The Partnership for Clean Competition funds more than 70% of the world’s anti-doping research, so when it comes to the field, we’ve seen almost everything. However, outside of anti-doping circles, many researchers don’t realize how broad the space truly is—and how their research may apply. We want to shine a light on the breadth of anti-doping work, so we’ve selected a number of areas with potentially surprising crossover.
If you know someone working in one of these realms, let them know there could be anti-doping research funding available for them.
Controlling the Rhythm of the Heart
Every forty seconds someone in the United States suffers a heart attack, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many types of heart issues are treated with drugs called beta blockers, which can be deployed to combat high blood pressure, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia, and more.
Beta blockers, also known as beta-adrenergic receptor antagonists, bind to beta-adrenergic receptors in the body without activating those receptors. Instead, they prevent beta-adrenergic agonists from doing their job by blocking them, hence the name beta blockers.
In the body, beta blockers help regulate blood pressure and heart rhythm. It’s obvious why this treatment can be impactful for people with heart conditions. However, some athletes have turned to beta blockers to gain an illicit advantage in sport.
Unlike many common doping methods, beta blockers do not enhance endurance or muscle mass. In fact, beta blockers can reduce maximum exercise load. Instead of endurance athletes, those that rely on steadiness and accuracy have the most to gain from abusing these drugs. For example, shooting and archery specialists, who need steady breath and hands, have both been caught using beta blockers to gain an advantage.
Beta blockers have an important, pressing purpose in the medical field. However, detecting the use of the treatment also has applications in anti-doping. After all, these drugs can be dangerous if not used properly.
If you’re interested in learning more about the anti-doping research we fund, consider reviewing our Research Priorities here.
If you’d like to apply for PCC funding, you can register for an account in the application center here. If you have any questions, feel free to email Michael Pearlmutter at firstname.lastname@example.org.