SPORT INDEX


SEARCH 2000 Games


Tuesday, August 15, 2000
Allergies could affect one-third of Olympians

 SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Sydney in springtime could spell problems for up to one-third of the Olympic athletes heading Down Under next month, an allergy specialist said Wednesday.

 The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Dr. Connie Katelaris as saying that hay fever and other allergies could be a problem because of spring pollens in the air. The first day of spring in the southern hemisphere is Sept. 1, and the Games begin two weeks later.

 Katelaris, a Westmead Hospital allergy specialist who has been studying the pollen levels at Games sites for the past six years, said the allergic response to the pollens could affect athletic performance.

 Most Olympic competitions are held in northern hemisphere late summers or autumns, when allergy-provoking pollens are not common in the air.

 Katelaris tested 977 Australian athletes in September of last year and found 37 percent had an allergy to at least one of eight common spring irritants, including dust mite, grass and tree pollens and molds.

 The athletes were given standard hay fever treatments, inhaling corticosteroids through their nose each day. More than half said their symptoms -- sneezing, blocked and runny noses, itchy throat and eyes and sometimes headaches -- improved.

 "Coughing and congestion can interrupt sleep, while itchy eyes and sneezing can make getting through a training session or competition very uncomfortable," she said.

 Katelaris said her research hasn't been kept a secret from other international teams -- papers were presented at an allergy conference this year in Lisbon and published in an American-based allergy journal -- exposure which led to overseas awareness of the problem.

 "South Africa, we know, which has a very similar climate pattern to ours, has scrutinized their team and offered them treatment," she said. "We have had calls from France, the U.K. and North America."
 Sport by Sport
PARALYMPICS
Purdy's golden moment
WRESTLING
IOC strips gold medal
TENNIS
Nestor's golden win hits home
BOXING
Harrison starts in Britain
WEIGHTLIFTING
Bulgarian coach resigns
TRACK & FIELD
Student suspended for e-mail threats
CANOE/KAYAK
Bridesmaid Brunet
PENTATHLON
Brit wins women's modern pentathlon
TRIATHLON
Simon's our man
BASKETBALL
Dream Team hangs on for another gold
WATER POLO
Hungary destroys Russia in title game
GYMNASTICS
Barsukova wins rhythmic gold in an upset
EQUESTRIAN
Wind dashes Millar's medal hopes
VOLLEYBALL
Yugoslavia beats Russia for gold
DIVING
Despatie arrives early
FIELD HOCKEY
Netherlands retains Olympic title
TAEKWONDO
Bosshart wins bronze in taekwondo
SYNCHRO
Ironic performance wins bronze
SAILING
Clarke retires after finishing 17th