the quarter-squat position, the optimal load became the 1RM load.