Background Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently used in sports medicine to reduce time of incapacity.
Objective To describe the frequency of NSAIDs use by athletes in the XV Pan-American Games.
Methods All athletes who were tested by the anti-doping control filled a form. The voluntarily declared medications were recorded and categorised according to sport modality, sex, region and control situation according to the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Results Among the 1261 athletes tested (231 out-competition (OC) and 1030 in-competition (IC); 733 men and 528 women), 63% reported use of drugs, NSAIDs being the most frequently (64% of users) used medications. The use of medications was not significantly different between sexes or among different regions of the world. The number of users of only one type of NSAID was higher than those who used more than one type of NSAIDs or a combination with analgesics (335 vs 168 cases). IC reports presented higher use of NSAIDs than OC.
Conclusion Athletes tested by the anti-doping control of the XV Pan-American Games reported a high frequency of NSAIDs use. The frequent utilisation in competition suggests that these medications might be used as ergogenic aid.
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