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Performance-Enhancing Drugs: A New Reality in Sports? Jeannette Y.

Performance-Enhancing Drugs: A New Reality in Sports?

Wick, RPh, MBA, FASCP Doping violates the spirit of sports and is dangerous. A-Rod … Lance Armstrong … These athletes made headline news because they covertly used pharmaceuticals to improve performance, commonly known as doping.1 A-Rod and Lance aren’t alone. They just represent the most recent and very public scandals.

By doping, athletes violate the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) regulation forbidding use of pharmaceutical products in competitive sports. Sports: Our Obsession, Athletes’ Angst Sponsors and fans routinely spend millions of dollars on sports and the hoopla that surrounds it—advertising, parties, and items that carry a favorite team’s brand. How much will they risk? Ninety-eight percent of athletes answered yes. Doping is controversial mainly because the medical community has not defined where restoration of normative function ends and performance enhancement begins.

Testing: A Cat-and-Mouse Game Doping is not limited to professional sports. End Note. How I became a drug cheat athlete to test the system. It felt like I had crossed the line.

How I became a drug cheat athlete to test the system

I may not be an elite athlete, but I'm still an athlete. And I had just taken my first shot of EPO. My goal was not to win a medal or make a team but to test the effectiveness of the athletes' biological passport - the latest tool in the global fight against drugs in sport. It was a decision I had not arrived at lightly. I had decided to do what no elite athlete could do - put the passport to the test by becoming a doper myself. For a year I had been investigating allegations about doping in athletics and exploring the cliché that cheats are "one step ahead" of the authorities. When the biological passport was introduced in 2009, it was seen by some as the saviour of clean sport.

Since 2012, about 50 track and field athletes have been banned for biological passport irregularities. And can clean athletes really be sure the passport is levelling the playing field? The passport requires a series of samples from the athlete, at least four. Testing Athletes for Drug Use. The majority of drugs that can be used by athletes can be detected in samples of urine.

Testing Athletes for Drug Use

An athlete is told by a drug control officer to submit a urine sample for testing. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis and the results are reported back to the governing athletic agency. For some substances, blood samples may be required. Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry are the most common methods of chemical analysis. In mass spectrometry, samples are blown apart with an electron beam and the fragments are accelerated down a long magnetic tube to a detector. Immuno-Assays Some substances (such as HCG, LH, ACTH) can be measured in urine samples using an immuno-assay. Tests for Performance Enhancing Drugs Tests for EPO have been recently developed. In 2008, the International Cycling Union introduced a blood passport practice. Until approximately 2010, there were no reliable tests for HGH.

Performance-enhancing drugs: Know the risks. Performance-enhancing drugs: Know the risks Are you hoping to gain a competitive edge by taking muscle-building supplements or other performance-enhancing drugs?

Performance-enhancing drugs: Know the risks

Learn how these drugs work and how they can affect your health. By Mayo Clinic Staff Most serious athletes will tell you that the competitive drive to win can be fierce. Besides the satisfaction of personal accomplishment, athletes often pursue dreams of winning a medal for their country or securing a spot on a professional team. But using performance-enhancing drugs — aka, doping — isn't without risks.

Anabolic steroids What are they? Testosterone has two main effects on your body: Anabolic effects promote muscle building. Some athletes take straight testosterone to boost their performance. Why are these drugs so appealing to athletes? Anabolic steroids come with serious physical side effects as well. Men may develop: Prominent breasts Baldness Shrunken testicles Infertility Impotence Women may develop: Androstenedione What is it? Performance-Enhancing Drugs, Anabolic Steroids, Steroid Use in Sports - The National Center For Drug Free Sport, Inc. -