The former goalkeeper, then a doctor, complained to Open: “They took that, cortisone and tachipirina solutions, pemolina to stay concentrated. The doctors were unable to control the situation. ALS? I think the abuse of anti-inflammatories has something to do with it”
Dino Baggio’s phrases on Vialli’s death a few days ago triggered an avalanche of memories. Brambati, Raducioiu, Tardelli, many former footballers recalled the drugs they took, often without knowing why. This time it’s Lamberto Boranga’s turn, who gave a long interview to Open about it. A doubly interesting testimony, because the former goalkeeper of Perugia, Fiorentina and Reggiana was already studying at university when he played and later became a doctor, a specialist in cardiology and sports medicine.
“In our times we were constantly taking pills – recalls Boranga -. It was normal for the doctor to prescribe them: they increased concentration, the desire to play, the drive. But I’m not talking about anabolic steroids…”. And what then? “Micoren was among the most used drugs. It’s a respiratory analeptic, you take in more air and increase your resistance. But the real problem was the quantities: some players even took 10 pills together. There were also drops, you put 10 on a lump of sugar, and even there many people took 20-30. In Brescia I saw comrades catch an avalanche. And excessive use can have harmful effects from a liver and pancreas point of view”.
And here falls the role of doctors “often unable to keep the situation under control. The doctor comes to the locker room, tells you ‘This is good for you’, you are often ignorant and you take as much as you think is good for you. It was often the companies that pushed: ‘I see the kids dull, let’s give them something’ was among the typical phrases. The same mechanism concerned creatine: 3 grams per day improve muscle activity, 20 begin to have the effect of an anabolic steroid. Then in the 80s corticosteroids arrived, steroid hormones synthesized in the adrenal cortex, which became doping some time later”.
But what drugs did Boranga take? “Micoren, solutions of cortisone and tachypirine in the vein that put you back into the world, and then a pill of a substance similar to amphetamine. I think the chemical base was pemolina, I took it to stay focused, I stopped when they considered it doping. But I stuck to the prescription dosages, if you were reckless you would have run some risk”. Excesses? “Yes, with the Pemolina, I remember once when I was playing I had to take an exam at the university. But it was a sporadic mistake, if done consistently you risk. Substance abuse is harmful, those who have done it cannot rule out consequences. Although many footballers when they stop playing they also stop leading a healthy life. And when we talk about cancer, smoking, bad foods and a wild existence are not elements to be overlooked”
Boranga also talks about the death of Renato Curi (“There was no mention of doping or drugs in the environment, but there was no post-mortem diagnosis”) and the links between the medicines taken and ALS which affected many former footballers: “I think that the abuse of anti-inflammatories had a big weight, together with excessive training. I’ve always seen workloads that are too heavy, trainers must understand that balance and rest are also needed. It takes a little common sense if we want to preserve people even when they stop playing. Today I believe that footballers are more intelligent, that they take what they take with more awareness and not even so willingly”
January 22, 2023 (change January 22, 2023 | 1:54 pm)
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