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July 7, 1934

Current Comment

JAMA. 1934;103(1):32. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750270034015

OXYGEN INHALATION AND ATHLETIC ACTIVITY  In the Olympic games held in California in 1932 the Japanese swimming team inhaled oxygen for five minutes about half an hour before competition. The charge was made that such inhalations were unethical and that they were largely responsible for the successful showing of the Japanese competitors. Karpovich1 has recently made available the reports of an investigation of the possibilities. His experiments follow others which establish fairly well the fact that the breathing of oxygen is an immediate aid to an athletic performance if taken just before exercise. Leonard Hill and Martin Flack found in 1910 that preliminary inhalation of oxygen is useful in running short distances only. Karpovich tested the effects of two deep inhalations of pure oxygen immediately before plunging into water. In eleven out of seventeen cases, men who did this were able to break their own unofficial records. Moreover, of six who could not break

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