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Good For Hair, But Not If You Are In Competitive Athletics

Propecia® is one of the leading medical treatments for hair loss in men, but it becomes a hot topic in sports and Olympics news from time to time. Professional male athletes do their best on and off the field, and that includes looking their best (as we know from Tom Brady’s widely publicized visit with a hair loss specialist a few months ago). However, using Propecia® can sometimes be an issue for competitive athletes.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) bans the use of Propecia® because its active ingredient, Finasteride, is considered a “masking agent” for some performance-enhancing steroids. Though Finasteride is not a performance-enhancing drug itself, its presence in urine makes it hard to detect banned substances. This has posed a problem for a few male athletes, who were unaware of Propecia® being banned in competitive sports by the WADA.

A member of the US skeleton team at the 2006 Winter Olympics, Zach Lund, was banned from the competition after Finasteride was detected in a drug test. Goalie Joes Theodore flunked a pre-Olympic screening when he was with the Montreal Canadiens, because of the presence of Finasteride in his urine, and player-coach of the Brazilian soccer team Vasco da Gama, legend Romario de Souza Faria, received a four-month suspension after using Propecia®.

All three of these athletes had no intention of providing a faulty urine sample when they took Propecia® as a hair loss treatment. It’s important to note that even though it gets some bad press in instances like these, Propecia® is not dangerous, but is in fact a safe, effective treatment for men experiencing hair loss. In fact, at the time of their trouble with the WADA, all three athletes had healthy heads of hair.