I've seen reports that one of the OAR athletes in curling in these Olympics (Pyeongchang 2018) might have failed a Doping test.

I really wonder... what could be the advantages of doping in curling? Curling is not a sport of power, or endurance... they rarely throw the rock full power, and even then, a little bit more or less power will probably still to the job just fine.

So why could a curler be using performance enhancing drugs?

  • 1
    Not specific to curling, but some people have taken PED's to help recover from injuries.
    – JeffO
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 18:59
  • @JeffO What kind of injury could you get from curling..?
    – Andre
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 12:22
  • My step mother said she hurt her back while doing curling in her job's christmas party. She was faking it for months. But in all seriousness, you are standing on ice. You can slip and fall hard. It may not be as spectacular as hurting yourself in other sports, but you could.
    – Fredy31
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 16:06
  • 1
    @Fredy31 as we know all too well in Ireland - youtu.be/Xh6HFMBREB4
    – Andre
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 22:24
  • 1
    @Andre Ok I can see you have a great understanding of what is eating sh-- on ice. Greetings from Canada; another land that looks like north of the wall in GoT.
    – Fredy31
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 14:45

3 Answers 3


Endurance and power in curling are important during the sweeping action, and I can guarantee that after a match the players are tired (especially the two players who sweep more).

Here some evidence that talk about player training methods where you can find how physical training and endurance are important: 1 - 2 - 3

Furthermore, being able to maintain concentration fot all the match is a very important aspect and I think that some doping can "help" for it

Anyway the use of doping is breaking the rules of every sport (but this do not answer to the question)

  • Would be good if there are citations
    – aqwert
    Commented Feb 18, 2018 at 22:27
  • @aqwert some links added, I hope it helps to understand the effort required to play curling
    – Ale
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 9:33
  • So I'll put curling in these sports where it doesn't look like it's hard physically but it actually does :p
    – Fredy31
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 14:36

The curling case is very puzzling, as the drug in question is meldonium, which basically allows slightly greater endurance by opening up blood flow and regulating energy in the cells. Even curlers are puzzled about it, as evidenced by this article.

One of the possible side effects is tachycardia, which would be detrimental to the fine control needed for curling. As the article mentions, beta blockers to slow the heart rate would be much more likely to be used (As they were in golf in a minor fashion, IIRC it was Davis Love that admitted to trying them in the book A Good Walk Spoiled).


I think you miss main point of doping. People take drugs not to get stronger or more powerful in general, but to get stronger and more powerful at the skill when competing with other athletes.

The point is that if you are a curler and take drugs, you will not magically start lifting 1000 pounds, but you will be better at curling that your equally able competitor. The nature of any sport is that athletes try to perform at 100% ability/capacity at some parameter.

  • 1
    "The point is that if you are a curler and take drugs, you will not magically start lifting 1000 pounds, but you will be better at curling that your equally able competitor." Explain how this is the case?
    – Andre
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 12:24
  • @andre why drugs not gonna make you lift 1000 pounds when you were lifting maybe 300? My point was that drugs can make you a little bit better at what you do, doesn't matter what. A bit extra brain-muscle coordination and you can throw that stone more precise. But drugs are not magic, but an ace card Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 20:38
  • for such a minimal advantage it’s pretty stupid to do it. Assuming everyone is checked the same, you’re getting a lot more for your risk if you do it for a more athletic event. I’d actually quite like to see a similar tournament to the Olympics for people who openly take enhancing drugs. It’d be quite interesting to see how far we can push our bodies.
    – Andre
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 21:00
  • 1
    @andre "for such a minimal advantage" have you seen how little time/points is there between #1 and #2 in olympics? But you need to pretty damn good already Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 23:03
  • not in curling, which is what I was referring to there. As a swimmer I see how it could have a huge difference. Even 0.01 of a second is a good advantage. I don’t really know much about curling. It just looks like lawn bowls on ice to me.
    – Andre
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 23:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.