Rowbottom, D. G., Keast, D., Green, S., Kakulas, B., & Morton, A. R. (1998). The case history of an elite ultra-endurance cyclist who developed chronic fatigue syndrome. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30, 1345-1348.

An ultra-endurance cyclist (male aged 37 years) developed chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Since he had previously been tested for performance and physiological factors a comparison of non-CFS and CFS measures was possible. A further testing was performed when S had demonstrated significant improvement in the clinical CFS state.

Maximum workload changed by -11.3%, VO2max by -12.5%, and anaerobic threshold by -14.3% during the CFS state. After significant recovery workload was still depressed by -7.9%, VO2max by -10.2%, and anaerobic threshold by -8.3%.

It was concluded that the performance and measurement decrements were more a result of detraining rather than an impairment of aerobic metabolism. There is a possibility that CFS is associated with central neurological dysfunction rather than physiological exhaustion.

Implication. Chronic fatigue syndrome in athletes is not likely to be associated with physiological causes but rather by a central neurological dysfunction.

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