Generally, a broken toe isn’t going to help your tennis game. That’s not necessarily the case, though, for athletes of the Paralympic Games.
It was recently revealed to the BBC by Dr. Andrei Krassioukov that almost a third of Paralympic athletes with spinal cord injuries are deliberately injuring themselves to get an edge over the competition. Athletes are going as far as breaking their toes with a hammer and shocking their testicles in a practice called “boosting” to increase heart rate and blood pressure. These are bodily responses that athletes with spinal injuries do don’t normally experience when performing intense physical activities like fencing.
About 17 percent of athletes who responded to an anonymous IPC survey admitted to boosting during the Beijing Paralympics in 2008, and Dr. Krassioukov believes the spike may now be at 30 percent. Breaking your balls for a medal? C’mon, people, is the cover of a Wheaties box worth that much?
36-year-old quadriplegic Brad Zdanivsky:
There have been times where I would specifically give my leg or my toe a couple of really good electric shocks… my blood pressure would jump up and I could do more weights and cycle harder — it is effective.”
And if the pain of a broken toe isn’t enough, athletes who practice boosting are toying with more severe consequences like blowing a blood vessel behind the eye or causing a stroke in the brain, according to Zdanivsky.
Via Daily News
Kinda makes Lance Armstrong’s steroid use look like child’s play.