Cocaine a huge sports problem, says Donati

Sandro Donati at Play the Game 2009 courtesy of Jens Astrup

Sandro Donati at Play the Game 2009 courtesy of Jens Astrup

ALESSANDRO DONATI, head of research for the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) believes ‘there is a cocaine problem in a huge amount of sports,’ with the Italian claiming the majority of athletes turn to drugs due to depression writes Iain Green.

After Australian sports sommissioner Debbie Simms revealed exclusively to CU Today earlier this week the Australians ‘have a particular problem within their football codes and cricket, of which Andrew Symonds’ alcohol problems are indicative,’ Donati gave his reasons why so many world-class performers across a variety of sports are turning to recreational drugs.

In England, recent high-profile cases have seen England and Bath Rugby Club prop Matt Stevens chastised by his club and the media for his love of the white powder, while West Bromwich Albion striker Roman Bednar was left out of the final two games of the Premiership season when a News of the World undercover reporter spotted him allegedly purchasing drugs for a friend in a lay-by.

“There is a problem in a high percentage of sports regarding cocaine and other recreational drugs,” said Donati. “In particular, there is a connection between the use of testosterone, steroids, and cocaine.”

Donati points to scientific research that highlights a correlation between doping and stimulants, of which cocaine is classed as the latter.

“It is clear that an athlete goes into depression whenever he or she is not able to dope because of a break in their doping programme,” affirmed Donati. “Athletes can only dope for a certain amount of time before it becomes too heavy on the liver, so they must have a break before continuing with their programme.”

“It’s at this point when athletes enter into a very dangerous place, where the situation they are in breaks off from what they consider to be the norm. Consequently, they feel the need to turn to something that will pick them up from their state of depression and give them an instant buzz, with the operative drug being cocaine.”

“Once they have found a supporter in cocaine, they enter into a habit where they know their relationship with cocaine brings them an instant fix, they can turn to it whenever they require. But like any drug, the more you abuse the drug, the more you crave it, and the higher the amount of it you consume.”

‘Clear links between cocaine and sports doping’

Donati also explained the connection between social drugs and performance-enhancing substances writes Danni Cox. “Doping substances are intertwined with social drugs and this illegal market continues to expand,” he said.

“It is impossible for an athlete that uses cocaine for his personal life to have a healthy balance,” said Donati. “It’s not a normal outlet.”

Donati was firmly convinced that major doping and cocaine routes were the same, demonstrating clear links between the two, and that athletes using performance-enhancing drugs were supported the trafficking of more dangerous drugs.


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