22 August 2019, 9am
Being ‘on the pill’ might soon start to have an entirely new meaning for athletes.
This pill is a piece of electronic gadgetry that athletes would take few hours before competing in unusually hot conditions – like those likely to be faced in the upcoming IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar and next year in the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The pill is designed to detect and relay the athlete’s core body temperature so that they can be monitored to safeguard against heat exhaustion. The pill passes through the digestive system in the normal way, and would be excreted sometime between 12–48 hours after the race.
The pills have already been trialled by some national federations in the endurance events – primarily Marathon and Walks – and will be offered to athletes on a voluntary basis at the World Championships in Doha starting at the ends of September.