November 04, 2006
WASHINGTON–Organizers of the National Spelling Bee this week announced a crackdown on steroids and other unauthorized performance enhancers rampant among contestants.
Roger Diaz, NSB spokesman, said yesterday that the organization has been investigating the use of performance enhancers in the competition for eight months. The investigation has yet to require the revocation of spelling titles or criminal charges, but Diaz noted that several high-profile spellers have been implicated in the process.
The NSB investigation has sparked the release of tougher regulations, including a beefed-up section on banned substances. Caffeine, which officials say has been used so that students could stay up later memorizing words, is no longer allowed. Ginko-Biloba and Ginseng are also among the prohibited substances; these herbs are believed to give users an unfair memory advantage.