When Winning Costs Too Much: Steroids, Supplements, and Scandal in Todays Sports World

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Darts, car racing, archery, shooting, billiards, and golf are all sports where beta blockers can allow athletes to perform better in competition. Beta-blockers Because they decrease blood flow when used incorrectly, they can leave the extremities without enough blood, causing numbness and lack of function. Beta blockers can also cause impotence, memory issues, and heart failure when taken for unprescribed use. In addition to these drugs, there are thousands of supplements on the market that can enhance performance. Some of these are banned by professional associations while others are allowed, and others still are being studied.

Ever since doping in sports has been known to exist, there have been efforts made to deter it.

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However, these efforts did not become mainstream until the last 30 years. During this time, significant measures have been taken to punish the use of performance enhancing drugs, deter athletes from starting them, and improve the methods of testing for them. The presence of drugs can be tested through urine, blood, saliva, and hair samples.

However, blood and urine tests are the most common.

Steroids in Sports: The Rise and Fall of Great Athletes

The samples can be tested using chromatography, immunologic assay, and mass spectrometry. The exact test used will depend on what types of drugs are being checked for and the policies of the league doing the testing. For example, anabolic steroids and their byproducts are detected in urine samples examined using a combination of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry; each league determines the allowable testosterone levels , given that it is naturally occurring, and anything above that threshold is deemed to be doping. Human growth hormone is tested for in two steps: a urine test to show current presence and a blood test to prove use of HGH over time.

Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports Fast Facts - CNN

Can these tests be cheated? Yes, and many athletes have. But the exact methods for cheating them are constantly evolving as the testing process changes.

Ben Johnson Drug Scandal Seoul 1988

As a result, there is no perfect guide to passing a doping test while still using performance enhancing drugs. The MLB bans numerous substances from being used by players. Among these substances are drugs of abuse, 71 types of steroids, and 55 types of stimulants. Testing is done at the start of spring training and then randomly throughout the season, except for drugs of abuse; these are only tested for when there is cause to suspect abuse.

Urine tests are the most common, though other forms of testing can be used. The NFL bans anabolic agents, protein and peptide hormones, unrelated anabolic agents, anti-estrogen agents, selective androgen receptor modulators, stimulants, and masking agents that aim to hide the presence of banned drugs. Drug tests are performed randomly, and players will be tested at least once per season, with the maximum times being tested being six in a single season. However, the association is known for handing out harsh sentences when players are caught doping—suspending them for as many as 50 games.

However, the NBA is lighter in its fines and goes easier on certain drugs, such as marijuana, when compared to other professional sports leagues. Amphetamines, stimulants, human growth hormone, and various steroids are all banned.

The NHL has a policy of conducting two surprise drug tests per player per season; one of these tests must be on the team as a whole. The first positive test results in a game suspension without pay. The second earns a day suspension without pay. The third results in a ban from the league.

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This means that the NHL has the harshest policy of all the major sports leagues in the United States. The committee uses both blood and urine tests, and should a scandal arise, is open to using other testing items, such as hair. The exact frequency of testing varies, as do the penalties. Legal doping refers to the practice of taking drugs that enhance performance for legitimate medical purposes. For example, beta blockers may help someone competing in archery keep their hands steadier, but if they have a heart condition that requires treatment using beta blockers, they may be able to take them and compete legally.

Little focus has been given to this issue, but it is receiving increased attention in recent years. The signs of performance enhancing drug use depend on the substance being used. In some cases, there are no outward, observable signs. In general, the performance enhancing drugs that have outward symptoms are steroids, human growth hormone, and stimulants.

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Additionally, sudden secrecy, strange habits, and missing money are all signals that someone may have a drug problem, whether it involves performance enhancing drugs or not. The majority of performance enhancing drugs are not considered to be addictive, but those who use them are at a greater risk of developing a substance abuse addiction.

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The exception to this are stimulants and other drugs of abuse that may be used for their performance enhancing capabilities. These drugs are highly addictive, both psychologically and physiologically. With that said, a user who wants to stop using performance enhancing drugs may need to taper their dose until they are no longer using rather than quitting all at once. As such, users of performance enhancing drugs often need drug rehabilitation care when they are ready to quit using drugs. Current anti-doping measures rely primarily upon the punishment of athletes who use performance enhancing drugs.

The effectiveness of this is hotly debated given that many athletes still use these drugs despite the potential consequences. This makes it clear that there is more to be done. In younger athletes, disapproval from those closest to them helps to deter their use more than any other barrier. A focus on education and helping these athletes see their potential without drugs is vital to keeping them clean. Because preventing performance enhancing drug use is so difficult, there is now a movement within athletics to simply allow doping. However, this is problematic in that it does not acknowledge the impact such a decision will have on the health of the athletes who engage in doping.

For now, it would seem that the best approach is to discourage use and be there to help those who fall into the trap of using performance enhancing drugs. Are Performance Enhancing Drugs Addictive? Current Use of Performance Enhancing Drugs. The Drive to Win. The Athletic Physical Form. The Future at Large. How they enhance performance Potential side effects Anabolic Steroids Anabolic steroids enhance performance by increasing the size of the muscles, and as a result, their strength.

AMA Journal of Ethics

As a result of this, overall body fat is reduced as well. Both of these contribute to better physical performance.

It has also been noted by the Australian Academy of Science that those taking anabolic steroids tend to recover from injury faster. Anabolic Steroids High blood pressure, poor liver function, and high cholesterol are among the greatest risks. Growth hormone is a peptide hormone secreted by the pituitary gland.

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The release of hGH is controlled by many factors including diet, exercise, nutrition, drugs and various biological feedback mechanisms. Growth hormone appeals to athletes who are trying to increase their lean body mass and shorten recovery time, but to date there are no well-controlled studies of hGH demonstrating actual improvements in strength and endurance. Side effects that have been reported include headache, enlargement of the adenoids with snoring and further growth of hands, feet and face.

EPO stimulates bone marrow stem cells to produce red blood cells, which in turn transport oxygen from the lungs to all organs of the body, including the muscles and enhances aerobic power. EPO found its way into sports as an alternative to blood doping, the practice of intravenously infusing blood into an individual in order to induce an elevated red blood cell count and increase their total aerobic power by increasing the transport of oxygen to their working muscles.

The abuse of EPO raises both the red blood count and the thickness of the blood, which can stimulate the effects of certain blood diseases and raise the possibility of stroke and heart attack. The athletes are not using them for therapeutic purposes. They conjure up their own craziness and use them in massive quantities. That was part of the job. Since the beginning of the Olympic games in Ancient Greece, athletes have taken major steps to become better, faster and stronger than their competitors. Egyptians ingested the ground rear hooves of the Abyssinian mule to improve their performance and Greek athletes ingested mushrooms for their performance-enhancing properties.

The list of performance-enhancing drugs is fairly extensive, according to Dr. Wadler identified their known side effects, but he says that many of the side effects of these drugs are still unknown. The anabolic steroids used by athletes are synthetic derivatives of the male sex hormone testosterone.

Anabolic steroids act by binding to specific receptors inside a cell to enhance or inhibit the expression of specific genes. Adverse effects of steroid use include: liver tumors, testicular atrophy, development of abnormal breast tissue in males and masculinizing effects in females increased body hair, deepening of voice.

Growth hormone is a peptide hormone secreted by the pituitary gland.