Asthma no obstacle to success in sport

Tests on Greek athletes who will be competing in the Beijing Olympics this month show that at least one in 10 have asthma, according to allergy experts who say the affliction is not a barrier to success for athletes. Medical tests carried out recently on 100 Greek athletes at a special allergy and asthma treatment center at Athens University revealed that 15 percent of them suffer from asthma. Of the athletes found to be asthmatic, many had not known of their condition before the tests. But suffering from the breathing disorder does not preclude success for athletes, according to the vice president of the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology Nikos Papadopoulos. «Recent research data show that people with asthma can be healthy and successful athletes,» he said. One in five asthmatic athletes who competed in the Athens 2004 Olympics won medals.