Tigers Secret Weapon

Scotto

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Revealed: What's in the Tigers' tank

Jacquelin Magnay and Jessica Halloran | August 19, 2009 - SMH

Three Wests Tigers rugby league players - including their captain, Robbie Farah - were photographed at training using their secret weapon in the race to the finals: masks to inhale an artificial oxygen mixture to help recover from injury.

But the practice, viewed by the World Anti-Doping Agency as ethically wrong, is under review and could be banned by the end of the year.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority said it was not concerned at the use of the oxygen mixture by Farah and the injured forwards John Skandalis and Keith Galloway, a view shared by the National Rugby League.

The authority's chairman, Richard Ings, said he believed there had not been a case prosecuted anywhere in the world over oxygen mixtures.

Under the world anti-doping code, ''the method of artificially enhancing the uptake, transport or delivery of oxygen is banned''.

An NRL spokesman, John Brady, said the Wests Tigers and Manly used a technique known as hypo-oxygenation - diluting the amount of oxygen - which he believed was not covered by the rules. He said world anti-doping rules applied to increasing oxygen, not decreasing it, although he said there could be changes next year.

Hypo-oxygenation makes the body use smaller amounts of oxygen more efficiently by increasing the number of red blood cells. The technique creates a physiological effect similar to altitude training.

The Wests Tigers chief executive, Stephen Humphreys, said: ''The NRL is extremely competitive and we are a highly professional club, always looking to enhance performance, but always within the rules and spirit of the game.

''If in time this is proved to be illegal then of course we will discontinue it.''

The club's high performance manager, Cherry Mescia, would not give details of the regime but said: ''It is a different form of training we have at Wests Tigers. We don't want other clubs knowing what we do''.

Yesterday the Tigers trio looked like spacemen, breathing through their oxygen masks and holding canisters as they slowly paced along the boundary line at Concord Oval.

The players have been using the treatment since the pre-season to aid recovery from injury. Galloway has had a persistent knee injury, Skandalis a corked leg and a bruised Farah came off the field 20 minutes before full-time last Sunday.

The Wests Tigers have been using the masks and oxygen system regularly before scheduled training.

It is not only the NRL treatments involving manipulation of oxygen that are under the spotlight.

This year the Carlton Australian Rules forward Brendan Fevola wore a ''moon helmet'' and a breathing mask and spent four, two-hour sessions in a hyperbaric chamber in a bid to help the healing of his bruised heel.

All AFL clubs use these chambers - more commonly known for their use in treating divers with the bends - because breathing an atmosphere of 100 per cent oxygen is believed to improve healing, reduce swelling and stimulate blood vessel growth.

Collingwood has its own ''altitude room'' - a $100,000, 60-square-metre exercise chamber which simulates the oxygen-depleted air of altitudes up to 3000 metres above sea level.

–-----------

Oxygen a performance enhancing drug????

C'moooonnn...
 

Tigerfansince85

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@Scotto said:
Revealed: What's in the Tigers' tank

Jacquelin Magnay and Jessica Halloran | August 19, 2009 - SMH

Three Wests Tigers rugby league players - including their captain, Robbie Farah - were photographed at training using their secret weapon in the race to the finals: masks to inhale an artificial oxygen mixture to help recover from injury.

But the practice, viewed by the World Anti-Doping Agency as ethically wrong, is under review and could be banned by the end of the year.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority said it was not concerned at the use of the oxygen mixture by Farah and the injured forwards John Skandalis and Keith Galloway, a view shared by the National Rugby League.

The authority's chairman, Richard Ings, said he believed there had not been a case prosecuted anywhere in the world over oxygen mixtures.

Under the world anti-doping code, ''the method of artificially enhancing the uptake, transport or delivery of oxygen is banned''.

An NRL spokesman, John Brady, said the Wests Tigers and Manly used a technique known as hypo-oxygenation - diluting the amount of oxygen - which he believed was not covered by the rules. He said world anti-doping rules applied to increasing oxygen, not decreasing it, although he said there could be changes next year.

Hypo-oxygenation makes the body use smaller amounts of oxygen more efficiently by increasing the number of red blood cells. The technique creates a physiological effect similar to altitude training.

The Wests Tigers chief executive, Stephen Humphreys, said: ''The NRL is extremely competitive and we are a highly professional club, always looking to enhance performance, but always within the rules and spirit of the game.

''If in time this is proved to be illegal then of course we will discontinue it.''

The club's high performance manager, Cherry Mescia, would not give details of the regime but said: ''It is a different form of training we have at Wests Tigers. We don't want other clubs knowing what we do''.

Yesterday the Tigers trio looked like spacemen, breathing through their oxygen masks and holding canisters as they slowly paced along the boundary line at Concord Oval.

The players have been using the treatment since the pre-season to aid recovery from injury. Galloway has had a persistent knee injury, Skandalis a corked leg and a bruised Farah came off the field 20 minutes before full-time last Sunday.

The Wests Tigers have been using the masks and oxygen system regularly before scheduled training.

It is not only the NRL treatments involving manipulation of oxygen that are under the spotlight.

This year the Carlton Australian Rules forward Brendan Fevola wore a ''moon helmet'' and a breathing mask and spent four, two-hour sessions in a hyperbaric chamber in a bid to help the healing of his bruised heel.

