Drugs and sports for the elderly

Given all the discussion about drugs in sports, this seems like the perfect counterpoint. I especially like the line: “Who’s 75 years old and not taking medications?” The NY Times has this piece.

In his apartment outside Philadelphia, Frank Levine pulled a list of prescription medications from his refrigerator, his hands shaking slightly. There was metformin HCl and glipizide for his diabetes; lisinopril for his blood pressure; and Viagra.

“I need it,” he said recently.

Mr. Levine, who is 95 and has had operations on both knees, in June set the American record in the 400-meter dash for men ages 95 to 99, only to see it broken at the U.S.A. Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships a few weeks later. “Nothing counts unless you’re first,” he said.

Mr. Levine belongs to a generation of track and field athletes who are breaking records for speed, distance and endurance at ages once considered too old for competition. In a sport tarnished by doping scandals, the older athletes raise anew the question of what constitutes a natural body for people who are at an age when drugs are a part of life.

“Who’s 75 years old and not taking medications?” asked Gary Snyder, national chairman of U.S.A. Track & Field’s masters committee, which will oversee more than 100 competitions this year for athletes over age 30. . . . .

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Blogger Rob said...

Leave it to the New York Times to find the "dark side" of Masters Athletics and focus on drugs. Masters Athletes are inspirational human beings. I can't think of better role models for aging. I recently returned from the World Masters Track and Field Championships in Finland and was blown away by what I saw. Check out my YouTube video "Champions: Athletes Over 80" focusing on the oldest athletes, including a 101-year-old discus thrower.

RJ D'Avellar

8/25/2009 12:53 PM  

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