Modern Athletics and Performance-Enhancing Drugs

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Athletes' use of performance-enhancing drugs has been recorded in Olympic Athletic Sports. Performance-enhancing medications are medicines that athletes use to improve their odds of winning tournaments. The most often used medications to improve success in Olympic sports fell into two categories: stimulants and anabolic steroids. Stimulants are drugs that increase heart rate and body control, while anabolics are drugs that develop muscle. The athlete's substance choice is determined by the essence of the event (Dana, 2016). Anabolic drugs are preferred for drugs that increase muscle strength. The drugs are reported to mimic testosterone mechanism working by triggering protein synthesis in the body, which in combination with exercise leads to increasing strength in men. The steroids are applied orally, through injection or as cream.

The other commonly abused drug by the athletes in Olympic sports is amphetamines. The drug came into existence in 1987 and worked by stimulating the body to trigger release of neural transmitter’s dopamine. To the athletes, the drug is known to increase heart rate and encourage pleasure in parts of the brain. The drugs are incorporated legal pharmaceuticals such as diet pills. The drug is consumed by the athletes for more extended competition while improving concentration.

Some practice that boost performance fail to involve the use of drugs at all. Two examples of such methods are the use of human growth hormone and blood doping. The Olympic athletes doping their blood often use human growth hormones (HGH) because the processes are not natural and uneasy to detect but also improve their skills. Human growth hormone is a naturally occurring produced by the pituitary glands; the hormone promotes growth of cells in the body through muscle development (Catherine, 2016). The athletes continually use the human growth hormone to grow their muscles and help the recovery of tired muscles. Blood doping proves challenging to detect since it is done through the transfusion. Tests conducted on blood doping do not reveal anything. The Olympic athletes who have been caught with doping issues are usually forced to hand in the medals that they have won; they are also banned from further participation in the games which levels the playing field. Doping is also presented with severe health risks that reduction in libido, high blood pressure, and even thickening of the heart valves. Physical changes that mark the appearance of the user include women with chest hair, men with shrunken testicles. Doping presents health hazards through thickening of the blood cells thus increasing the chance of having a stroke and related diseases (Dana, 2016).

Athletes are commonly using performance-enhancing drugs due to someof purposes. One of the specific reasons for the use of these drugs depends on the performance of the athlete. Professional athletes utilizing these substances hope to make more money through hitting more home runs. In return, the athletes earn more money and receiving lucrative appointments. The Olympic athletes use performance drugs so that they can succeed in gaining corporate sponsorships. The athletes at the college level similarly want to be admitted into the professional leagues. The variety of reasons for utilizing performance related drugs make their consumption a difficult challenge to tackle because the society can neither understand or respond to the demands of every athlete.


Catherine Hanrahan (2016). Rio 2016: Performance-enhancing and banned drugs explained.

Retrieved on 17 Nov 2017 from

Dana Dovey (2016). Rio Olympics Doping Facts: How Performance- Enhancing Drugs

Work And The Risks. Retrieved on 17 Nov 2017 from

November 03, 2022

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