All AFL clubs use these chambers - more commonly known for their use in treating divers with the bends - because breathing an atmosphere of 100 per cent oxygen is believed to improve healing, reduce swelling and stimulate blood vessel growth.

Collingwood has its own ''altitude room'' - a $100,000, 60-square-metre exercise chamber which simulates the oxygen-depleted air of altitudes up to 3000 metres above sea level.

–-----------

Oxygen a performance enhancing drug????

C'moooonnn...

Im pretty sure this is what Manly were doing last year that people whinged about when their players were recovering so quick ?

That and the calfs blood rumours.

It all disappeared pretty quickly but now the Tigers are playing well and found to be using it here we go !!!
 
G

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If it works and it's legal, use it. It certainly isn't a performance enhancing drug.
 

Muffstar

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Yeah they have been using it all year, at the Members open training session earlier this year at SFS the players were using it then and it was spoken about quite openly by the training staff, certainly nothing sinister, papers blowing things up. Must be a Parra journo.
 

system

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@Muffstar said:
Yeah they have been using it all year, at the Members open training session earlier this year at SFS the players were using it then and it was spoken about quite openly by the training staff, certainly nothing sinister, papers blowing things up. Must be a Parra journo.

Bang on.

The process was explained to members so it was hardly a hush-hush illegal activity.

They are not injecting anything it is basically like altitude training without the journey to the mountains.
 

tigerdre

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Are the world anti doping authorities going to ban high alttiude training??
Looks like south american soccer won't be competing in any world cup then.
These methods have been used in south american soccer for 50 years
 

simonthetiger

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Funny,…....but Ive been hearing how unproffessional we are.......

Sounds pretty high tech to me.

My team signs elite players from UK and uses the latest science to get our players fit.

Awesome...........
 

LARDS

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Whats the difference between that and sitting in a hyperbaric chamber?
If they ban this then they should ban the hyperbaric.
 

tiger05

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@simonthetiger said:
Funny,…....but Ive been hearing how unproffessional we are.......

Sounds pretty high tech to me.

My team signs elite players from UK and uses the latest science to get our players fit.

Awesome...........

Yep its good isn't it.

My main complaint of Sheensy has been his team selections and the obvious one in particular that has killed our performances over the last couple of years.

Apart from that I can live with everything else.
 

MGB

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Ethically I would have to say it is pretty poor…I mean Oxygen is on the banned substances list isn't it?
Gotta love the media!
 

Tap_Twist_Snap

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Channel 9 just reported ASDA were investigating the club over it. Surely thats not true!. We don't need disruptions like this, this week!
 

AmericanHistoryX

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@tiger05 said:
@simonthetiger said:
Funny,…....but Ive been hearing how unproffessional we are.......

Sounds pretty high tech to me.

My team signs elite players from UK and uses the latest science to get our players fit.

Awesome...........

Yep its good isn't it.

My main complaint of Sheensy has been his team selections and the obvious one in particular that has killed our performances over the last couple of years.

Apart from that I can live with everything else.

thats the only complaint i have also - team selections in the past - still some deadwood. Sheens is not a good selector or wasnt (fingers crossed) And if all the other clubs werent aware of the oxygen tanks - well sorry Cherry - they sure know now.
 

system

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They are not oxygen tanks.

The principle is for rehabbing players to deprive themselves of oxygen in varying degrees without the impact of excercise on the injured area. It increases the amount of oygen the red blood cells carry and limit fatigue.

I have used a similar system in the past and it makes walking up and down sets of stairs a few times feel like a 5km run
 

Danos

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**NRL doctor clears Wests Tigers' use of hypoxic masks
Margie McDonald | August 19, 2009**
>
SEVERAL doctors from NRL clubs have had their fears allayed that Wests Tigers are gaining an unfair advantage by using hypoxic masks at training.
>
The NRL's chief medical officer Ron Muratore said the masks deprive players of oxygen by making them breathe harder - similar to altitude training.
>
Muratore said the practice was perfectly legal and not under review or question from the World Anti-Doping Sports Agency (WADA).
>
"Intermittent hypoxic training is perfectly legal - it's allowed - and it's up to the individual clubs," said Muratore, who added up to six NRL clubs use the technique.
>
"The WADA concern is about hyper-oxygenation, which is the complete opposite because you are actually giving players excess oxygen," he said.
>
Several television and newspaper reports showed three Wests Tigers players - Keith Galloway, Robbie Farah and John Skandalis - using the hypoxic masks at training yesterday.
>
The players were still a bit sore from the weekend's win over Cronulla and were using the masks to help with their fitness.
>
Muratore said several NRL club doctors had called him in a mild panic today saying they had been told not to use hyper-oxygenation.
>
"And I had to tell them that the Tigers are not actually using more oxygen, they're using less," he said.
>
"I didn't tell them they weren't allowed to use it (hyper-oxygenation). I told them using oxygen on the sideline was against the spirit of sport, according to WADA."
>
Muratore said several NRL clubs had used oxygen on the sideline earlier this season and there was some discussion within the NRL to have it banned.
>
He added the benefits of recovery to players were minimal at best. He said a better form of recovery was hyperbaric chambers, that could increase an athlete's oxygen uptake.
>
The chambers are widely used by NRL and AFL clubs.
 
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