Everything You Want To Know About Performance Enhancing Drugs Affecting Olympics Competition
The doping menace is once again raising its ugly head, this time threatening to derail India’s Olympics campaign. In the past week, Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav crashed out of the Rio Olympics after failing a dope test, only to be followed soon after by shot-put champion Inderjeet Singh. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) awarded India the dubious distinction of being third among countries with doping rule violations. While the recent doping scandals make most of us cringe, athletes are under immense pressure to perform, which is why many of them succumb to the temptation of trying performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
Why Do Athletes Take Performance Enhancing Drugs?
As the name suggests, performance enhancing drugs have the potential to enhance athletic or sports performance, which is why many sports personalities turn to them to get that extra edge in highly competitive events. While the list of performance enhancing drugs is almost endless.
Some Of Most Commonly Used Performance Enhancing Drugs are:
Anabolic steroid hormones raise testosterone levels by as much as 15000%, enhancing muscle growth and reducing muscle damage.
While anabolic hormones are critical to the treatment of certain conditions that cause muscle loss like muscular dystrophy or AIDS, athletes sometimes use them to promote muscle growth. Anabolic steroid hormones raise testosterone levels by as much as 15000%, enhancing muscle growth and reducing muscle damage, thereby allowing athletes to train harder. Legendary sprinter Ben Johnson was stripped of his 1987 World Championship title and gold medal after testing positive for anabolic steroids.
Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, And Related Substances
Athlete’s use peptide and growth hormones to boost endurance, muscle mass, and performance.
These drugs are critical for premature babies and cancer patients, and include the likes of human growth hormone (Hgh) and erythropoietin (EPO). Hgh has a stimulating effect on cell growth and regeneration, while EPO increases red blood cell and hemoglobin production, improving oxygen supply to muscles. Although these hormones occur naturally in the body, athlete’s use them to boost endurance, muscle mass, and performance. Fallen hero Lance Armstrong was an inspiration to millions until he fell from grace after testing positive for Hgh use, among other drugs.
In athletes who do not suffer from asthma, Beta-2 agonists have the effect of increasing athletic performance.
Beta-2 agonists are bronchodilators used in the treatment of respiratory conditions like asthma. The drugs work by opening up the bronchial passages, increasing air flow to the lungs. In the case of athletes who do not suffer from asthma, this has the effect of increasing athletic performance, just like stimulants.
Athletes use diuretics to cheat on weight restrictions, as they promote expulsion of water from the body
Most people think of coffee as a diuretic, but in the medical context diuretics refer to substances like bumetanide and acetazolamide. Normally used in the treatment of conditions like kidney disease and hypertension, these drugs promote expulsion of water from the body. Athletes therefore use the drugs to cheat on weight restrictions, as water content adds considerably to weight. These drugs are commonly used by bodybuilders, boxers, and wrestlers to qualify in lighter weight categories, increasing the chances of success.
Stimulants give athletes an advantage, as their stimulating effect on the central nervous system increases endurance and alertness.
Stimulants include substances like amphetamines and methamphetamines, as well as caffeine. They are mainly used to treat conditions like ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity, boosting focus and suppressing appetite. In the world of competitive sports it gives athletes an advantage, as its stimulating effect on the central nervous system increases endurance and alertness. Stimulants have been frequently used by professional racers in motor sports events to increase their focus.
Athletes turn to narcotics to mask pain, as this allows them to perform above their normal pain thresholds.
In conventional medicine, narcotics like morphine and pethidine are used for severe pain relief and as sleeping aids. Athletes turn to such drugs to mask pain, as this allows them to perform above their normal pain thresholds. The use of narcotics and analgesics is most tempting to sports stars engaged in aggressive contact sports like boxing, wrestling, mixed martial arts, and so on.
Cannabinoids have an analgesic or pain-relieving effect that may boost performance, but in most cases the drug is considered amotivational.
Cannabinoids are not widely used in modern medicine, but are sometimes prescribed for palliative care in cancer and glaucoma patients. In athletics, cannabinoids have an analgesic or pain-relieving effect that may boost performance, but in most cases the drug is considered amotivational. Cannabis use remains controversial in sports, as in popular culture, with some sporting authorities permitting use, with some Olympians like Ross Rebagliati and Michael Phelps even advocating cannabis use!
Masking agents are used by athletes specifically to mask or prevent detection of other performance enhancing drugs.
Masking agents can include a wide variety of drugs that have different medical uses, but they are used by athletes specifically to mask or prevent detection of other performance enhancing drugs. Diuretics, for example, are sometimes used as masking agents that aid water expulsion, thereby diluting urine and reducing the chances of detection of banned substances.
In the short term, performance enhancing drugs can help strengthen muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones, reducing the risk of sports injuries, but over a period of time they can cause impotence, balding, and increased aggression. They can also have more serious side effects, causing damage to the heart and liver.
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