Lifestyle & Belief

Sleeping pills banned for Australian athletes


The use of the powerful sleeping pill Stilnox (known in the US as Ambien) has been banned for the Australian Olympic team.



The Australian Olympic team may have a hard time catching some ZZZ's during the London games. The Australian Olympic Committee has officially banned the use of sleeping pills by all athletes during the games, AFP reported. 

John Coates, the chief of the Australian Olympic Committee, told the AFP that prescription medications such as the powerful sleeping pill Stilnox (known in the US as Ambien) would be banned after ex-swimming star Grant Hackett admitted he had developed a "heavy reliance" on the drug.

Coates told Bloomberg that the Australian athletes have already been practicing other relaxation techniques to aid them in falling asleep without the help of prescription pills. He did note that athletes would be allowed prescriptions for the short-acting drug Temazepam for up to three days in “extreme circumstances."

The Australian Olympic committee and Coates told WebProNews, they hope this helps stop the vicious cycle of athletes using caffeine as a performance enhancer and sleeping pills to bring them down, just like Hackett did. Coates added, “This was only really brought to my attention when I read Grant Hackett’s revelations. If I’m to blame for not having got on top of this earlier and not having understood it better earlier, I accept that blame.”