Well, studies seem to be showing that Viagra is indeed a performance-enhancing drug. In sports.
"All my athletes took it," Victor Conte of the infamous BALCO laboratory is quoted as saying.
The World Anti-Doping Agency is looking into the matter, and may ban the drug* before the 2009 Winter Olympics. That's timely, because the effects are reportedly more, um, pronounced at higher altitudes.
According to the New York Times: "The agency, based in Montreal, is financing two studies related to Viagra and performance enhancement in sports. The University of Miami is studying whether Viagra benefits aerobic capacity at lower altitudes than the Stanford study — comparable to heights where elite competitions take place. This study is also examining whether there is a difference in the way Viagra affects male and female athletes."
Okay, I'll stop sniggering if you will. After I point out the obvious preliminary screening for men: dirty pictures. Oh, and expunge the picture of some lad in speedos fighting his priapism by thinking of baseball like some Junior High School student who just watched little Maria reach down to pick up a pencil.
More sniggers; I lied
This gives us another possible cause for athlete's well-publicized misadventures. Steroids and Viagra is a scary mix.
It also may explain why ESPN has so many commercials for enhancing that other performance. That and sedentary couch potatoes. I don't watch it as much as I might because of my son. It's not embarassment or priggishness, I just don't like the faux macho stuff.
As usual, professional sports are behind the curve, especially in the U.S. In fact, the National Football league has a marketing agreement with Levitra, while Major League Baseball has Viagra (batter up) and Cialis is on the PGA tour.
* No word on drugs from the same family like Cialis and Levitra (Vivanza! to you Italians).