This week in the world of sports science, here’s what happened…
- Boxing is rapidly losing its credibility with recent doping scandals
- A clear divide between the Spanish coach and players during celebrations
- Very low doses of caffeine may still aid performance
Boxing is rapidly losing its credibility with recent doping scandals
Boxing is rapidly losing its credibility as a sport in recent weeks with its doping problem. While doping is not new in boxing, the recent doping events have become farcical. This week news broke that super featherweight world champion Alycia Baumgardner returned a positive drug test prior to her victory against Christina Linardatou in Detroit on 15 July. Less than a fortnight ago, Dillian Whyte was pulled from his blockbuster fight with Anthony Joshua for yet another doping offence. While there is still controversy surrounding Conor Benn’s failed drug test and whether he is cleared to fight or not.
Lack of investment in drug testing and poor governance have led to these laughable events. Boxing has no major governing body and ultimately, fight promoters have most of the power. Simply, fight promoters want to make money, so investment in drug testing is often neglected.
Let’s hope these recent events might spark a change. Boxing is a truly wonderful sport. However, it needs to be safe, clean, and fair. Hopefully, boxing is salvaged before it loses all creditability.
On Sunday, Spain defeated England to win the women’s football World Cup. Interestingly, fans noticed the clear divide between the Spanish coaches and players during the celebrations. The coaches celebrated together at one end of the pitch while the players celebrated together at the other end.
This was not a coincidence. Spanish head coach Jorge Vilda has long been a controversial figure in Spain. Vilda had previously exiled 15 Spanish players while many questioned his credentials for the job. However, Vilda is now a World Cup-winning coach.
The story of Vilda shows how stressful a coaching job can be. Dealing with problematic players and facing constant media backlash are common obstacles coaches must overcome. As a coach, you certainly need to be resilient and stay healthy mentally. (Although it would be nice if your players celebrated with you rather than ignore you!)
Very low doses of caffeine may still aid performance
A very relevant new study was published on the effect of caffeine on vertical jump performance. Caffeine is one of the most consumed substances worldwide. Caffeine can benefit performance in endurance, strength, and power sports.
However, side effects such as tachycardia, anxiety, headache, and insomnia have been noted with high caffeine consumption. This study examined how varying doses of caffeine effected vertical jump performance. Interestingly, caffeine, even at a very low dose (1 mg/kg) enhanced vertical jump performance. Some athletes may have safety concerns with caffeine. So, using low doses that still have an ergogenic benefit may be suitable for these caffeine-wary athletes.
1 mg/kg of caffeine would simply be an 8-ounce cup of coffee for an average person.
From us this week:
>> New course: The Demands of Women’s Football
>> New podcast: How To Use Speed To Improve Your Endurance Performance
>> New infographic: How Effective is Flywheel Training for Athletic Performance?
>> New article: PEAK HEIGHT VELOCITY (PHV)
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I hope you enjoyed this week’s roundup of the hottest sports science news, and as always, we’ll be back next week with more to keep you at the forefront of the industry.