Leave the Red Bull in the cooler, young racer

The NorCal High School Mountain Bike League has decided to ban caffeine. In its updated 2008 rulebook, Guarana Root, Taurine, and Creatine have also been banned.

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While these substances are obviously less harmful than, say EPO, coaches and officials have been watching as some members of the 40-school league have been “strategically” using these substances during races — and this, they feel, is precisely the sort of pro-performance-enhancement environment that can ramp up to more serious abuses.

How will they enforce the ban? I love this part, it’s so sweet: random pocket checks.

“There have been questions about enforcement. It’s true that we do not have a test, but nor can we afford a test for steroids or EPO. However, we have a 3-to-1 ratio of dedicated adults working with the athletes and with good coaching and education kids usually make the right decisions. On the other hand, those who try to get a boost, might get penalized if we find the wrong products during our random pocket-checks.”

It’s pretty awesome that Northern California has a high school mountain bike league that provides training and support for up to 800 kids. Doubly neat that they’re confident enough to fight an uphill battle against the teen-caffeine industry, which has been anything but, uh, Mello Yello for the past five to ten.

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