NFL bans ephedrine

The National Football League has banned the use of ephedrine and other high-risk stimulants, it was announced today.

The NFL notified its clubs today that the league's prohibition on the use of anabolic steroids and related substances has been strengthened to include supplements containing ephedrine and other high-risk stimulants. These substances present significant health issues for athletes and others engaged in strenuous physical activity, the NFL said.

In a memo to NFL teams, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said that, effective immediately, the use or distribution by players or teams of products containing ephedrine or similar substances is prohibited. He said the additional policies and procedures were based on consultation with both internal and external specialists and the NFL Players Association.

Testing and discipline for violations of the expanded policy will begin following further discussion internally and with the NFLPA, Commissioner Tagliabue said.

"This strengthening of our policy responds to the recent introduction of new substances, as well as new evidence addressing the risks associated with certain products already on the market," Commissioner Tagliabue said.

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