Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Do riding, Bee Stings, and Drugs Go Together?

I think NOT - especially for pro cyclists. I found that out a few days ago when i was stung by a bee on the collarbone while on a bike ride. I've had a couple of serious reactions to bee stings in the past so I was prepared for it. I immediately pulled over, grabbed the Epipen from my pocket and waited for the anaphylactic shock to kick in before pricking myself in the leg.

I didn't do it right away in hopes that i wouldn't need it. Because if i do, it means a few hours dealing with paperwork to get myself in legal cycling status. I would have to fill out a medical form, get it signed by a doctor, then fax it in to UCI (Cycling's international governing body), USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency) and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and hope everyone receives and approves it. If, for some reason, it does not find its way to the right people and i am drug tested, then my name will pop up on cyclingnews.com as a druggie. Then it's no cyclo-cross, no road racing, no life. Unfortunately it is not allowable to have the forms on file for such potential emergencies. Pity because it has been the cause for a few dropouts in major cycling events such as Jonathan Vaughters' premature departure from the Tour de France in (i think) 2001.

Luckily I didn't die but my whole chest swelled up and turned deep red. The pain and itching was simply unbearable. This led me to another dilemma. How can i stop the itching without using creams or pills that won't get me in trouble with the doping agencies? It's tougher than most people think to find supplements that are not on the doping substance list. I never think to take drugs until situations like these pop up.

A few years ago, while waiting to be drug tested after a World Cup, I sat with another racer who was battling a nasty flu. While i sat there thinking about what i want to eat for dinner, he was freaking out because he was on five different drugs for the flu. He said he checked the drug lists to make sure they were legal but it is hard to know for sure. When I got stung by the bee i thought of him and opted to suffer through it and not take chances.

Now that a few days - and sleepless nights - have passed, the pain and itching have thankfully subsided so i can start focusing on things other than my bee sting. It would be great if, in addition to the prohibited drug list, we were given an approved list as well!

17 comments:

Rickie Rainwater said...

Christine,
I hope you are ok. My sister Dee is deathly allergic to bee stings. A list of prohibited drugs should be available and if they are not, I don't see why they wouldn't be. I do think some banded drugs are pretty rediculous. I think IB profen is ok, but I'm not sure. It is a good anti inflamatory, but it also can raise you blood pressure. Let me know how everything is going.
rickie

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Vaughters, I think you mean?
-- E.C. Chamberlain

PEANUT said...

yes, jonathan vaughters indeed. Was it 2001?

chr15 tree said...

OMG... I'm so glad you are OK. How sick is it that because of your 'profession' you have to consider risking your safety/health (and possibly your life) for somthing as simple as a bee stong, for fear of the consequence.

I agree fully there should eb a list of (non banned) substances that you can in certain instances.
For instance if you are stung by a bee you CAN use ....

Problem is that the 'acceptable' list is open to abuse if some of the substances are found to be performance enhancing as you are legalising these drugs and you then have no recourse against these 'abusers'. A certain Italian sprinter and his asthma medication springs to mind...

Obviously not a professional myself, however I competed in Half Ironman Antwerp last year, there was talk in the days before the event that random amateur testing was going to be introduced due to the fact prize money was starting to be offered in Triathlon for the best age groupers and this was causing an increase in the use of performance enhancing substances. For the days leading up to the event I had been suffering with a headcold and had been taking an over the couter decongestant... Turns out the active ingredient is high on the banned substance list. Had I been in with a shot on the prizes (no chance) I could have been tested and possibly banned for life. For an innocent over the counter remedy!

chr15 tree said...

My substance of choice... Pannetone!

chr15 tree said...

Oh yeah and I added some piccies of Paris Roubaix to CX magazine photo albums, if you are interested.

PEANUT said...

Pannetone - is that the italian fruitcake that comes in that large round cardboard holder?
In belgium they do test amateurs from what i hear although i have never seen a female racer tested at one of the kermis events.
Yes, i'm thrilled to be OK!

PEANUT said...

Pannetone - is that the italian fruitcake that comes in that large round cardboard holder?
In belgium they do test amateurs from what i hear although i have never seen a female racer tested at one of the kermis events.
Yes, i'm thrilled to be OK!

chr15 tree said...

so thrilled you said it twice. :)

chr15 tree said...

yup it's a fruit-cake ok, just like me!

bikesgonewild said...

...glad yer a-ok & bee careful...

...i thought 'pannetone' was the color chart pinarello used to paint valverde's prince after espana's nat's...

Rickie Rainwater said...

Christine,
I have begun the process of trying to raise money for the Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure. I will be doing the century on October. If you would like to pass the word, I would certainly appreciate any help I can get. Here is my Diabetes Association personal page.
http://main.diabetes.org/goto/Rickie.Rainwater

http://www.rickierainwater.blogspot.com/

Thanks for the inspiration.

GCDavid said...

Like we tell my daughter, the big buzzy-buzzy bees are friendly (bumble bess), and the little buzzy-buzzy bees are mean. They don't want to be friends.

PEANUT said...

Hey rickie:
Best of luck with the ride! I have passed your message on to folks and i'm sure quite a few people read your comment here as well.
gcdavid: that's a good way to remember which ones are good and which are bad.

Rickie Rainwater said...

Thank you Christine,
your very kind. Fall is fast approaching and I am assuming your real season starts. Keep us posted, and did you do your hair yet? Make sure Jonas takes your pretty picture.
rickie

chr15 tree said...

Oh boy am I looking forward to this...

http://cxmagazine.com/sven-nys-pre-olympics-interview-by-christine-vardaros#more-384

PEANUT said...

me too. thanks.