Is B12 a Performance Enhancing Drug?

by | Feb 20, 2011 | 1 comment

Anyone on B12?

I had a really unusual telephone call last week.  It was someone from UK Athletics.  He wanted to know whether an athlete who took B12 could be considered to be taking an performance enhancing drug.

“It’s an interesting question” I replied

“I know it is” he said.

“I know they give it to horses and Greyhounds before races” I offered.

“But does it work?” he asked

“I honestly don’t know”

“Can it be obtained easily?”

“Oh yes – very easily”

“But I thought it was only available on prescription”

“It is in the UK – but freely available over the counter on the continent”

“So is it classed as a drug” the man asked – clearly getting confused.

“It’s a vitamin” I said.

He then thanked me for my time and hung up.  I cannot but help thinking that somewhere, some athlete has been bragging that injecting B12 makes him or her perform better.  This could be the beginning of a whole new debate into the use of B12 as a performance enhancing drug.

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1 Comment

  1. Andrea

    Oh dear! Requests for B12 for reasons like this don’t help our case, do they? It further convinces doctors that we are looking for an energy fix.

    II always wondered whether or not someone would get a boost from a B12 jab if they weren’t actually deficient and managed to persuade my husband to let me give him an injection. He grudgingly agreed and felt nothing from it at all. I remain convinced that anyone who notices an improvement was actually in need of it.


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