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In a review of doping in athletes by Dr Dekhuijzen published recently in Thorax 1 the substance fenoterol was included in table 2 which listed respiratory drugs permitted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). However, according to the IOC fenoterol is prohibited. Only salbutamol, salmeterol, and terbutaline are permitted by inhaler to prevent or treat asthma or exercise induced asthma. A written notification is necessary.
To prevent positive doping cases caused by misinformation of athletes and their advisors which might cause questions of regress, it is necessary to print a correction.
authors' reply We thank Dr Henze for this correction. As in the case of formoterol, there is no scientific reasoning given by the IOC for fenoterol not to be permitted by inhalation, in contrast to salbutamol, terbutaline, and salmeterol. There are no specific pharmacological or pharmacodynamic characteristics of inhaled fenoterol or formoterol that would predict a relevant stimulating effect on the respiratory system. For clarity we reproduce here the correct list of permitted respiratory drugs.