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Cheating at Paralympics could involve self-harm

Cheating at Paralympics could involve self-harm

Paralympics officials will be testing for more than just the usual banned drugs in London, where they will also be on the lookout for a practice called boosting, which sees wheelchair athletes self-harming to cause a blood pressure spike to enhance performance.
In able-bodied athletes, intense physical exercise automatically raises the heart rate and blood pressure. Athletes with a severe spinal cord injury don't get that boost.
To get a rapid rise in blood pressure, wheelchair-bound athletes may resort to another solution: inducing a state called autonomic dysreflexia. That is a reflex that occurs when the lower part of their body is exposed to painful stimuli, like using tight leg straps or sitting on a sharp object.
International Paralympic Committee spokesman Craig Spence says "it's very dangerous."


Updated : 2020-12-06 07:18 GMT+08:00