Doping and sports - 1961


American Football

Cocaine was a chronic problem for many NFL players. Carl Eller (1942-) of the Minnesota Vikings estimated that 40% of all professional players used the stuff regularly.



In his book 'Pennant Race' Jim Brosnan (1929-2014), a baseball player for the Cincinnati Reds, confessed that he took amphetamines as a pick-me-up. In baseball, amphetamines were not used to improve endurance, such as in cycling or to increase aggressiveness such as in football, but to deal with the monotone tension of a long season and the numerous trips.


After crashing against the asphalt in full sprint, the Italian cyclist Alessandro Fantini (1932-1961) was taken to the hospital with a skull fracture. However, due to the large amount of amphetamines in his body, the surgeons could not operate him. He died two days later.