A number of wrestlers at Carmel (Ind.) High School were made to forfeit matches from earlier this season due to their use of banned weight-loss products.
IndyStar reports that eight wrestlers used so-called “sauna suits” during practices. The suits are typically made of a non-breathable material such as rubber or vinyl, and can contribute to rapid water weight loss. The profuse sweating the suits cause can lead to dangerous levels of dehydration, and according to WRTV in Indianapolis the suits contributed to multiple deaths of wrestlers at the high school and collegiate levels in the 1990s. Their use is banned by the NCAA, and the National Federation of State High School Associations.
The school’s athletic department self-reported the use of the suits to the IHSAA, according to school superintendent Dr. Michael Beresford.
“Once this information was brought to our attention, we investigated and immediately self-reported the rule violation to the IHSAA,” he told WRTV. “We are disappointed that this occurred under the supervision of our coaches and appropriate corrective action has been taken. We remain committed to providing our student-athletes with a safe and positive environment that promotes good character and sportsmanship.”
Head coach Ed Pendoski declined to answer questions from reporters, referring them to the school’s PR department instead.
A letter penned by Carmel AD Jim Inskeep and sent to parents in the program read in part:
“As a result [of the rule violation], eight student-athletes have forfeited matches throughout the course of 19 different competitions during the season. We have started the process of working with our staff to insure future violations do not occur within the program. I apologize you have to receive this communication as we always strive to be leaders in our state in all areas of our athletic programs. The violated rule will be corrected moving forward as well as other measures to insure the health and safety of our student-athletes.”