Articles on Athletics

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World champion sprinters Tyson Gay (centre) and Asafa Powell (right) have tested positive to the banned substance oxilofrine. EPA/Peter Klaunzer

We know Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell … but what’s oxilofrine?

American sprinter Tyson Gay and former 100m world record-holder Jamaican Asafa Powell are reported to be among six athletes to test positive for a banned substance: oxilofrine. But what is this drug that…
Time (of the month) stands still for no woman, but how does it affect elite performance? Hannibal/EPA

Blood, sweat and tears: the menstrual cycle and the Olympics

For some female athletes, “counting the days” to their Olympic event may have a double meaning. These Olympians may be worried about “what time of the month” it is going to be when they are expected to…
If an athlete believes sex will harm their performance, there’s a good chance it will. Slagheap

Sex before sport: does it affect an athlete’s performance?

From the ancient Greeks to modern soccer World Cups and the Olympics, there has been an enduring belief by some athletes and coaches that engaging in sexual activity before athletic competitions may be…
Ceilings on physical ability are there – sometimes – to be broken. EPA/Hannibal

Is there a limit to athletic performance?

We once thought no-one could run a mile in less than four minutes – and yet the current world record stands at three minutes, 43 seconds. So will records keep tumbling as people get fitter and technology…
“Blade Runner’s” selection for the London Olympics has made sporting history. RAINER JENSEN/EPA

Oscar Pistorius and the Olympics: good news or bad for sport?

Oscar Pistorius – the South African double amputee athlete known as Blade Runner – will run at the at the London Olympics. Until a week ago, his hopes of inclusion in the South African Olympic team looked…

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