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Athletes warned off shampoos

Johannesburg – Two new hair-loss shampoos may pose a doping threat to athletes because of their high levels of caffeine, the South African manufacturer warned on Sunday.

“They both contain significant doses of caffeine complex – so high that a warning to athletes is carried on the bottles that caffeine can be detected in hair follicles because it penetrates hair roots,” Litha Pharm said in a statement.

The shampoos Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo and Plantur39, already popular among men and woman in Europe, are now available in South Africa.

“Although caffeine was removed from the World Anti Doping Agency's (Wada) prohibited list in 2004, it is still monitored for misuse by the Wada and other sporting bodies,” said Litha Pharm.

The shampoos' German manufacturers, Dr Kurt Wolff GMBH and Co, had also cautioned athletes, and said: “We expressly point out the high dose of caffeine to athletes so they won't complain later.”

The Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo also included the ingredients zinc, niacin, menthol, and vitamins E and A, said Litha Pharm. – Sapa

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