In Defense of the Beta Blocker

Is this a performance drug that could actually increase the fairness of Olympic contests?

(…) “Beta blockers are banned in certain sports, like archery and pistol shooting, because they’re seen as unfairly improving a user’s skills. But there is another way to see beta blockers—not as improving someone’s skills, but as preventing the effects of anxiety from interfering with their skills. Taking a beta blocker, in other words, won’t turn you into a better violinist, but it will prevent your anxiety from interfering with your public performance. In a music competition, then, a beta blocker can arguably help the best player win.” (…) — Carl Elliot. August 20, 2008

Read more via The Atlantic:


Addendum: Adrenergic receptors (slide from one of my University lectures of pharmacology)



Ramirez, Jorge H (2014): Simpatico – clase farmacología Univalle. figshare.



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