The -174 G/C polymorphism [rs1800795] of the IL6 gene is a candidate to explain individual variations in health and exercise related phenotypes. We compared -174 G/C genotypic and allelic frequencies in three groups of men of the same Caucasian (Spanish) descent: elite endurance athletes (cyclists, runners; n=100); elite power athletes (jumpers, throwers, sprinters; n=53) and non-athletic controls (n=100). The frequency of the GG genotype (P=0.030) and G allele (P=0.026) was higher in the power athletes group compared with the control group. The frequency of the GG genotype (P=0.033) and G allele (P=0.013) was also higher in the power athletes group compared with the endurance athletes group. The odds ratio of being a power athlete if the subject had the GG genotype (dominant model) was 2.471 (95% confidence interval: 1.242-4.915) compared to the control group or the endurance athlete group. We did not find differences between the control and endurance athlete groups. In summary, our findings suggest that the G allele of the IL6 -174 G/C polymorphism might favour sprint/power sports performance.