Performance-Enhancing Drug Use in Recreational Athletes

The first known case was Kaarlo Maaninka, who transfused two pints of blood prior to winning medals in the 1980 Olympics. By the 1984 Olympics, one-third of the US cycle team received transfusions, resulting in nine medals. SOCs are still under development and testing, and have not yet been proven safe for human use. However, this has not stopped rumours of athletes using them to get an advantage. Synthetic oxygen carriers (SOCs) are purified proteins or chemicals that have that ability to carry oxygen. They are still under development and have not been approved for use outside of South Africa and Russia.

negative effects of drugs in sport

Athletes take human growth hormone, also called somatotropin, to build more muscle and do better at their sports. But studies don’t clearly prove that human growth hormone boosts strength or helps people exercise longer. But doping for sports isn’t one of the uses the drugs are approved for. Treatment for misuse of PEDs, such as anabolic steroids and human growth hormone, is available on both an inpatient and outpatient basis.

Negative effects of using performance enhancing drugs

More serious health consequences have also been documented, including liver toxicity, as liver enzymes rise, and drops in good cholesterol, which can affect heart health. If this stress continues, SARMs have the potential to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. In sports, cocaine may help enhance endurance and strength, reduce pain, and give users a greater sense of self-confidence.

Many banned drugs are very safe when prescribed by a doctor for a specific health reason. However, these medicines are not approved for use by healthy people, in higher doses or in combination with other substances. In addition, some scientists claim that using drugs may be necessary for certain athletes to compete at a high level.

How is doping detected?

David Millar, the 2003 World-Time Trial Champion, admitted using EPO, and was stripped of his title and suspended for two years. Roberto Heras was stripped of his victory in the 2005 Vuelta a España and suspended for two years after testing positive for EPO. To date, only one large controlled trial has examined the efficacy of an environmental alcohol intervention among athletes. In this study, the researchers evaluated the efficacy of the Good Sports program (Rowland, Allen, & Toumbourou, 2012), which was implemented at community football clubs in Australia. This program includes a variety of environmental interventions grouped across three accreditation levels.

negative effects of drugs in sport

The arrival in 2004 of a test to detect allogenic blood transfusions meant athletes could no longer use the blood of a donor, however, they could still cheat by re-infusing their own. The development of Athlete Biological Passports (see below), has made even this method more detectable, as the passports allow testers to see the indirect markers of blood doping. Blood transfusion is an effective and relatively simple method of allowing athletes to boost the number of red blood cells in their blood, improving their aerobic capacity and endurance. Human growth hormone (HGH; also called somatotrophin or somatotrophic hormone) is a naturally-occurring hormone produced in the human body.

Other prescription drugs

The re-infused blood greatly increases the number of red blood cells in the blood, boosting the blood’s ability to bring oxygen to tired muscles. For example, too much HGH before or during puberty can lead to gigantism, which is excessive growth in height and other physical attributes. After puberty, inflated levels of HGH can cause acromegaly, a disease characterised by excessive growth of the head, feet and hands. The lips, nose, tongue, jaw and forehead increase in size and the fingers and toes widen and become spade-like. The organs and digestive system may also increase in size, which may eventually cause heart failure.

negative effects of drugs in sport

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