Two UGM Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing lecturers were invited as speakers at the annual Fete de La Science with the theme Sports Science, organized by IFI Yogyakarta on November 22, 2023.
Fete de La Science is an annual French scientific and cultural event that takes ten days in October in France and November for countries outside France and internationally.
IFI, or Institut Français d’Indonésie, is a French public institution affiliated with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the primary mission of promoting French culture and language abroad.
In the meeting, Dr. Denny Agustiningsih, MD, a senior researcher in sports and cardiovascular physiology at the UGM Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing, explained the role of intrinsic and extrinsic factors that can determine an athlete’s performance.
They include accurate nutrition, gut microbiome function, and genetic factors, which collectively can influence an athlete’s training capacity and performance in the field.
“Optimal training strategies will be achieved if the right planning has been personalized. This means that the training patterns for each athlete need to be designed and adjusted according to their needs,” said Dr. Agustiningsih.
In the next session, a cardiologist and professor of physiology who also serves as the Director of the French Institute of Biomedical Research and Epidemiology of Sport, Jean-François Toussaint, presented recent scientific evidence related to sports development.
Based on scientific studies, he exemplified that sports increase a person’s life expectancy by up to 4 years.
However, recent studies show that in various sports branches, over the past 20 years, no new records have been broken by today’s athletes. It seems there is a “maximum limit” to the achievement of strength and athletic ability acceleration that can be achieved in the world of sports, even though technological advancements continue to increase.
Dr. Arko Jatmiko Wicaksono described that macronutrients and micronutrients are crucial in athletes’ accelerated performance during matches.
The member of the Sports Science Division of KONI Yogyakarta stated that although the regulation of nutritional patterns is very much needed, knowledge related to doping is also crucial for an athlete.
“The reason is many easily obtainable supplements intended for athletes are classified as doping, the use of which is prohibited by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency),” said Dr. Wicaksono, who is also a lecturer in the Pharmacology and Therapy Department of the UGM Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing
According to him, it is very ironic because not all athletes know that the supplements they buy or consume are doping. He said the use of doping, whether intentional or unintentional, is risky and can lead to an athlete’s disqualification in competitions.
“Even very likely, a gold medal that has been won can be revoked after the tournament if it is proven that they have consumed doping,” he said.
Dr. Wicaksono gave an example of the compound pseudoephedrine. He stated that most flu medications circulating in Indonesia contain pseudoephedrine because this compound is clinically capable of relieving a stuffy nose (as a decongestant).
Although this drug is safe to take, for athletes, pseudoephedrine is classified as doping because it has stimulating properties, so there are special rules that strictly regulate its use for athletes.
In Indonesia alone, there are more than 300 registered Indonesian FDA drugs containing pseudoephedrine. Every year, WADA releases hundreds of prohibited doping compounds for athletes, and not just pseudoephedrine.
Therefore, as one of the officials of KONI Yogyakarta, he, assisted by several UGM medical students, actively conducted a study and created a database of supplements/drugs containing doping compounds circulating and marketed in Indonesia.
With this database, everyone is expected to easily and quickly determine whether the drug or supplement they want to consume contains doping.
“This is the first project that I initiated. We all hope to get full support from the Head of the Sports Science Division of KONI Yogyakarta, Professor BM Wara Kushartanti, MD,” he added.
“We believe, with the application of the drug and supplement doping screening like this, it can help minimize cases of doping use at the National Sports Week (PON) next year, as well as in various other national and international championship tournaments.”
Author: Agung Nugroho