Just when coffee was given the go ahead as a healthy, calorie free drink that boosts energy and is filled with antioxidants, WADA (World Anti-Droping Agency) has decided to place it on it's 2017 waiting list for prohibited substances.
What does that mean for you? If you compete in weightlifting, triathlons, cycling, marathons, soccer, or any sport with international drug testing regulations, you could receive the same ban for your morning cup of Joe as you would for using illegal drugs. (Side note: Please don't do drugs)
Vladimir Uiba, head of the Russian Federal Micro-Biological Agency (FMBA) went on to explain what was happening to TASS. "Caffeine is currently on WADA’s waiting list of prohibited substances. If it eventually makes its way into the list of the prohibited substances, we will be forced to recommend everyone against drinking coffee as well as soft drinks containing caffeine. Theoretically, it can happen this year."
Caffeine consumption has been shown to improve mental focus, muscular endurance, and (less scientifically) reduce morning crankiness. Caffeine has made it into everything from preworkout powders to intra-workout gels, chews, and bars for serious athletes, and it still isn't clear how many milligrams will earn an athlete a ban.
WADA spokeswoman Maggie Durand said that they're careful to make sure that normal food consumption doesn't trip a fake positive during a drug test, but with your average 16 ounce cup of coffee containing 200mg of caffeine, it isn't clear what amount would be considered 'normal' by the agency.
WADA will come to a decision by September, where it'll either issue a 3 month warning before the ban goes into affect or they drop it all together. The ban in the past flagged athletes who tested at 12 micrograms per milliliter, which amounted to 3-4 lattes a few hours before competition time, or doubling up on your average scoop of pre workout.
In related news, it looks like we all finally have something to blame for not making it to the Olympic stage in 2020. Shame.