Vladimir Uiba is the Russian Federal Micro-Biology Agency (FMBA) Head. On Friday when speaking to TASS, Uiba said, “Caffeine, for instance, is currently on WADA’s waiting list of prohibited substances.” He continuted, If it (caffeine) eventually makes its way into the list of the prohibited substances, we will be forced to recommend everyone against drinking coffee as well as soft drinks containing caffeine.”
While Uiba is technically correct about caffeine being on WADA’s watch list for in-competition prohibited substances, it is very unlikely that athletes would need to give up their daily cup (or two) of coffee. WADA has stated that its intent is to make sure that standard food consumption does not impact their testing results. “Generally speaking, WADA is extremely careful that normal food consumption does not interfere with anti-doping tests,” said Maggie Durand, WADA spokeswoman.
WADA adds substances to the watch list to study how athletes are using those substances and whether they are being taken “with the intent of enhancing performance.” Each fall, WADA updates its Prohibited List for the upcoming year giving athletes a three-month notice. Again, Uiba could be right that it is banned this year.
The NCAA does prohibit excessive caffeine consumption as athletes must stay under 15 micrograms per milliliter, which is generally 6-8 cups of coffee consumed 2-3 hours prior to a test.
WADA actually did limit caffeine consumption prior to 2004, limiting athletes to less than 12 micrograms per milliliter. However, WADA removed caffeine and pseudoephedrine from its Prohibited List for the 2004 calendar year.
Russia was caught up in a state-run doping scandal last year that sent shock waves throughout the Olympic community.