This section of the chapter will address those strategies that have been well-studied and have the strongest empirical support. When possible, research that has examined these approaches specifically among athletes is presented here. Most of these studies focus on alcohol use, but in some cases their findings may translate to other substances. Even for the astute family physician, negative effects of drugs in sport it can be difficult to identify patients who are using performance-enhancing drugs. PEDs have potential not only for direct medical consequences but also for exacerbating other conditions. Some of the adverse effects seen in patients who use AASs may include infertility, gynecomastia, sexual dysfunction, hair loss, acne, muscular appearance, and testicular atrophy.

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. An example of a level 1 intervention strategy is serving alcoholic drinks only in standard drink amounts, an example of a level 2 strategy is not serving shots of liquor, and an example of a level 3 is having and distributing a written alcohol policy to club members. An initial study showed that clubs with higher accreditation levels reported less alcohol use than clubs with lower accreditation levels (Rowland et al., 2012). Subsequently, researchers conducted a trial where 88 football clubs were randomized to the intervention or control condition. After the intervention, participants in the intervention condition reported less risky alcohol use than those in the control condition (Kingsland et al., 2015).

Gene doping

People who use drugs regularly for a long period of time can develop dependence and tolerance to it. Tolerance means they need to take larger amounts to get the same effect. Drugs negatively affect not only a team’s performance, but its sense of team spirit and cohesiveness as well.

Though systematic doping is often done for collective performance enhancement, related concerns include avoiding detection and ensuring athletes remain healthy enough to compete. As such, systematic doping may also be a way of managing risks (e.g. safe supply, dosing oversight, side effect management) that would be greater if each athlete were to undertake doping individually. Of course, both HAT and systematic doping as it currently exists are still limited by international/national prohibition policies. A final sport-related contextual factor to address when considering substance use among athletes is ethical issues related to performance-enhancing drug use. This consideration is almost wholly unique to the athletic environment, as it is one of the only arenas where an individual may be incentivized to take a substance that would allow him or her to be physically superior to a specified opponent. Health or societal concerns regarding substance use can be applied across almost any group, but sport is unique in that use of certain substances may undermine the core foundation of the entity.

B. Human GH

In sum, the processes of building enabling environments require simultaneously understanding the multi-layered risk environments that may limit their impact and effectiveness – or be shaped positively in turn. Through doping, we understand the use by athletes of substances prohibited by the antidoping agencies in order to gain a competitive advantage. Since sport plays an important role in physical and mental education and in promoting international understanding and cooperation, the widespread use of doping products and methods has consequences not only on health of the athletes, but also upon the image of sport. Thus, doping in sports is forbidden for both ethical and medical reasons. PEDs to the average person might produce slightly better results than diet and exercise alone. For the elite athlete, however, the results tell a very different story.

  • Erythropoietin stimulates erythropoiesis by binding to specific receptors on the surface of red cell progenitors, activating the Janus kinase 2 signaling pathway, and promoting the survival of these progenitors.
  • AASs may cause adverse musculoskeletal effects (328, 329), especially tendon rupture (329,–337), attributable both to the disproportionate strength of hypertrophied muscles (338) and to possible deleterious effects of AAS on the architecture of the tendons themselves (339,–341).
  • Doping with erythropoietin may raise the risk of serious health problems.
  • Though anti-doping is predicated on promoting athlete health, the current approach has been criticized as being paternalistic (Kayser & Smith, 2008) or ignoring social and sport realities of substance use (Smith & Stewart, 2015).

Moreover, the WADA updates yearly the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods.2 Nevertheless, the use of novel and unclassified agents or off-label use of prescription medications continues to pose a problem in terms of safety, equity, and regulation. The prevalence of the reported adverse analytical findings by doping category is presented in Table 1. Moreover, it is worthy to distinguish between the substances and methods prohibited at all times (in- and out-of-competition) and those prohibited in-competition only. Athletic life may lead to drug abuse for a number of reasons, including for performance enhancement, to self-treat otherwise untreated mental illness, and to deal with stressors, such as pressure to perform, injuries, physical pain, and retirement from sport. This review examines the history of doping in athletes, the effects of different classes of substances used for doping, side effects of doping, the role of anti-doping organizations, and treatment of affected athletes.

List of the Cons of Doping in Sports

As illegal drugs are not controlled substances the quality and strength may differ from one batch to another. Painkillers are chemicals that relieve the symptoms but do not kill the pathogen. Common examples include paracetamol and aspirin, which can relieve a headache or a sore throat. Even though the pain is treated, the cause of the pain often still needs treatment. All drugs that are used as medicine, including painkillers, need to be taken according to their instructions, as incorrect use can lead to serious harm.

negative effects of drugs in sport


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